The Camp: Sept. 30, 2019

On this week’s episode of The Camp, Zach Heilprin and Jesse Temple take a look back at the win over Northwestern, discuss whether the rough game for the offense is a concern, debate whether this is best defense Wisconsin’s put on the field in recent seasons and answer your Twitter questions. 

4:27 — You have to give Northwestern credit for their game plan

7:46 — Why so much pistol and shotgun on offense? 

15:09 — Sold or not sold

1) The 2019 Wisconsin defense is the best defense since the Badgers went to the 3-4 in 2013

2) Jack Coan’s performance has me questioning what I saw in the first three games 

3) Jack Dunn is still Wisconsin’s best option at punt returner 

4) Wisconsin deserves to be a top-10 team in the country

25:23 — Best audio from the post-game media session 

31:16 — Twitter questions 

Wisconsin LB Chris Orr named Big Ten DPOW

Wisconsin’s defense was the reason the Badgers beat Northwestern on Saturday and one member of the unit was recognized for that effort.

Linebacker Chris Orr was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after he racked up nine tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble.

Orr is part of a defense that leads the nation in a number of categories through four games, including scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, third-down defense and pass-efficiency rating.

The senior is the first Wisconsin player to win the award since linebacker Leon Jacobs earned the honor in November of 2017.

Wisconsin will host Kent State this Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.

Wisconsin basketball adds two 4-star commits to 2021 recruiting class

Wisconsin has two big time recruits to its 2021 class.

The first to announce was point guard Chucky Hepburn (Bellevue, Neb.), who took to Twitter to share the news.

https://twitter.com/ChuckyHepburn/status/1178448985775902720

Then it was forward Matthew Mors (Yankton, SD) turn less than two hours later.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Hepburn is a 4-star recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite. He chose the Badgers over offers from Nebraska, Creighton and Minnesota.

Hepburn is rated as the No. 2 player in the state of Nebraska and the 23rd-best point guard in the country.

Mors had been on the Badgers radar for a long time. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound is ranked as the top player in the state of South Dakota and the 22nd-best power forward in the nation. The 4-star recruit chose Wisconsin over offers from Creighton, Colorado, Iowa, Iowa State and Nebraska.

The duo joins four-star power forward Chris Hodges (Schaumburg, Ill.) in the Badgers class that is ranked No. 1 in the country.

(8) Wisconsin 24, Northwestern 15: 2-minute drill

MADISON — No. 8 Wisconsin got two defensive touchdowns on its way to a 24-15 win over Northwestern on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.

Game Balls

Offense: Jonathan Taylor

It was not a banner day for the offense and that includes Taylor. But the junior did top 100 yards for the first time against Northwestern, getting 119 yards on 26 carries. That included a pretty 13-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the game. Taylor has now run for at least 100 yards in nine straight games and he’s gone over 100 yards against 11 of the other 13 Big Ten teams.

Defense: Eric Burrell

We could have gone a number of different ways with this one, including defensive lineman Matt Henningsen, inside linebacker Chris Orr and outside linebackers Zack Baun and Noah Burks. But we’ll go with the safety who played just one half due to a targeting call last week.

With the game still very much in doubt with Wisconsin leading 10-3 in the third quarter, Burrell came untouched off the left side of the offensive line and drilled quarterback Hunter Johnson just before he was able to get the pass off. Henningsen recovered for a touchdown and it gave the Badgers a double-digit lead and all the momentum.

Special Teams: Zach Hintze

Wisconsin’s return units struggled mightily on Saturday, but the kickoff team did not. Hintze, who Orr called Leg-a-tron in the post-game media room, put four of his five kickoffs into the end zone, including one where he kicked off from the 20-yard line following a penalty.

Best video

Top tweets

https://twitter.com/joethomas73/status/1178018373894062080

https://twitter.com/brandonharrison/status/1178070041637609475

Best quotes

Jonathan Taylor on Wisconsin’s defense

“They’re the best defense in the nation.”

AJ Taylor on his message to the defense:

“Thank you. You guys saved us. Just say it as it is. If we didn’t have (them), we don’t know what this game would have been. Having them is great.”

Zack Baun on the mentality of the defense when something goes wrong in another phase of the game:

“Every time we had a botched punt or a fumble or any sort of turnover, the defense was always excited today. That’s something I didn’t see last year. That’s big for us. Getting excited for another opportunity to punch them in the mouth and show them what we got.”

