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Wisconsin Football Snap Counts & PFF Grades vs. Georgia Southern

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Wisconsin football; Badgers QB Tanner Mordecai scores a touchdown against Georgia Southern
Sep 16, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) rushes for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin football team (2-1, 0-0 B1G) overcame another slow start to win their final non-conference game against Georgia Southern with a final score of 35-14 at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday.

In this post-game recap, we will delve into the performance of the Wisconsin Badgers by analyzing snap counts and Pro Football Focus (PFF) grades for each position group. 

By examining these metrics, we can better understand how each unit contributed to the team’s overall performance, who did what things well, and who was a key contributor to the Wisconsin football program. 

Let’s dive in. 

Wisconsin Football Offensive Snap Counts & PFF Grades

Wisconsin football; Badgers TE Tucker Ashcraft

Sep 16, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers tight end Tucker Ashcraft (38) stiff arms Georgia Southern Eagles defensive back TJ Smith (5) during the third quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterbacks:

Tanner Mordecai – Snap Count: [66] – PFF Grade: [74.0]

Braedyn Locke – Snap Count: [6] – PFF Grade: [61.9]

Running Backs:

Braelon Allen – Snap Count: [32] – PFF Grade: [77.8]

Chez Mellusi – Snap Count: [34] – PFF Grade: [63.2]

Jackson Acker – Snap Count: [6] – PFF Grade: [55.6]

Wide Receivers:

Chimere Dike – Snap Count: [53] – PFF Grade: [64.0]

Bryson Green – Snap Count: [40] – PFF Grade: [54.3]

Will Pauling – Snap Count: [24] – PFF Grade: [60.8]

C.J. Williams – Snap Count: [35] – PFF Grade: [64.3]

Skyler Bell – Snap Count: [39] – PFF Grade: [77.2]

Quincy Burroughs – Snap Count: [6] – PFF Grade: [58.0]

Haakon Anderson – Snap Count: [6] – PFF Grade: [79.2]

Vinny Anthony – Snap Count: [1] – PFF Grade: [60.0]

Tight Ends:

Hayden Rucci – Snap Count: [47] – PFF Grade: [81.9]

Tucker Ashcraft – Snap Count: [30] – PFF Grade: [89.8]

JT Seagreaves – Snap Count: [7] – PFF Grade: [57.0]

Offensive Line:

Jack Nelson – Snap Count: [66] – PFF Grade: [65.6]

Joe Huber – Snap Count: [34] – PFF Grade: [77.1]

Tanor Bortolini – Snap Count: [66] – PFF Grade: [75.0]

Michael Furtney – Snap Count: [47] – PFF Grade: [69.2]

Riley Mahlman – Snap Count: [66] – PFF Grade: [76.2]

Trey Wedig – Snap Count: [51] – PFF Grade: [82.2]

Reserve OL: 

Barrett Nelson – Snap Count: [6] – PFF Grade: [58.9]

Nolan Rucci – Snap Count: [6] – PFF Grade: [79.9]

JP Benzschawel – Snap Count: [6] – PFF Grade: [63.5]

Joe Brunner – Snap Count: [6] – PFF Grade: [59.2]

Dylan Barrett – Snap Count: [6] – PFF Grade: [65.1]

***

Offensive Analysis:

A few things that immediately stand out are the Wisconsin football tight end duo of Hayden Rucci and true freshman Tucker Ashcraft turning in excellent games against Georgia Southern. Both contributed in the passing game, but perhaps more importantly, each TE had terrific run-blocking performances.

Another Badgers storyline that’ll get talked about is Trey Wedig may have forced himself into a starting role. He’s rotated in as the sixth offensive lineman during the first two games but out-snapped/outplayed both current starting guards. His pass/run blocking versatility is good enough for you to find him a starting role, especially because the O-line has been pretty average thus far.

Lastly, Skyler Bell’s stock is rising in the Wisconsin football wide receiver room. Coming into the game, he had the highest usage rating among Badgers pass-catchers and has made plays when given the opportunity.

Wisconsin Football Defensive Snap Counts & PFF Grades

Wisconsin football; Badgers CB Ricardo Hallman

Sep 16, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Georgia Southern Eagles wide receiver Anthony Queeley (4) is knocked out of bounds by Wisconsin Badgers cornerback Ricardo Hallman (2) during the second quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line:

Rodas Johnson – Snap Count: [38] – PFF Grade: [63.9]

James Thomspon – Snap Count: [40] – PFF Grade: [71.3]

Gio Paez – Snap Count: [41] – PFF Grade: [62.9]

Ben Barten – Snap Count: [19] – PFF Grade: [59.7]

Curt Neal – Snap Count: [16] – PFF Grade: [58.0]

Darian Varner – Snap Count: [15] – PFF Grade: [63.3]

Inside Linebackers:

Maema Njongmeta – Snap Count: [66] – PFF Grade: [70.5]

Jordan Turner – Snap Count: [43] – PFF Grade: [71.7]

Jake Chaney – Snap Count: [55] – PFF Grade: [59.0]

Outside Linebackers:

C.J. Goetz – Snap Count: [41] – PFF Grade: [61.6]

Darryl Peterson – Snap Count: [38] – PFF Grade: [56.8]

Jeff Pietrowski – Snap Count: [23] – PFF Grade: [50.1]

Cornerbacks:

Alexander Smith – Snap Count: [35] – PFF Grade: [60.5]

Ricardo Hallman – Snap Count: [82] – PFF Grade: [51.6]

Jason Maitre – Snap Count: [77] – PFF Grade: [60.5]

Nyzier Fourqurean – Snap Count: [47] – PFF Grade: [54.5]

Safeties:

Hunter Wohler – Snap Count: [78] – PFF Grade: [71.2]

Kamo’i Latu – Snap Count: [43] – PFF Grade: [69.3]

Travian Blaylock – Snap Count: [28] – PFF Grade: [56.0]

Preston Zachman – Snap Count: [50] – PFF Grade: [46.3]

Austin Brown – Snap Count: [27] – PFF Grade: [71.0]

***

Defensive Analysis:

The Wisconsin football defense is in a transition period under Mike Tressel. It’s abundantly clear the Badgers want to be a man-coverage team. However, I question whether or not UW has enough cornerbacks ready to play that brand of football. 

Wisconsin’s secondary got torched on Saturday — giving up 383 yards through the air and 455 yards total. Ricardo Hallman had an incredibly rough day, getting targeted seven times and allowing six catches for 115 yards. 

You can’t point blame at any one member of the secondary and say it was their fault because they all equally had rough weeks. Although the Wisconsin football defense forced five interceptions, the Badgers allowed seven plays of more than 15 yards — continuing a concerning trend. 

On a happier note, Mike Tressel’s defense generated 26 total pressures as a team — led by six from Darryl Peterson, four by C.J. Goetz, and three a piece from James Thompson and Maema Njongmeta. 

One last thing of note was Austin Brown finally got some spin — he’s a play I’m super high on for the future, and I thought he played really well.

Wisconsin football has a lot of things to figure out on defense, and the rotations changing every week tells me the coaches are mixing and matching everyone they can to find the right combinations. 



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