Grading the Defense: Week 3

20 Sep

Yes, yes, I know, I’m a little late with this post. However, I have good reason: I’ve been extremely busy indulging myself in some great food dishes. What kind of food, you ask? Well, a hefty plate of steamy, delicious, Crow Pie. And I’ve had the pleasure of sharing it all to myself.

This young 2011 season has seen me, maybe even a little unfairly, critical of the Badger’s defense. I was unimpressed with their play vs UNLV, unconvinced after dominating a dreadful Oregon State team, and down-right skeptical that they’d be effective against the so called “high-powered” Huskies. Well, so far they’ve proven me wrong. Very wrong. That being said, the Badgers were down-right nasty on Saturday as the Badgers stymied the Northern Illinois Huskies. Not much to say about the Badgers’ dominating performance. Here’s how they graded out:

Defensive Line: A-

The Badgers brought pressure all day getting steady production out of the defensive end position with Louis Nzegu recording three tackles and one a pass blocked. And while the line failed to record a sack, they constantly kept NIU quarterback Chandler Harnsih uncomfortable and on the move. Harnish never, save for a lone drive, seemed “in his groove.” Much of this credit goes to the Badger’s front four.

Line Backers: A+

If there were any questions about Chris Borland”s transition to middle linebacker, Saturday should have answered them. Borland was his old self, flowing to the ball and blowing up plays. Number 44 led the Badgers with 11 tackles with two of them going for loses. Also chipping in was Mike Taylor who looked extremely smooth in recording five tackles of his own. A lot of credit goes to the Badger defensive line, but any time you can limit a team to 64 rushing yards, a heap of praise goes to the line backing unit.

Secondary: A

This was a point of contention coming into the mach-up. Wisconsin’s “unproven” secondary against NIU’s fast-break passing attack was a scary match-up. The Badgers quelled some serious doubters (me being one of them) by straight up shutting down Harnish’ s passing game. Had I been a betting man, I would have never thought the Badgers would limit the Huskies to 173 yards through the air. Simply put, the Badger secondary came to play and shut the haters up. Here’s to hoping that domination continues.

Game Ball Goes To:

Marcus Cromartie. He was the biggest liability entering the game and ended up proving himself with flying colors. Doerin constantly tested the new corner back and Cromartie excelled under the pressure, finishing the game with eight tackles.

-On Wisconsin

Mitch Larson

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