Today we traveled to Camp Randall Stadium to see the No. 24 ranked Wisconsin Badgers host the Trojans of Troy University. While Troy stayed competitive throughout the first half, at the end of the day Wisconsin dominated through its defense, still not giving up a touchdown since Alabama. Our photographer Dan Garcia captured some of the game’s best moments.
Read our game recap here and check out our photos from the Wisconsin’s impressive performance over Troy below.
It was clear from the start on Saturday afternoon from Camp Randall Stadium. The Wisconsin Badgers were going to make the run a priority. In fact, they ran the ball three straight times for a first down on the game’s opening drive. With a promising start, the drive immediately came to a halt on the next set of downs, with a wild snap resulting in an eleven yard loss on third down and five.
With a chance to make a big statement on the road, Troy simply sputtered on their opening drive, going three and out. This time, Wisconsin would take full advantage, wasting little time flying down the field for the game’s first score.
The Badgers big break came on a 30 yard pass and catch play from quarterback Joel Stave to emerging weapon Robert Wheelwright. Stave looked the defense off to Alex Erickson, turned and beamed a beautiful strike to Wheelwright down the left sideline. Wheelwright’s athleticism continues to impress both Stave and his coaches.
Stave followed up his fantastic day one week ago versus Miami (OH) with another stellar effort. The senior threw for 202 yards with a touchdown. His accuracy remained elite, finishing 13/17.
Troy quarterback Brandon Silver had a nice day himself, finishing with 174 yards with 23/34 passes completed. Despite solid quarterback and running back play, the Troy Trojans never really posed a threat to upsetting Wisconsin on this day in Madtown, losing 28-3.
Dare Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal were men possessed on the Badgers second drive, combining for seven yards per carry en route to the end zone. Ogunbowale capped things off with an 18 yard untouched scamper.
Troy was not going to be shut out like Miami (OH) last week. The Trojans moved the ball effectively on the following drive, settling for a 32 yard field goal after a video review overturned a completed pass, making it 4th and 6 instead of 4th and 1 deep inside Wisconsin territory.
It was a huge call as Troy had initially lined up to go for it on fourth down. These would be the only points they would score.
Wisconsin erased any hopes for a late comeback by Troy when Stave connected with senior tight end Austin Traylor on a 1-yard touchdown with some five minutes remaining. This followed a 38-yard reception by Traylor moments earlier in the drive.
Troy’s backup kicker Ryan Kay handled the kicking duties Saturday as their starting kicker and long snapper are currently suspended by the team. It was certainly a blow to the team as Kay missed a makeable kick that could have forced the Badgers hand a little more.
Wisconsin’s junior inside linebacker Leon Jacobs was ejected from the game for a vicious, albeit legal hit on Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers. The consensus was that he led with his helmet, leading to the hasty decision by the referees upon video review.
The Badgers defense did not let up after the ejection. It seemed to have motivated the defense was hustling versus Troy’s balanced attack.
Tanner McEvoy continued his outstanding play on both sides of the ball Saturday for Wisconsin. The offensive and defensive specialist rushed for 41 yards on just 2 carries while helping the Badgers secondary keep the Trojans in check in the passing game.
The Badgers rushing attack, led by Ogunbowale and Deal were effective all day long. Ogunbowale rushed for 75 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Not to be outdone, Deal had 84 yards on 16 carries of his own.
Number one receiver Alex Erickson had another fine day with 3 receptions for 87 yards.
Badgers true freshmen Chris Orr had a career day with 13 tackles, leading another dominant defensive effort.
Wisconsin has now allowed just 3 points in their last 8 quarters of play.
After two token matchups at the cozy confines of Camp Randall Stadium, the Badgers will have a much bigger test next Saturday when they host the Hawaii Warriors (1-1). Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm (Eastern).
Wisconsin’sshellacking of Miami (OH)at home last week gave the Badgers, and first year head coach Paul Chryst their first win on the young season. The Badgers (1-1) will look to run their home winning streak versus non-conference opponents to 35 in a row when Wisconsin plays host to the Troy Trojans (1-1) of the Sun-Belt Conference this Saturday in Madison, WI.
Long feared for their explosive rushing attack, the Badgers have enjoyed a resurgence in their passing game. The Badgers have had nine different receivers make a catch in the team’s first two games. While it is still early, Wisconsin’s go-to wide-out Alex Erickson is on pace for a 100-catch season.
It may not be a new era in Badgers country, but the team will remain aggressive through the air as their star running back Cory Clement continues to remain sidelined.
Senior quarterback Joel Stave has completed 65.2% of his passes on the season including five touchdowns. Stave has no shortage of quality targets at his disposal.
Junior wide-out Rob Wheelwright looks to be a breakout star for this newfound aerial attack. Standing six-foot-3, Wheelwright has hauled in three touchdown passes, flashing elite athleticism in the process. Alex Erickson is the most consistent of the group, remaining a favorite target of Stave’s. Two-way star Tanner McEvoy has also emerged as a dangerous target. Towering over opposing defensive-backs, the six-foot-6 McEvoy is able to make big plays on offense while also disrupting opponents passing plans with his fearless play at safety.
Having so many options is luxury for any quarterback; just ask Joel Stave.
“It makes it more fun when you can spread it around and truly just go through your reads,” Stave said, “and you’re not as much looking for a guy as you are looking for the open guy … There’s not so much looking for a specific player.”
Paul Chryst definitely has options as far as a game plan goes. While the passing game has shined in two games this season, the Troy Trojans have allowed a whopping 257 rushing yards per game.
Look for the tandem of Dare Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal to once again do most of the heavy lifting this Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. The pair combined for 157 yards and three scores in last week’s 58-0 trouncing of Miami (OH).
The Troy Trojans are coming off a bounce-back victory over FCS opponent Charleston Southern 44-16 last Saturday. The win followed their week-one loss to North Carolina State. Like the Wolfpack, the Badgers will provide Troy a huge challenge, especially on the road. Troy is just 1-20 against ranked opponents since 2001.
Prediction:Wisconsin 48, Troy 6
Game time: Saturday, September 19, 2:30 PM CT on BTN, BTN2; Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI (Buy Tickets)
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