The Wisconsin football team took a severe blow to their offensive attack. Head coach Paul Chryst announced that running back Chez Mellusi will be out for the remainder of the season, will miss spring ball, and maybe even miss some time next season. He injured his leg in the Badgers’ 52-3 victory over Rutgers last week.
Initially, the Chryst didn’t have an update on Mellusi early in the week, leading to some being hopeful that he would miss a limited amount of time. But after the test results came back, it was determined that he would miss a significant amount of time.
This is a big deal because the offense for the Badgers has been an overall disappointment this season. The lone bright spot early in the season was Mellusi, who ran for over 100 yards in three of the first five games, including 121 on Penn State in the first game of the year.
Mellusi, who transferred in from Clemson this year, won the job as the lead back to start the year and did not disappoint. For the first few games, the running back situation behind him was a big mystery. Incumbent starter, Jalen Berger, struggled to get snaps for what was at the time, unknown reasons. Isaac Guerendo was essentially the number two back broke his foot just a few games in and was lost for the season.
Luckily for the Badgers, freshman Braelon Allen has been even more than Wisconsin football fans could have hoped for. He and Mellusi created a very effective 1-2 punch out of the backfield for the Badgers, which in turn, made life easier for Graham Mertz.
So now with Mellusi out for the rest of the season, the Badgers are going to have to lean on Allen, who is also banged up a bit, a lot more often. Behind Allen is Julius Davis, Brady Schipper, and backup fullback/running back Jackson Acker. I think we are going to be seeing a lot of Braelon Allen from now on.
Overall, this is going to be a very inexperienced group in the backfield for Wisconsin. Paul Chryst and his coaching staff are going to have to get creative to help make up for Mellusi’s production. I’m sure Allen will get a bulk of the carries now, but they can’t give him every carry. I’d look for more jet sweeps (something we’ve been looking for all year) to help the Wisconsin running game out.
Losing Mellusi is a big blow, but we are lucky that Allen is still available to play.