Wisconsin Football: Two Badgers earn Week 8 Big Ten awards

Purdue running back Dylan Downing (38) runs against Wisconsin inside linebacker Leo Chenal (5) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette.Cfb Purdue Vs Wisconsin
Purdue running back Dylan Downing (38) runs against Wisconsin inside linebacker Leo Chenal (5) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette.Cfb Purdue Vs Wisconsin /
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The Wisconsin football team played a nice game for the most part against Purdue and earned a big 30-13 victory over the #25 Boilermakers on Saturday, but that’s not the only thing they earned this past weekend.

Two Wisconsin football players earned Big Ten honors after their performance against the Boilermakers, taking half of the awards in the Big Ten this week.

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week: LB Leo Chenal

Leo Chenal has been a man possessed this year, especially the past two weeks. In Week 7 against Army, Chenal logged 17 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, and a sack. Chenal somehow found a way to top that performance against Purdue on Saturday.

He finished the game with nine tackles but also had 5.5 tackles for a loss and a whopping 3.5 sacks.

Chenal missed the first two games of the season after testing positive for covid, but since his return, he’s been playing out of his mind. Despite missing the first two games, he leads the team in solo tackles (24), total tackles (39), sacks (5), and forced fumbles (2).

Imagine what his stats would look like if he had two more games under his belt. It’s also tough not to think about whether the Badgers would have beaten Penn State in Week 1 had Chenal played. But the fact is he didn’t, and

Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week: K Collin Larsh

Collin Larsh has been through some difficult times while playing for the Wisconsin football team. In 2019, he hit just 12 of 18 field goals (66.7%). Last year was better, but not by a whole lot. He didn’t get a ton of chances with the shortened season and the struggling offense. He made 5 of 7 attempts (71.4%).

The numbers don’t look that bad, but it felt like his missed kicks came at big times. It felt like Collin Larsh was just never going to be that reliable of a kicker for the Wisconsin football team.

This season, however, has been different for the senior kicker. Again, the offense has been giving him the most opportunities to kick a lot of field goals or extra points, but so far this season he has hit 10 of 12 (83%) field goals and 16 of 17 extra points (94%) in just seven games. He ranks fifth in the Big Ten in made field goals and fourth in the conference in field goal percentage.

Last week, Larsh went 3 for 3 in field goals, including a career-long 43-yard make.

For the most part, Larsh has been a reliable and steady kicker for the Wisconsin football team, which is something they need when the offense is struggling to put points on the board.