Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) celebrates after rushing for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Illinois State Redbirds at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Report Card: Wisconsin Football Week 10 Win Vs. Maryland

Wisconsin football played a strong game this past Saturday, defeating the Maryland Terrapins 23-10.

The weather played a vital role for both teams in this one.  The game was hindered by rain, wind, and cold temperatures throughout the duration.

However, as those from the state of Wisconsin know, this is Wisconsin football weather, and the final score reflected this.

The win brings the Badgers’ overall record to 5-4, with a conference record of 3-3.  This win allows the team to remain fourth in the Big Ten West division.

Offense: B-

The grade here could have been lower, but the weather conditions must factor in to how the team, and the overall game, was played.

The Badgers were able to string together a few long scoring drives despite the weather.  Drives consisting of 12, 10 and 8 plays led to points.  Another shorter drive also led to a field goal.

There were also the explosive plays on display.  Running back Isaac Guerendo busted off an 89-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to extend the Badgers’ lead to 14 points.

In addition to Guerendo’s long run, the Badgers were able to establish the ground game early and often.  Braelon Allen led all rushers with 23 attempts for 119 yards and a touchdown.  Guerendo finished the day with 12 rushes for 114 yard and his lone score.  Altogether, the Wisconsin rushing attack finished the day with 46 attempts for 278 (!) yards and those two scores.

The downside to this offense came via the passing attack, which was undoubtably hindered by the poor weather.  Quarterback Graham Mertz finished the day just five for 18 on passing attempts for 77 yards and no touchdowns.

The receiving group followed Mertz, also having a down day.  Wide receiver Chimere Dike finished as the leading receiver, catching 3 balls for 32 yards.

Despite the weather, this Badgers offense was able to limit the turnovers to zero, both in the air and via the ground.  A huge win considering the wet conditions.

Defense: A-

Wisconsin football had a tough task coming into this one.  Maryland came into this game 6-2, with a 3-2 conference record.

The Terrapins were led by a strong quarterback in Taulia Tagovailoa, and his stellar receiving room with a few NFL prospects.  Even with the weather, this was no small task.

The defense came out strong and didn’t look back, suffocating the Terrapins’ attack all game.

Maryland was held off the scoreboard until early in the second half, where Bucky’s defense allowed a field goal.  This score would remain until the end of the game when Maryland would score a touchdown with under a minute left.

Wisconsin football was able to hold the opposition to just 77 yards passing, and 112 yards on the ground, totaling out to 189 yards.

The Badgers were also able to win the battle in the turnover game.  Bucky was able to pick off one of Tagovailoa’s passes early in the fourth quarter.  A fumble was also caused, but the Terrapins were able to recover this one.

Coaching: A

Since Jim Leonhard was appointed interim head coach, this was probably the best coached game so far.

The offense played the hand the weather dealt and stuck to their strengths.  This game was won on the ground against a good opponent.  A great sign moving forward.

The defense looked stellar, holding the opposition to 3 points until garbage time.  This came with eight drives that were either three and outs, or four plays that led to a turnover on downs.

The special teams held their own as well.  The punting unit can have a pass on this one, courtesy of the weather.  But even with the not-so-stellar day, they still got the job done.

On the flip side, the kicking unit showed out, draining three of four kicks despite the weather.

Overall: A-

The was a great game and a stellar sign of things to come for this Wisconsin football program.

The Badgers got back to their roots, relied on their strengths, and won in weather that should provide a home-field advantage to all Wisconsin football teams.

The fanbase should be no stranger to this trend late in the season.  Bucky is one of the top teams in the nation as far as November records go since 2010.

Wisconsin football will look to keep this winning mindset going for next week, as the Iowa Hawkeyes are up next.

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