Wisconsin versus Maryland: A rainy win from the Badgers

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The Badgers (5-4 overall) entered Saturday’s game against the Terrapins looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Badgers have had a tough season so far, so a win against Maryland was needed. The final score was 23-10, with Wisconsin going on top.

The conditions of Saturday’s game were not ideal, with rain pouring down and 20-mile-per-hour winds inside Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers braved the elements to beat Maryland by 13 points.

Photo Cred: ESPN                                                   Photo Cred: BadgerExtra

The best play of the game was when Wisconsin running back Isaac Guerendo scored an 89-yard rushing touchdown to extend the lead to 14-0. Guerendo had one touchdown and 114 rushing yards on the day. Wisconsin needed to win by five points or more to cover the spread.

With one minute left in the first quarter, Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen rushed for a nine-yard touchdown to get the Badgers a 7-0 lead. Two players have shown up consistently for the Badgers every single game, Allen and center Joe Tippman. With change being a constant for the Badgers during a very uncertain season, any form of consistency is needed!

Photo Cred: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel                  Photo Cred: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Badgers have had seven starting lineups throughout their nine games, and Tippman has started in all nine. Same thing with Allen, who has consistent yardage every game. His lowest yardage count this season was against Illinois, where he only got two rushing yards. Allen currently has 989 total yards, 10 touchdowns, and 5.8 AVG. Meanwhile, Tippmann is leading the team in snaps played (548), and he only comes off the field when Wisconsin pulls their starters after building a big lead.

“I think just for the center position, I think that’s something that kind of needs to stay continuous,” Tippmann said. “You want to have the same guy giving the calls to all those guys, all the rest of guys out there. And I think that’s something that helps with the continuity of everything, kind of just helps keep the flow of the game. The connections that I have with Graham — him being my roommate, great friends, lived together for three, four years now — I think that’s just something that can calm nerves out there.”

Photo Cred: Pro Football Network                                Photo Cred: Madison.com

Wisconsin’s o-line may have found its preferred group for the rest of the season (from left to right): Jack Nelson, Tanor Bortolini, Tippmann, Trey Wedig, and Riley Mahlman. After the win on Saturday, Badgers interim coach Jim Leonhard praised the line’s physicality and believes it will continue as they play more together. Leonhard also gave a lot of praise for the consistency Tippmann has brought to the offensive line.

“We see some unique things and a lot of times with our style of offense, there’s not weeks and weeks and weeks of reps of how a defense attacks our style of offense,” Leonhard said. “I think he does a great job in games of seeing how we’re being attacked, he’s making a ton of communication run game and pass game. You just see him getting more and more comfortable as the year goes on. Hopefully as you get more consistent pieces around him, you see that group continuing to grow.”

Photo Cred: Bucky’s 5th Quarter

Hopefully, the offensive line bond grows stronger in the upcoming games and the Badgers’ offense continues to see success, especially this weekend against Iowa. The Hawkeyes’ defense is one of the best in the country, ranking third in the FBS in yards per game allowed (264.4) and fifth in scoring defense (14.3).

The Badgers’ offense worked well together in Saturday’s game. After Allen’s touchdown, the Badgers went on to score another touchdown in the second quarter, which was mentioned earlier (Guerendo for 89 yards).

Photo Cred: Black Heart Gold Pants

Late into the third quarter, kicker Nate Van Zelst got a 38-yard field goal for the Badgers. They were leading 17-0 going into the second half. Unfortunately, Maryland kicked a field goal in the third quarter to end the shutout.

Van Zelst kicked a 35-yard field goal late into the third quarter. Going into the fourth quarter, Wisconsin now led 20-3. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Van Zelst kicked a 28-yard field goal to put the Badgers up 23-3. Maryland scored their first and only touchdown with a minute left in the fourth quarter.

Photo Cred: Twitter                                     Photo Cred: 247 Sports

This game was an important win for the Badgers, who put together a strong performance from start to finish. This was done in spite of the weather, which did not cooperate for the first home game this season.

The Badgers’ defense held Maryland to only 10 points. This ended a 10-game streak of the Terrapins scoring at least 27 points. The defense also had a season-high five sacks against Maryland, holding them to only 77 passing yards.

Photo Cred: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel                 Photo Cred: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin’s offense also had season highs. The Badgers rushed for a season-high 293 rushing yards. Guerendo (114 yards) and Allen (119 yards) both passed the 100-yard mark and also found the endzone for a touchdown.

It was a great game to watch, despite the weather, and the Badgers should be proud of their performance. They take on the Iowa Hawkeyes this Saturday in an away game. Like I said before, the Hawkeyes’ defense is one of the top ones in the country. Tippmann believes that Wisconsin should attack Iowa’s defense with its size advantages.

Photo Cred: The Athletic

“It’s essentially the same Iowa team every year, they’re not going to try and be any sort of fancy, they’re going to try and beat you with what they got, and they do a great job at it,” Tippmann said. “We’ve just got to know that we want to play more physical ball than they do.”

This will be an aggressive, physical, and hard game for the Badgers. Let’s hope that the consistency they’ve had over the past two weeks will help them this weekend!

Photo Cred: ESPN

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