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Wisconsin Badgers RB Jonathan Taylor



Early on, we here at the Young Badgers Tracker said this would not just become a weekly update on Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor.

We’ve stuck to that as best we’ve could, yet sometimes you just can’t avoid it.

Taylor put the Badgers on his back in last Saturday’s win at Nebraska. After the Cornhuskers tied the score at 17 on an interception returned for a touchdown, Wisconsin largely eschewed the pass and instead went to “ground and pound,” with Taylor leading the way.

The Badgers finished off the game with 21 consecutive runs. Taylor rushed for 249 yards on 25 carries, the second time in his five collegiate game he’s topped the 200-yard mark (the other was 223 vs. Florida Atlantic), with two touchdowns.

It was the kind of performance that, finally, garnered Taylor some national attention.

SI.com’s Bruce Feldman listed Taylor as one of five running backs who could be making a push to be in New York in December for the Heisman Trophy presentation. Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com had Taylor in the Heisman conversation as well, albeit listed as an “honorable mention” when talking about darkhorse candidates.

Should this Heisman talk be taken seriously? Probably not after five games for a true freshman running back who has zero yards receiving. Neither Bovada nor VegasInsider.com have Taylor even on the list of odds for players to win the award.

Of course, that doesn’t mean what Taylor is doing isn’t special. As we sit here after Week 6, he’s clearly one of the special running backs in college football.

And, oh, by the way, Purdue, Wisconsin’s opponent this week, is allowing over 4.3 yards per carry (not including sacks) and gave up 227 yards last week to Minnesota as well as 146 to Louisville, 173 to Ohio and 139 to Michigan.

This isn’t to say we’ll necessarily be talking about Taylor again next week in this space, but sometimes your hand is forced.

Here’s the complete rundown of the young Badgers from the first five games of the season:

“TRUE” FRESHMEN
Adam Bay, LS
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Jack Coan, QB
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: 1 for 1 passing, 6 yards
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 1 for 1 passing, 6 yards

Madison Cone, CB
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Did not play
Season totals: n/a

Danny Davis, WR
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Started, 1 catch, 35 yards; 1 rush 1 yard
BYU: 2 catches, 67 yards
Northwestern: 3 catches, 50 yards, TD
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 6 catches, 152 yards, TD

Jonathan Taylor, RB
Utah State: 9 rushes, 87 yards, TD
Florida Atlantic: Started, 26 rushes, 223 yards, 3 TDs
BYU: Started, 18 rushes, 128 yards, TD
Northwestern: Started, 19 rushes, 80 yards, 2 TDs
Nebraska: Started, 25 rushes, 249 yards, 2 TDs
Season totals: 97 rushes, 767 yards, 9 TDs

Have not played
Michael Balistreri, DE; Tyler Beach, OL; Logan Bruss, OL; Ethan Cesarz, ILB; Jake Collinsworth, ILB; Sam DeLany, WR; Alex Fenton, OL; Jake Ferguson, TE; Izayah Green-May, OLB; Matt Hennigsen, DE; Faion Hicks, CB; Hunter Johnson, RB; Collin Larsh, K; Kayden Lyles, OL; Tyler Mais, S; Scott Nelson, S; Emmet Perry, WR; Josh Seltzner, OL; Blake Smithback, OL; Danny Vanden Boom, QB; Aaron Vopal, OL; Coy Wanner, TE

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN
Christian Bell, OLB
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo)
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: 1 tackle (solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 FF
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Season totals: 2 tackles (2 solo), sack, TFL, FF

Luke Benzschawel, TE
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Tyler Biadasz, C
Utah State: Started, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Started, did not record a statistic
BYU: Started, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Started, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Started, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Noah Burks, OLB
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo), 1 QBH
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Season totals: 1 tackle (solo), QBH

Eric Burrell, S
Utah State: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 2 tackles (1 solo)

