Wisconsin 59 South Dakota 10: Rapid Reaction

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Head Coach Bret Bielema has improved to 24-0 in regular season non-conference games as the #6/#7 Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) dismantled the South Dakota Coyotes (2-2) by the score of 59-10

Wide Receiver Nick Toon had a monster game with seven receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns in front of 78,880 fans at Camp Randall Stadium.

QB Russell Wilson was just as great as he became only the fourth signal caller in UW history to pass for over 300 yards in consecutive games.


What It Means:
Even though it was an FCS opponent, the Badgers did face some adversity early in this game which can be looked at as a good or bad thing entering conference play.

Tackling will definitely be an emphasis going into practice this week because the Badgers defense did have some missed tackles. And the offense wasn’t as crisp as usual and came out fairly flat in the first quarter while struggling to convert on third down.

On a positive note, many key defenders looked explosive on the field, particularly the linebacker trio of Mike Taylor, Chris Borland and Kevin Claxton who were all over the field this afternoon. The trio combined for 24 tackles, three of them going for a loss. No matter how you look at it, this defense has been extremely effective while giving up only two touchdowns in their last three games.

Despite the slow start, Wilson and company made the correct adjustments and responded quickly. Wilson continued his Heisman campaign while finishing 19/25 for 345 yards (13.8 average) and three touchdowns. The real test will comes next week when Wilson faces his first Big Ten defense.

Player of the Game: WR Nick Toon (7 REC, 155 YDS and 2 TD)

Toon won’t hurt his draft stock from this game as he followed a solid week in Chicago (5 REC, 79 YDS and 2 TD) with a career high seven catches and 155 yards. Toon has also caught a touchdown pass in three straight games.

When asked about his picture-perfect one-hand catch in the first quarter, Toon remained humble by answering, “Good catch, Russell put it up there and I made a play on the ball.”

For an in depth look at Nick Toon’s NFL Draft Prospectus, click here.

Highlight of the Game: UW’s defense has been waiting for an opportunity to force turnovers and today was the day. Linebacker Chris Borland had a nice interception in the first quarter which he followed with a fancy run-back. For a second, Borland looked like a running back while speeding down the field and causing missed tackles, but proceeded to go too far and pulled a Barry Sanders cut-back and was tackled after gaining 29 yards.

Stat of the Game: A week after rolling up 621 yards of offense vs. Northern Illinois, Wisconsin churned out 612 total yards of offense Saturday. That marks the first time in school history that UW has posted back-to-back games with 600 yards of offense.

What’s Next: It could be the biggest game of the year and ESPN College GameDay is expected to make a visit. #9 Nebraska (3-0) will come to Madison for their first-ever Big Ten game. Many feel the battle between the Cornhuskers and Badgers will help determine who’s the best team in the Big Ten this season.

Not only will it be a battle of two really good teams, but two Heisman candidates as well. QB’s Taylor Martinez and Russell Wilson have established their selves as two of the most prolific dual-threats in the country. Whoever leads their team to victory could go a leg up in the race for the college football’s best award.

What did you think of the Badgers destruction of South Dakota? Let me know by commenting below!

Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.

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