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Grading Wisconsin’s turnover fueled shellacking of Purdue

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The Badgers forced five turnovers and the running game flattened Purdue’s defense in the 30-13 win.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Purdue Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Rubric - Wisconsin Football Unit Grades

Grade Description - accounting for degree of difficulty
Grade Description - accounting for degree of difficulty
A Excellent: Top-5 level performance
B Very good: Top-tier Big Ten performance
C Acceptable: Average for the Big Ten
D Unacceptable: Below average for the Big Ten
F Failure: Rutgers level performance
N/A Insufficient evidence for a grade

Offense: B-

QB: D+
O-line: B
RB/FB: B+
WR/TE: N/A

Rationale:

The Badgers ran the ball, seemingly at will, against Purdue on Saturday afternoon. Chez Mellusi and Braelon Allen each ran for over 139 yards and found the endzone. The blocking was good when Wisconsin ran the ball and outside of Allen’s inability to hold on to the ball the running backs played perfectly.

Graham Mertz only threw the ball eight times, completing five for 52 yards, but had negative awareness on a blitz that resulted in a fumble recovery for a touchdown by George Karlaftis of Purdue. Pass protection, on the few times it happened, wasn’t good enough. Tyler Beach continued to get beat like a drum and some serious discussions need to happen this week about switching him out of the lineup.

Congrats to Jake Ferguson on continuing his consecutive games with a catch streak. He also taunted Purdue fans, which rules.

Defense: A-

Pass rush: A
Pass coverage: B
Run defense: A-

Rationale:

What can be said about this Wisconsin defense that hasn’t already been said? They are amazing and the only thing they hadn’t done well this year, force turnovers, they fixed against Purdue. Collin Wilder, John Torchio and Caesar Williams each had an interception while Wilder forced and recovered a fumble and Nick Herbig recovered the ball when Aidan O’Connell just kinda dropped it.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Purdue Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Leo Chenal was outstanding. He had nine tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks on the game. A week after recording 17 tackles against Army it was hard to guess what he’d do for an encore. Well, he exceeded expectations wildly.

Keeanu Benton was so good in the middle of the defense and really sets up the rest of the defense to succeed so often. I love him dearly and don’t want him to go to the NFL next year.

Special Teams: C+

Kicking: B+
Punting: C+
Returning: D-
Coverage: B

Rationale:

This looks like a rough overall grade and that’s because it is being brought down by the return units. They’ve looked bad all season and Dean Engram looked lost when trying to receive the punt. Shoutout Hunter Wohler for recovering that fumble.

Collin Larsh was great, and quietly has been all season, kicking the ball, making all three of his field goal attempts with a long of 43.

Coaching: C+

Strategy: B-
Adjustments: C+
Play-calling: C+

Rationale:

I don’t know...I feel like this game still leaves a lot to be desired from the coaching staff, namely Paul Chryst and the offense. First, let’s start off with something good! The early passing plays for Mertz were well called, and executed, to try and get him so momentum early.

However, the goal line play calls from the one-yard line which resulted in a loss of four yards and a field goal were...awful. They made me physically upset and I’m demanding a full-scale DOJ investigation into those decisions.

Overall grade: B+

Unit Grades: B
Big plays: B+
Game Control: B
Penalties & Discipline: D-

Rationale:

Jack Nelson needs to learn the snap counts so he stops false starting. This team has looked undisciplined with penalties and ball security all season and this game was no different. Allen’s long run when the Badgers were backed up in their shadow of their own goal post was great.

Wisconsin only attempted two passes in the second half and had the game fairly well in hand for much of the fourth quarter.

Graham Mertz’s blocking: A+

Rationale:

It ruled. Eat it, Purdue.