Best of the Badgers

Dontye Carriere-Williams, CB
Utah State: 5 tackles (2 solo)
Florida Atlantic: 1 tackle (solo), 1 PBU
BYU: 8 tackles (6 solo), INT
Northwestern: 3 tackles (3 solo)
Nebraska: 1 tackle (solo), 1 PBU
Season totals: 18 tackles (13 solo), INT, 2 PBU

Seth Currens, S
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: 1 tackle
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 1 tackle

Jack Dunn, WR
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Season totals: n/a

Garrett Groshek, RB
Utah State: 2 rushes, 29 yards, TD; 1 tackle (solo)
Florida Atlantic: 5 rushes, 10 yards; 1 catch, 6 yards; 1 tackle
BYU: 9 carries, 43 yards; 1 tackle
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: 1 rush, 7 yards
Season totals: 17 rushes, 89 yards, TD; 1 catch, 6 yards; 3 tackles (1 solo)

Patrick Kasl, OL
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE
Utah State: 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Northwestern: 1 tackle, .5 sacks, .5 TFL
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 6 tackles (3 solo), 1.5 sacks, 1.5 TFL

Mike Maskalunas, ILB
Utah State: 1 tackle, 1 FR
Florida Atlantic: 1 tackle (solo)
BYU: 2 tackles (1 solo), 1 TFL
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: 1 tackle (solo)
Season totals: 5 tackles (3 solo), TFL

Keldrick Preston, DE
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo), 1 QBH
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Season stats: 1 tackle (solo), QBH

Kendrick Pryor, WR
Utah State: Did not play
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Season totals: n/a

Cole Van Lanen, OL
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Caesar Williams, CB
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo)
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Season totals: 1 tackle (solo)


Have not played
Josh Bernhagen, LS; Cade Green, WR; Deron Harrell, WR; Adam Krumholz, WR; Gabe Lloyd, TE; Kare Lyles, QB; Hegeman Tiedt, OLB; Cristian Volpentesta, CB

Injured, out for season
Sam Brodner, RB; Mason Stokke, ILB

“TRUE” SOPHOMORES
Quintez Cephus, WR
Utah State: Started; 3 catches, 31 yards, TD
Florida Atlantic: 2 catches, 47 yards
BYU: Started, 5 catches, 54 yards, 2 TDs
Northwestern: 4 catches, 99 yards; 1 rush, -3 yards
Nebraska: Started, 4 catches, 68 yards, TD
Season totals: 18 catches, 301 yards, 4 TDs; 1 rush, -3 yards

David Edwards, RT
Utah State: Started, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Started, did not record a statistic
BYU: Started, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Started, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Started, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Patrick Johnson, S
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Did not play
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Anthony Lotti, P
Utah State: 3 punts, 129 yards (43.0 average)
Florida Atlantic: 5 punts, 191 yards (38.2 average)
BYU: 2 punts, 93 yards (46.5 average)
Northwestern: 6 punts, 245 yards (40.8 average)
Nebraska: 4 punts, 169 yards (42.2 average)
Season totals: 20 punts, 827 yards (41.4 average)

Garrett Rand, DE
Utah State: 1 QBH
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: 1 PBU
Northwestern: 1 tackle
Nebraska: 1 QBH
Season totals: 1 tackle, 2 QBH, PBU

Bradrick Shaw, RB
Utah State: Started; 18 rushes, 84 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 10 yards
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: 4 carries, 19 yards
Northwestern: 9 rushes, 34 yards
Nebraska: 12 rushes, 43 yards, TD
Season totals: 43 rushes, 180 yards, 2 TDs; 1 catch, 10 yards

A.J. Taylor, WR
Utah State: 3 catches, 38 yards; 2 kick returns, 46 yards
Florida Atlantic: 1 kick return, 21 yards
BYU: 3 catches, 34 yards, TD; 2 kick returns, 65 yards
Northwestern: 1 catch, 33 yards; 1 kick return, 18 yards
Nebraska: 1 catch, 5 yards; 1 kick return, 25 yards
Season totals: 8 catches, 110 yards, 1 TD; 7 kick returns, 175 yards (25.0 average)

Have not played
Griffin Grady, ILB

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns



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