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Badgers offense finds success against Iowa with jumbo package

September 23, 2018

IOWA CITY – What’s better than five massive offensive linemen on the field for the University of Wisconsin football team?

Seven massive offensive linemen.

During the first half of the Badgers’ Big Ten Conference opener against Iowa on Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium, UW coach Paul Chryst unveiled a package that included UW’s five starting linemen along with reserves Logan Bruss and Jason Erdmann lined up as tight ends.

The combined weight of those seven big bodies: 2,198 pounds.

The Badgers mostly ran the ball when their jumbo package was on the field, but Chryst threw a curveball at the Hawkeyes near the goal line early in the second quarter.

UW had ball first-and-goal at the Iowa 6 and the Hawkeyes sold out on the run after quarterback Alex Hornibrook faked a handoff to tailback Jonathan Taylor on a play designed to make Iowa think Taylor was going to run behind Bruss and Erdmann on the left side.

Instead, Hornibrook found redshirt freshman tight end Jake Ferguson wide open in the end zone for a touchdown, the first career score for the former Madison Memorial standout.

Harrell gets start

Redshirt freshman cornerback Deron Harrell got his first career start, replacing sophomore Caesar Williams in the lineup.

Harrell was flagged for pass interference on Iowa’s first possession.

Meanwhile, Williams replaced UW’s other starting cornerback, redshirt freshman Faion Hicks, late in the first half. Hicks was flagged for pass interference twice one drive in the second quarter. The second penalty was declined because Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson hauled in a 46-yard pass despite the fact Hicks was hanging all over him.

Later in that drive, miscommunication in the UW secondary helped Iowa tie the game at 7 when quarterback Nate Stanley found tight end Noah Fant for a 20-yard score. Fant was wide open on the play after finding space between Hicks and redshirt freshman safety Scott Nelson.

Seniors return to lineup

Senior tight end Zander Neuville and senior outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel both played against Iowa.

Neuville sustained a right leg injury last week against BYU, as did Van Ginkel. Both players were listed as questionable heading into the game.

Larsh, Young reunite

Collin Larsh didn’t hear much from Toren Young about his recruitment during their time as teammates at Monona Grove High School.

When it came to Iowa, however, Young couldn’t stop talking.

“He really kept to himself about everything,” said Larsh, now a place kicker for the University of Wisconsin. “But he always talked about (Iowa), since the day he (visited) there. He talked about how he was in love with the school and how he loved the coaching staff and everything. He was always very high on Iowa.”

Despite growing up minutes from Camp Randall Stadium, Young committed to the Hawkeyes almost immediately upon receiving an offer following his junior year for the Silver Eagles.

After carrying the ball just three times in his return to Madison last year during the Badgers’ 38-14 romp, Young entered Saturday night’s rematch at Kinnick Stadium as Iowa’s leading rusher with 234 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries.

And while UW and Iowa played their game nearly 200 miles from Young’s home this time, it certainly wasn’t an ordinary week for the redshirt sophomore.

“I’ve heard from quite a few people this week,” Young told the Quad-City Times earlier this week. “Teachers. Old coaches. Some of them told me they are rooting for me but hope for a different outcome than the one I want.”

Next year’s tilt in Madison should be an even bigger event for Young now that he’s established himself as a key player in the Hawkeyes’ offense, and Larsh said those at Monona Grove High are already excited for see him return to Camp Randall.

Young came out of high school as a two- or three-star prospect, and he reportedly never received an offer from the Badgers. Larsh, however, isn’t surprised Young’s already starting to make a name for himself in Iowa City.

“He’s for sure embracing it,” Larsh said. “He’s always been a worker since Day 1. He’s always worked his way up the chain. Once he gets to that spot he’ll let you know he deserves to be there, and he’s doing that right now.”

Making the trip

Nine true freshman were among the 74 players on the Badgers’ travel roster for the Iowa game.

On defense: nose tackle Bryson Williams; cornerbacks Travian Blaylock, cornerback Donte Burton, Rachad Wildgoose and Alexander Smith; linebacker Jack Sanborn.

On offense: wide receivers Aron Cruickshank and Taj Mustapha; and quarterback Chase Wolf.

