The Wisconsin Badgers suffered an embarrassing 24-10 loss at the hands of the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday, dropping to 5-5 on the season and still looking to claim bowl eligibility with two games remaining.
In the loss, the Badgers returned three starters to the rotation in quarterback Tanner Mordecai, running back Braelon Allen, and wide receiver Chimere Dike.
Mordecai, seeing the field for the first time since breaking his hand last month, and Dike were active throughout the night, although the latter didn’t see his regular volume of snaps.
However, Allen was present for just the first few plays, seeing three carries over the first two series before sitting out for the remainder of the game, although the running back was actively at the front of the sidelines.
What’s the latest on Allen’s status?
Speaking to reporters after the game, head coach Luke Fickell revealed that Allen’s body didn’t respond well early on, making it apparent that he wasn’t good enough to go just yet.
“No. We didn’t know if he was really going to be able to go, and the situation, it didn’t seem like he was able to kind of let loose and go,” Fickell said after the game. “And we kind of gave him the opportunity, and we had to maybe see it in the first few – first drive or so there. But I think it became a little bit evident that it didn’t feel like he was good enough to go.”
Quarterback Tanner Mordecai clarified the situation a little postgame, adding that there wasn’t much change without the running back in the fold.
“No, I don’t think there was a whole bunch of change other than him not being out there. He tried to give it a go, but I don’t think his body wasn’t letting him. I know he’ll have a great week of rehab and hopefully I get to play with him next week.”
Without Allen, the Badgers struggled on the ground, rushing for 97 yards on 4.4 yards per carry, although a majority of the yardage came in the fourth quarter (52 yards on 10 carries).
In the first half, the Badgers rushed for just 14 yards on eight attempts, leading to a one-sided offensive attack and only three points through 30 minutes.
Allen, who has been battling a high-ankle sprain, according to fellow back Jackson Acker, has now either missed or been severely limited over the last 10 quarters, and the Badgers have scored just 31 points during that span.