Polzin: Wisconsin football avoids upset, tackles issues and capitalizes on big third quarter
The University of Wisconsin football team avoided an embarrassing defeat by winning 35-14 over Georgia Southern.
The University of Wisconsin football team's performance on Saturday afternoon may have left fans disappointed. After suffering their first loss of the season, many were hoping for a strong response from the Badgers in their next game. Fortunately, Wisconsin managed to avoid what could have been an embarrassing defeat, securing a 35-14 win over Georgia Southern at Camp Randall Stadium.
One of the standout moments of the game was the Badgers' impressive performance in the third quarter. Braelon Allen played a key role in this success, scoring two touchdowns that helped secure the victory. It was a much-needed boost for Wisconsin and showed the team's resilience after their previous loss.
One area of concern for the Badgers had been their inability to force turnovers in their first two games. However, against Georgia Southern, Wisconsin collected an impressive six turnovers, including five interceptions. This defensive effort played a crucial role in halting promising drives for the Eagles and turning the tide in favor of the Badgers.
Hunter Wohler stood out with two interceptions, while Jason Maitre, Ricardo Hallman, and C.J. Goetz each contributed one interception. Additionally, Maema Njongmeta recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter. While some of these turnovers were a result of mistakes by the Eagles' quarterback, Davis Brin, others were a testament to the pressure applied by the Wisconsin defense.
The question now is whether this performance can be sustained by the Badgers throughout the season. While it may be unlikely for Wisconsin to force as many turnovers in future games, their ability to create turnovers will likely be a crucial factor in their success. The team's struggles in stopping opponents have been evident in their previous three games, and forcing turnovers could be a key strategy for the Badgers moving forward.
Another positive takeaway from the game was the emergence of Braelon Allen as a key player for the Badgers. After a disappointing performance in the previous game, Allen met with coach Luke Fickell to express his desire for a larger role in the offense. In the first half, Allen's performance mirrored his previous game, but he came alive in the third quarter, providing a much-needed spark for the team. His contributions helped turn a seven-point deficit into a comfortable 21-point lead for the Badgers.
Despite the victory, there were also areas of concern for Wisconsin. The team's pass coverage continued to be a weak point, allowing Georgia Southern to make significant gains through the air. This raises questions about the team's ability to defend against teams with strong wide receivers, such as Ohio State.
Additionally, the Badgers need to address their issues with penalties. Two illegal formation calls in the first half proved costly, negating a big gain and forcing the team to punt on a fourth-and-1 situation. These types of mistakes can be detrimental to the team's success, especially in crucial moments of the game.
In conclusion, while the Badgers managed to secure a win over Georgia Southern, there are still areas that need improvement. The team's ability to force turnovers was a positive sign, but their pass coverage and discipline must be addressed moving forward. With conference play on the horizon, the Badgers cannot afford lackluster performances if they hope to compete in the Big Ten West Division. Coach Fickell and his team will need to build on their successes and address their weaknesses to ensure a successful season.