Garrett Groshek on where the offense needs to get better:

“I don’t think it’s anything too extreme. Just focus back on the do-your-job (mentality). Make sure everybody is doing (their) job on that play and not getting too far ahead of (themselves). Trust that we are a good team, we have good players and just play.”

In Case You Missed It

— Northwestern’s first-quarter field goal were the first points allowed by Wisconsin’s defense in the first half this year.

— Jonathan Taylor moved into fourth place on the all-time rushing list at Wisconsin. The junior passed Anthony Davis and now has 4,730 yards, leaving him just 130 yards away from the No. 3 spot held by Melvin Gordon.

— Linebacker Noah Burks fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown was the Badgers first since Andrew Van Ginkel’s in the 2017 Big Ten title game.

— The win move Wisconsin to 4-0 for the third time in Paul Chryst’s five-year tenure.

Inside the Numbers

243 — That’s how many yards Wisconsin’s offense had. It’s the fewest in a home game since the Northwestern game (203 yards) in 2015. It’s the fewest yards in a home win since getting 234 yards against Utah State in 2012.

4 — That’s how many opening drives the Badgers have had this year and also the number of touchdowns they have scored on those drives.

93.7 — That was quarterback Jack Coan’s passer rating, the second-lowest of his career. Coan completed a season-worst 62.5-percent of his passes and threw his first interception of the season.

0 — That’s how many times Wisconsin has thrown the ball in the direction of Kendric Pryor the last two games. The junior had six catches in the first two games.

2 — That’s how many touchdowns Matt Henningsen has this year. The defensive lineman recovered a fumble in the end zone in the third quarter. He’s now tied for second-most touchdowns on the team.

26 — That’s how many 100-yard games Jonathan Taylor has in his career. It’s the second-most in school history and trails only Ron Dayne’s 33. Taylor has gone over 100 yards in 83-percent of the games he’s played in.

3 — That’s how many defensive touchdowns Wisconsin has this year. The Badgers were one of three teams in the FBS last year to not have a single non-offensive touchdown.

What’s Next

Wisconsin (4-0, 2-0) will host Kent State (2-2) at Camp Randall Stadium next Saturday.

The Camp: Sept. 23, 2019

On this week’s episode of The Camp, Zach Heilprin and Jesse Temple recap the big win over Michigan, talk recruiting with BadgerBlitz.com’s Jon McNamara, give you the best audio from inside the post-game media session, give away two tickets to the Northwestern game and answer your Twitter questions. 

2:32 — This has been the best start you could imagine for Wisconsin 

7:33 — Paul Chryst, risk taker 

17:33 — Jon McNamara interview

28:09 — Inside the post-game media session 

34:23 — Twitter questions 

Wisconsin back in the top 10

Wisconsin is back in the top 25 of the Associated Press poll.

The Badgers jumped five spots to No. 8 after their 35-14 win over then-No. 11 Michigan. The Wolverines fell to No. 20.

Wisconsin is one of six Big Ten teams in the poll. Ohio State is the highest at No. 5, while Penn State comes in at No. 12, Iowa at No. 14 and Michigan State at No. 25.

It’s the first time Wisconsin has been in the top 10 since the week of Sept. 9 last year. The Badgers were ranked No. 6 that week and fell at home to unranked BYU.

This year’s team will face Northwestern on Saturday. The Wildcats come in off a 31-10 loss to Michigan State and are just 1-2 on the year.

(13) Wisconsin 35, (11) Michigan 14: 2-minute drill

MADISON | No. 13 Wisconsin got 203 yards and two touchdowns from Jonathan Taylor as it rolled past No. 11 Michigan 35-14 on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.

Game Balls

Offense: Taylor

Perhaps we should give this to the offensive line, considering some of the holes Taylor ran through, but it’s hard to ignore the first Badgers running back to top 200 yards against Michigan. In the first quarter alone, the junior had 143 yards and two scores, including a 72-yard run, his longest of the year. He missed the second quarter with cramps, but came back in the second half to add another 60 yards to his total. Taylor has played in barely nine quarters of football this year and now has 10 touchdowns.

Defense: Zack Baun

The senior continues to play at a high level in his final season. He finished with seven tackles, tied for the most on the team, while picking up his third sack of the season. Rushing from his outside linebacker spot late in the game, he forced a fumble and was also credited with two quarterback hurries.

