Editors note: I (Tyler) am traveling for the ole 9-5 this week so posts may be a little delayed compared to other weeks, I appreciate your patience
For the third straight season, the Wisconsin Badgers are at or below .500 after their fourth game. These are also the only three seasons, 2020-2022, in the previous 20 going back to 2003 when the Badgers have lost more than one game within the first four. It’s been a long time, but this has become the new normal. Things need to change, quickly before Wisconsin starts to look more and more like Nebraska and less like a Big10 powerhouse.
Wisconsin didn’t create any pressure or close any gaps
Ohio State was basically able to do whatever they wanted against the Badgers. It didn’t matter if that was on the ground or in the air. Wisconsin looked more carved up than a turkey at the end of a Thanksgiving meal. Over 500 yards of total offense and they could’ve put up more. Ohio State had 258 total on the ground with two of their three main backs from the night getting more than 100 yards on more than 10 carries. Averaging 5.8 on 21 carries, TreVeyon Henderson, and 9.2 on 11 carries, Miyan William, respectively.
Overall, the front lines looked gassed by the second half. It was clear that the Badgers have multiple problems to fix not only on the ground but through their coverage as well. C.J. Stroud looked like a man possessed. Sure he threw one interception. But you can be forgiven one mistake if you have a night as he had throwing 17 for 27 with 281 yards, five touchdowns, and a QBR of 98.7. Stroud spread it around too. Yes, one of his wide receivers was over 100 yards on the day but the three other targets all put up almost 50 yards or more on the day and averaged 16.5 per catch. It was a bad week for everybody on that defense but those on the offensive side of the ball didn’t produce much either.
The offense is uninspired
It’s just not happening. The ground game created absolutely no space or separation and Ohio State had a field day. I feel so sorry for Allen. He, and every other back, had absolutely no time to create and cook up some big plays until Ohio State had put in their backups midway through the 4th quarter. It was just as bad through the air. Mertz couldn’t find anything to connect with.
The Buckeye's defense shut the Badgers down early and it never found any time to create momentum. This season could very likely be a rebuilding year of sorts. It’s time to just call it as it is. The chances to compete for a Big 10 Title are over and I’m starting to wonder if we’ll even make it to a bowl game this season. Badger fans have a right to be angry this isn’t the way things have typically gone. But some fans are suggesting changes need to happen at the top level.
Things are looking bad for Chryst
“Everybody feels pain after that. Who do you think going to feel that the most. Who’s going to use that as fuel the most?” said Mertz. Well, Graham, ideally, no one feels any pain and Wisconsin Badger fans can feel like they’ve felt 4 games into the season for most of the previous 30 years; not like a lower mid-level program in a power five conference. The previous three decades have afforded the Badgers a regular amount of success for a program that’s not a typical powerhouse.
We’ve been lucky in that, for the most part, we always played above what we should have. Multiple New Year’s Six Bowls bowls and Big Ten Championship appearances. Even if we did lose those we’d earned the right to play in them. I’m starting to get worried we won’t have earned the right to play in anything this year by season’s end. Chryst should be worried too. I know we’re only four games into the season but things aren’t working out with Engram and the new offense. While the defense didn’t look much better it’s still something that’s traditionally has looked better in other years.
I saw a shocking number of people on social media calling for a coaching change. I saw many of those people calling for Jim Leonard to take over. It felt gross. Chryst is one of our own, Leonard is one of our own, and these guys are as loyal to Wisconsin as any coach we could ever hope to have. His overall win percentage is still very high. They’re our guys and we need to support them. Even if this year keeps sliding I don’t think there’s any need to make a coaching change. Trust the process, even if it’s painful.