Wisconsin Football: Predicting Running Back Stats

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Running back Jonathan Taylor (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Running back Jonathan Taylor (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Wisconsin Football - Jonathan Taylor
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 25: Jonathan Taylor /

Jonathan Taylor

Rushing yards: 2,090

Rushing Touchdowns: 19

Taylor had a historic season in 2017, but there was still much room to improve. He limited himself with his ball security issues, and he severely underperformed in the scoring department. Solving the fumbling issue alone would produce significantly more numbers for Taylor. A successful 2018 campaign could begin and end with that and see Taylor break 2,000 yards. If he became more reliable near the goal line, he could see even more carries.

Taylor had 11 rushing touchdowns in the first seven games of the season. In the final seven, he scored only twice on the ground. He still picked up yards but wasn’t able to find the end zone. Scoring 19 times on the ground may even be a bit modest, but I expect the Badgers to pass the ball more in 2018.

One particular moment from the Orange Bowl stands out. When Alex Hornibrook threw his third touchdown to Danny Davis, the Badgers were inside the 10-yard line. The plan was never to run the ball as the Badgers came out in a shotgun formation. We won’t ever be sure why that play wasn’t going to Taylor, but it doesn’t really matter since the Badgers scored.

If the Badgers pass more in 2018 Taylor should still see a ton of carries. He is still the strength of the team running behind arguably the best offensive line in the country. For Taylor to reach 2,000 yards he’s going to have to combine some monster games against non-conference opponents with strong showings in big conference games. I think he’s up to the task.