Dustin Crum vs. Wisconsin linebackers
Coming into this season, Kent State was led by quarterback Woody Barrett. Barrett struggled early on in their opening game against Arizona State when backup Dustin Crum got the call to play the middle quarters of the game before Barrett re-entered the game.
In the next game, Crum got the call to start and played almost the entire game. Since then, he has essentially become the starter.
Crum has similar stats to Wisconsin’s Jack Coan. He has 697 yards passing and five touchdowns with no interceptions. He is also somewhat mobile. The Kent State offense runs some read-option with their quarterbacks. He is second on the team with 140 rushing yards and a touchdown. He is averaging 9.5 rushes per game.
He takes care of the football, but he has taken 11 sacks this season, five of which were at the hands of the Auburn Tigers. This Wisconsin football team may be able to get to the quarterback like they did last week.
I immediately think of outside linebacker Zack Baun, who has been playing at an elite level so far this season. He seems to always be making plays in the opponent’s backfield. He was a big part of Noah Burks’ interception returned for a touchdown. He was chasing NU quarterback Aidan Smith down on the backside when he threw the interception. On the same play, Baun drew a flag on the left tackle for holding. Even while being held, he almost got home and got the sack.
Reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Chris Orr and Jack Sanborn will also play a big role in stopping Crum. When the Golden Flashes run their read-option offense, these linebackers will find their way to the ball, just as they have all season. These linebackers will be a key factor in stopping Crum and the Kent State offense.