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Tom Oates: Grading Badgers’ performance in loss to Nittany Lions | National

Wisconsin State Journal columnist Tom Oates grades the Wisconsin Badgers’ performance in their 22-10 loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. 

Offense: D-minus

Jonathan Taylor got UW off to a flying start with a 71-yard touchdown run and totaled 185 rushing yards, but got no help. Five sacks and four pre-snap penalties is not a good look for a line once called the nation’s best. Jack Coan threw a pick and missed a touchdown pass because he was guiding the ball instead of cutting it loose.

The Wisconsin Badgers fell to the Penn State Nittany Lions, 22-10, on Saturday at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. 

Defense: C-plus

By hook or by crook, the defense kept Penn State out of the end zone in the second half. UW’s inability to stop Miles Sanders − 159 yards, 23 rushes − allowed Penn State to control the ball. The linebackers took turns putting heat on Trace McSorely, but McSorley still was 19-for-25 passing. Zack Baun led the way with 1 1/2 sacks.

Special teams: C

Isaiahh Loudermilk used his long arm to block a Penn State field-goal try at the end of the first half. Aron Cruickshank followed orders by making fair-catches on two high kickoffs inside the 5-yard line. Connor Allen’s lack of leg strength shows on a blustery day. Noah Burks forced a fumble on a kickoff but UW couldn’t recover.

Coaching: D-plus

Ten games into the season and Paul Chryst still hasn’t figured out how to balance out the offense with even an average passing game. It’s killing UW. Jim Leonhard used stunts and delays to get solid pressure on the quarterback. One of the few times Leonhard rushed three, McSorely hit Jahan Dotson for 30 yards on third-and-17.

Overall: C-minus

The defense was stubborn in the red zone, but the offense lost two fumbles and two interceptions and the passing game had a net gain of 60 yards, wasting a 252-yard rushing day by the tailbacks. The Badgers lost their third consecutive road game and now find themselves with a 6-4 record in a season that began in the top 10.

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