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Grading Wisconsin’s bludgeoning of Rutgers

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The Badgers threw their weight around in New Jersey on Saturday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Wisconsin at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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: A-

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

Rationale:

Wisconsin took liberties on the Rutgers defense, who had no real answer all day for the Badgers offense. Graham Mertz started off rocky with an early interception, but ended up throwing for 240 yards and three touchdowns, which hopefully can be used as some momentum for the young passer.

The Badgers looked like the teams of old, three running backs ran for touchdowns, and as a team went for over 300 yards on the ground. Braelon Allen continues to look like a future star, and hopefully Chez Mellusi’s injury is nothing serious or lengthy.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Wisconsin at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was nice to see Kendric Pryor get the opportunity to make some plays today as well, as he’s seemed to be on the back burner of a passing game that never puts anything on the stove.

Defense: A

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

Rationale:

I mean, this is getting pretty repetitive week after week. The Badgers held Rutgers under 200 yards of total offense, knocked their starting quarterback out of the game, and continues to be one of the elite units in the country, especially against some, admittedly, poor Big Ten offenses.

Caesar Williams had the first pick six for Wisconsin since 2019, and Wisconsin was attacking all day long. Isaih Pacheco was a bright spot for Rutgers, with a couple of good runs. However it just wasn’t enough to ever pose a real threat .

Special Teams: B-

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

Rationale:

The cool thing about a game like this, is that an okay special teams performance doesn’t even matter because the margins in this game were so gapingly big. The forced fumble on the kickoff return by Aron Cruickshank was vital in helping to put this game away quickly.

Coaching: A

Strategy: A-
Adjustments: B
Play-calling: B

Rationale:

In a game like this, the play calling didn’t matter, the adjustments weren’t necessary. Wisconsin was the vastly superior team, and they played like it today.

That speaks to preparation and focus...which boils down to coaching.

Overall grade: A

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

Rationale:

Wisconsin was completely dominant from the outset today, which is what’s nice to see with their fifth straight victory as they start to string together some impressive performances.

They continue to run the ball in a dominating fashion which helps mitigate the inconsistencies from Mertz. The skill guys had opportunities to make plays today, which is also a sight for sore eyes.

Defensively, I can’t imagine having much fun if you’re Northwestern having to prepare for this buzzsaw.

The Badgers are playing complimentary football, which is exactly what they want to do. It hasn’t always been pretty. But Wisconsin is rounding into form as the season trudges along into November. Wisconsin controls their own destiny, and if they don’t make any major mistakes, should find themselves in Indianapolis in December.

On, Wisconsin.