The Northwestern Wildcats traveled to Madison on Saturday to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in what was sure to be a good game between two of the better teams in the Big 10. The Wildcats were looking to rebound from a tough loss at home to the Ohio State Buckeyes, while the Badgers were coming off a bye week.
The Badgers proved just how well rested they were after their bye week. Their normally explosive offense played very well, totaling 527 yards against the Wildcats, but was overshadowed by their defense that virtually shut down the Wildcat offense.
The Badger defense kept them out of the end zone and only allowed two field goals. The Wildcats had a total of 241 yards of offense, and only had 44 yards rushing on 25 carries. They were two of 17 on third down, and quarterbacks Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian were sacked a total of seven times. We saw a very different Wildcat offense than what we saw last week in their loss to the Buckeyes.
It was all because of the dominant Badger defense. They shut down a normally explosive Northwestern offense led by their dual quarterback threat of Colter and Siemian.
Colter was rattled by the Badgers defense. He was held to 10 yards rushing and was only 4-for-5 passing with 34 yards and an interception. His poor performance could also have something to do with the fact that he suffered a lower body injury in the first half. However, judging by the performance of the Badger defense, it seems to have more to do with that than anything else.
It didn’t help that Northwestern once again lost running back Venric Mark to another injury. Mark had just returned last week from a previous injury to play against the Buckeyes. He is a vital part of the Wildcats’ running game.
If Wisconsin’s defense can continue to play this way, then they will have a good run in the Big 10. They shut down a good team with a normally explosive offense, something that Ohio State could barely do the week before. Keep an eye on the Badger defense. This is surely not the last we will hear about it this season.