Wisconsin Win Good for Identity Building

While the win won't generate much buzz nationally or with the playoff selection committee, No.24 Wisconsin's shutout win over Miami University has helped the Badgers start to find their voice.

MADISON - When it comes to the process the University of Wisconsin is going through in terms of building an identity, senior Tanner McEvoy is the unique position of knowing post sides of the coin.

After playing 73 plays and starting at both receiver and safety in the Badgers’ 58-0 win over Miami University Saturday, McEvoy sees the Badgers’ win – a dominating effort in all three phases – as important to helping the team find its calling card.

“That game was about us,” said McEvoy. “We have to go out there and create our new identity. This is a new team. We had a rough week against Alabama the week before, so we had to go out there and make a statement.

“We’re passing the ball really well, but need to get the running game going (and) get the o-line up on their fits. I think we have a really good offense this year with a lot of weapons, but we still have a lot of ground to cover.

“Defensively it was two different games comparing our first two. We have a lot of great guys, a lot of guys coming back from last year, so I’m anxious to see how it turns out.”

Wisconsin (1-1) held Miami to 157 total yards Saturday, a week after allowing Alabama’s offense to record 502. The Badgers – back in the AP poll at No.24 – could have another big day on both sides of the ball this week when it welcomes Troy to Camp Randall Stadium for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.

The Trojans (1-1) have scored 32.5 points and given up 32.5 points through their first two games. But while it won its home opener by pulling away from FCS Charleston Southern in the second half, Troy gave up 450 yards of total offense, including 251 on the ground, and 49 points in a season-opening loss at N.C. State.

“They’ll spread you out maybe more than what we’ve seen the first two weeks,” said head coach Paul Chryst of Troy. “Alabama and Miami (OH) use the tight ends still. This week we’ll see four receivers, so it’ll be a little more spread out. As a team, their athleticism stands out.”

In essence, Troy is the next building block the Badgers will have experience this season, doing some things that will be similar to their first two opponents while some new challenges will be layered on top.

But while the opponents have become considerable steps down, including the vast differences between Alabama and Miami (OH), senior safety Michael Caputo said the defense functioned much better in terms of limiting communication problem, finishing tackles and identify reads in the home opener.

After getting exposed on certain routes and gap errors against the Tide, the Redhawks could be seen trying to mimic similar aspect of the Tide’s game plan. The problems that were prevalent in week one were neutralized thanks to Wisconsin’s front seven and the addition of McEvoy on the back end.

“They (the defense) took more ownership of their mistakes against Alabama,” said Caputo. “We really tried to attack those negatives that were in Alabama and really took it to Miami. We took ownership of it, and that’s the main thing. They bought into the scheme Coach Aranda put out in the beginning of the week for Miami and they went out and attacked it.”

EXTRA POINTS: Chryst said tailback Corey Clement is still getting evaluating after missing Saturday’s game with a left groin injury. He’ll have a better idea where Clement stands when the team has its first full practice Tuesday … Wisconsin will continue the rotation on the right side of the line after redshirt freshman Micah Kapoi took 38 snaps on Saturday and “did some good things,” according to Chryst … The Badgers have never played Troy and have never played a team who was in the Sun Belt Conference at the time of the game. Troy is 0-6 against teams in the Big Ten.


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