No. 9 Badgers 31, Florida Atlantic 14
Camp Randall Stadium
One of more eye-opening stats from the opener was UW’s nine penalties, its most in a game since 2008. Speaking of trouble makers, Lane Kiffin is coming to town. That Kiffin’s debut with the Owls, a 42-19 home loss to Navy, began with three lightning delays totaling 162 minutes was fitting: Storm clouds seem to follow Kiffin wherever he goes.
What we witnessed
An uneven performance by the Badgers on multiple fronts. The offense produced 564 yards of total offense, but it scored 17 points over the final 51 minutes after a pair of early touchdown runs by Jonathan Taylor. After starting the game by completing eight of his first nine passes, Alex Hornibrook went 8 of 19 the rest of the way. One bright spot on offense was Taylor, who rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start. On the other side of the ball, UW defenders were frustrated that allowing too many big plays ruined an otherwise solid performance. Florida Atlantic had 248 yards of total offense, and 144 of that production came on four plays. The Owls averaged only 2.1 yards on their other 50 plays.
There’s been just enough sloppiness in the first two weeks to make UW’s first road trip of the season, at BYU, look scary. UW coach Paul Chryst might have put it best: “Ready or not, here it comes, right?”
“He certainly has talent and he’s gotten himself off to a good start, but there’s a long way to go,” Chryst said of Taylor, who scored on runs of 64, 29 and four yards. “I think he potentially can give us some big plays that we haven’t had a lot of necessarily in the running game.”
4 | UW true freshmen to rush for more than 200 yards in a game. Taylor joined a list that includes Alan Ameche (1951), Ron Dayne (five times in 1996) and Zach Brown (2007).