Despite a few nervy moments, Wisconsin got a dominant win over Utah State. They followed that up by ensuring the Lane Kiffin era at FAU would remain winless.
It was another stout defensive performance by Wisconsin, who got to QB Daniel Parr with ease. And while Alex Hornibrook had another good game, it was Jonathan Taylor who stole the headlines. In Week 1, Bradrick Shaw was the Badgers’ primary running back but he suffered a leg injury. Taylor, a freshman, replaced him and immediately played the part of a featured back. He ran for 223 yards and three touchdowns on 26 yards to power Wisconsin to another win.
While it might look like a running back controversy, Wisconsin’s offensive scheme is very run-focused. The more backs they have, the better so even when Shaw comes back, Taylor should get a much higher usage going forward.
Having that type of depth is extremely important for a team that hopes to make it back to Indianapolis. And while it could change, Wisconsin is far and away the best team in the West division.
In Week 2, the theme was revenge. Penn State, in addition to Oklahoma and USC, faced and beat an opponent that arguably kept them out of the College Football Playoff last year. And as much as James Franklin wants to downplay it, he was totally looking forward to this game all year long.
All Penn State had to do was rely on the same three guys that won them the Big Ten championship last year. Trace McSorley, while not spectacular, did throw for three touchdowns and exploited a weak Pitt secondary. Saquon Barkley did what he does best and accounted for two scores. While tight end Mike Gesicki added 39 yards and two touchdowns of his own.
The defensive performance from last year’s matchup was much improved. While Marcus Allen and Jason Cabinda led the way on that side of the ball, it was a collective effort. They forced three turnovers out of Pitt and kept Max Browne second-guessing himself.
Judging by Franklin’s post-game comments, Penn State have all the confidence in the world right now. They’re also laser-focused. With their two Big Ten East rivals slipping up this early in the season, they have no reason not to be.