Baun, along with the rest of the linebacking core of Chris Orr, Jack Sanborn and Noah Burks, has been a huge in getting the Wisconsin defense back to an elite level.

Special Teams: Anthony Lotti

He hasn’t has a ton of work this year and he didn’t again on Saturday, but the senior did hit it well when counted on. Lotti punted four times and averaged 46.5 yards per kick, including putting one inside the 20-yard line. The coverage units did a solid job, too, limiting Michigan to just 20 yards on three returns.

Best video

https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1175543863840333825

Top tweets

Best quotes

LB Chris Orr on what statement they made in beating Michigan:

“We’re the No. 1 defense in the nation for a reason. People like to negate the fact that we played some non-Power Five teams, but that doesn’t change what we’ve done. We’re going to keep doing it every week. It doesn’t matter who you put against us. They’re just a nameless, faceless opponent. We know that we need to focus on us making plays, getting turnovers and dominating the other team’s offense.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh:

“We were outplayed, out-prepared and out-coached. Out-played in the whole thing. Both offensively and defensively. It was thorough. We knew it about their team. They’ve got the ability, are good enough. If they played good enough (they could) beat you thoroughly, and that’s what happened today.”

In Case You Missed It

— Running back Garrett Groshek suffered a right leg injury in the third quarter and did not return.

— Wisconsin lost two safeties to targeting on the same drive. First came junior Eric Burrell and then redshirt freshman Reggie Pearson. Because the penalties happened in the second half, both players will miss the first half of the Northwestern game.

— Taylor left the game after his 72-yard touchdown with what turned out to be cramps. He said he was never worried that it was something more serious. He returned in the second half.

— Burrell was beat on a 68-yard pass and run on Michigan’s first play on offense. He was clearly down and admitted he was stewing over it. That changed when Orr and Baun got in his face and passionately told him to let it go. He did and ended up recovering a fumble two plays later and also had an interception.

— Quarterback Jack Coan ran for two touchdowns, including on a scramble for a 25-yard score. Coan took a couple big hits prior to the run and ended up going into the medical tent for a short time after the score but didn’t miss a snap.

— On its first drive of the game, Wisconsin went for it on fourth-and-1 and its own 34-yard line. The Badgers called on their “hippo” package that featured Coan, Taylor, tight end Jake Ferguson and eight offensive linemen to get it done and they did. Those eight weigh in at a combined 2,506 pounds. The package was used a bunch in other short-yardage situations.

Inside the Numbers

162:52 — That’s how many minutes Wisconsin played this season before allowing a single point.

28-0 — That was the score at halftime, the biggest deficit Michigan had faced after two quarters since being down 43-0 against Northwestern in 1958.

21 — That’s how many points Wisconsin won by — the second-biggest margin of victory by the Badgers over Michigan all-time.

35 — That’s how many points Wisconsin scored, making it the first time since 2011 that the Badgers have scored at least 35 points in their first three games.

84 — That’s how many passes Jack Coan has thrown since his last interception, which came in the Pinstripe Bowl last December. Coan has thrown five touchdowns this year and ran for two more.

What’s Next

Wisconsin (3-0, 1-0) will host Northwestern (1-2, 0-1) next Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.

Wisconsin lands commitment from 4-star PF

Wisconsin has landed its second commitment in as many days.

Class of 2020 Forward Ben Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.) announced his verbal commitment to the Badgers early Wednesday afternoon.

The 6-foot-9 Carlson is rated as the fourth-best player in the state of Minnesota and 82nd-best player in the country, according to 247Sports.

A four-star recruit, Carlson chose the Badgers over offers from Iowa State, Purdue, Stanford, Minnesota and Xavier among others.

His commitment gives Wisconsin five in its 2020 class, including two from Minnesota. The class is ranked fourth in the country and first in the Big Ten.

Wisconsin picks up commitment from 2020 recruit

Wisconsin has added its fourth commitment in the Class of 2020.

Center Steven Crowl (St. Paul, Minn.) announced his decision on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

A 3-star recruit, Crowl is rated as the sixth-best player in Minnesota and the 169th-best player in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite. He chose the Badgers over offers from Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado and others.

The 6-foot-9, 215-pound Crowl had visited Wisconsin earlier in September, the first time he’d been in Madison since the Badgers offered him a scholarship in July.

Crowl joins guard Johnny Davis, forward Jordan Davis and point guard Lorne Bowman in Wisconsin’s 2020 class. It’s a class that is now ranked 11th in the country and third in the Big Ten.