After squeaking by Northern Iowa and Utah State, and losing a close to close game to Oregon State in their first three games this season, it seems that the Wisconsin offense is starting to hit their stride.
They have put up at least 31 points in three of the last four games, including their last two Big Ten games (Illinois and Purdue), and have held their opponents to 14 points in their past two conference wins. Last week against Purdue, the Badgers racked up 467 yards rushing, their highest rushing total since Bielema took over in 2006.
The Wisconsin State Journal points out that the Badgers (5-2, 2-1) have averaged 33.2 points over their past four games, after averaging just 16.3 points through their first three contests.
First year Badger offensive coordinator Matt Canada noted that all eleven guys were finally able to put it all together against the Boilermakers, as they averaged a gaudy 8.3 yards per carry.
“I say it in good days and bad days, offensive football is 11 guys doing their jobs. We ran the same plays, it’s just 11 guys did their jobs. Nobody likes to hear that, like (there is) some magic potion, but there’s not.”
“I don’t live in a box, but I try to in a sense. I’m very critical, good days and bad days. I think our players have understood that. We just have to keep going. You have to keep believing in the plan and where you are. You’ve just got to keep moving forward and grinding on the plan.”
Bielema noted that one of the reasons that he hired Canada was his calm demeanor.
“One of the reasons I was intrigued to hire him, he’s a pretty even-keel guy,” Bielema said. “Probably reminds you of another guy that used to be in the same position.”
That approach looks like it’s starting to pay off. We’ll see how things shape up down the home stretch of their schedule. Their next two games are at home against Michigan State and Minnesota, and they wrap up the year at Indiana, at home against Ohio State, and then on the road at Penn State.