Wisconsin Football: Handing out game balls after blowout of Kent State

The Wisconsin football team continued its dominant season with a 48-0 win over the Kent State Golden Flashes on Saturday. Badger of Honor hands out game balls to players who had big impacts in the game.

After an ugly game against Northwestern a week ago, Wisconsin football seems to have righted the ship against an overmatched Kent State football team. With their third shutout of the season, this Badger group is the first Wisconsin football team to do that since the 1937 squad and the first team.

The offense didn’t look too bad either. They put up 520 total yards: 172 passing and a whopping 348 on the ground.

In such a dominant game it’s hard to pick just three players who earned a game ball, but we’ll do our best.

Game ball No. 1: Jonathan Taylor

Are you kidding me? Another dominant game for Jonathan Taylor, who should be in New York at the end of the season for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. If he’s not, it will be an absolute shame.

He finished the game with 19 carries for 186 yards and four touchdowns. If that’s not enough, he added three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown. The Golden Flashes, like many teams before, could not stop Taylor. He scored the first five touchdowns for this Wisconsin football team on their first five drives, including a 48-yard run just 40 seconds into the second half, putting the Badgers up 35-0.

After that, Taylor’s day was pretty much over. Nakia Watson and Bradrick Shaw took over running duties.

With this game, Taylor officially passed former running back Melvin Gordon for third all-time on the Wisconsin football rushing list. He also became the first Big Ten player to have 5 touchdowns in a game since Saquon Barkley did it in 2016. Oh, and Taylor earned himself the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.

Game ball No. 2: Zack Baun

I feel like this is a weekly award for Zack Baun. He was terrorizing the quarterback again this week, bringing the quarterback down for a sack three separate times. He was part of one of the matchups to watch for this game and he did not disappoint. He now has the sixth most sacks this season with six total sacks.

If he continues playing like this, he should garner some national attention and maybe some awards. He has turned himself into one of the most important players on this defense and I think he has played himself into a possible day two draft pick in this upcoming NFL Draft.

He is a big reason for this Wisconsin football team’s success on defense and overall. While the competition will continue to get harder in the coming weeks, I look for Baun to be up to the task and continue making plays for this number one Wisconsin defense.

Game ball No. 3: Chris Orr

Senior linebacker Chris Orr earned a game ball in back-to-back weeks now. After waiting in line the past couple of years, he has been the heart of the number one defense in the nation.

He backed up his Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors from last week with another outstanding game. He finished this game with five tackles and two sacks. He now has four sacks on the season, all in the last two games. Those four sacks are more than he has had in the past three seasons combined.

Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard has done an amazing job of putting Orr in a position to make those plays consistently. Like Baun, he is going to be vital to this Wisconsin football team’s success for the rest of the 2019 season.

All stats courtesy of Sports Reference

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