JIM POLZIN and JASON GALLOWAY

IOWA CITY – What’s better than massive big offensive linemen on the field for the University of Wisconsin football team?

Seven massive offensive linemen.

During the first half of the Badgers’ Big Ten Conference opener against Iowa on Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium, UW coach Paul Chryst unveiled a package that included UW’s five starting linemen along with reserves Logan Bruss and Jason Erdmann lined up as tight ends.

The combined weight of those seven big bodies: 2,198 pounds.

The Badgers mostly ran the ball when their jumbo package was on the field, but Chryst threw a curveball at the Hawkeyes near the goal line early in the second quarter.

UW had ball first-and-goal at the Iowa 6 and the Hawkeyes sold out on the run after quarterback Alex Hornibrook faked a handoff to tailback Jonathan Taylor on a play designed to make Iowa think Taylor was going to run behind Bruss and Erdmann on the left side.

Instead, Hornibrook found redshirt freshman tight end Jake Ferguson wide open in the end zone for a touchdown, the first career score for the former Madison Memorial standout.

SUBHED: Harrell gets start

Redshirt freshman cornerback Deron Harrell got his first career start, replacing sophomore Caesar Williams in the lineup.

Harrell was flagged for pass interference on Iowa’s first possession.

Meanwhile, Williams replaced UW’s other starting cornerback, redshirt freshman Faion Hicks, late in the first half. Hicks was flagged for pass interference twice one drive in the second quarter. The second penalty was declined because Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson hauled in a 46-yard pass despite the fact Hicks was hanging all over him.

Later in that drive, miscommunication in the UW secondary helped Iowa tie the game at 7 when quarterback Nate Stanley found tight end Noah Fant for a 20-yard score. Fant was wide open on the play after finding space between Hicks and redshirt freshman safety Scott Nelson.

SUBHED: Seniors return to lineup

Senior tight end Zander Neuville and senior outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel both played against Iowa.

Neuville sustained a right leg injury last week against BYU, as did Van Ginkel. Both players were listed as questionable heading into the game.

SUBHED: Larsh, Young reunite

Collin Larsh didn’t hear much from Toren Young about his recruitment during their time as teammates at Monona Grove High School.

When it came to Iowa, however, Young couldn’t stop talking.

“He really kept to himself about everything,” said Larsh, now a place kicker for the University of Wisconsin. “But he always talked about (Iowa), since the day he (visited) there. He talked about how he was in love with the school and how he loved the coaching staff and everything. He was always very high on Iowa.”

Despite growing up minutes from Camp Randall Stadium, Young committed to the Hawkeyes almost immediately upon receiving an offer following his junior year for the Silver Eagles.

After carrying the ball just three times in his return to Madison last year during the Badgers’ 38-14 romp, Young entered Saturday night’s rematch at Kinnick Stadium as Iowa’s leading rusher with 234 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries.

And while UW and Iowa played their game nearly 200 miles from Young’s home this time, it certainly wasn’t an ordinary week for the redshirt sophomore.

“I’ve heard from quite a few people this week,” Young told the Quad-City Times earlier this week. “Teachers. Old coaches. Some of them told me they are rooting for me but hope for a different outcome than the one I want.”

Next year’s tilt in Madison should be an even bigger event for Young now that he’s established himself as a key player in the Hawkeyes’ offense, and Larsh said those at Monona Grove High are already excited for see him return to Camp Randall.

Young came out of high school as a two- or three-star prospect, and he reportedly never received an offer from the Badgers. Larsh, however, isn’t surprised Young’s already starting to make a name for himself in Iowa City.

“He’s for sure embracing it,” Larsh said. “He’s always been a worker since Day 1. He’s always worked his way up the chain. Once he gets to that spot he’ll let you know he deserves to be there, and he’s doing that right now.”

SUBHED: Making the trip

Nine true freshman were among the 74 players on the Badgers’ travel roster for the Iowa game.

On defense: nose tackle Bryson Williams; cornerbacks Travian Blaylock, cornerback Donte Burton, Rachad Wildgoose and Alexander Smith; linebacker Jack Sanborn.

On offense: wide receivers Aron Cruickshank and Taj Mustapha; and quarterback Chase Wolf.

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