UW-FAU Paul Chryst

Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst reacts after a goal-line stand by Florida Atlantic during the first half Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.

M.P. KING, STATE JOURNAL

Offense: B-minus

Vision, power, burst, balance, Jonathan Taylor showed it all on his 64-yard touchdown run. He can't let the ball get ripped out, though. The failure to score on three runs inside the 2 was mystifying. Alex Hornibrook's interception opened the door for FAU. The passing game was hold and cold after that.

Defense: B

A blown coverage led to a wide-open receiver and 63-yard touchdown catch for FAU in the first quarter. It's hard to sack spread quarterbacks, but UW dropped Daniel Parr five times. UW put the hammer down in the second half, giving up only 50 yards. Led by Chris Orr, the linebackers were particularly active.

Special teams: C-minus

It's always a surprise when Rafael Gaglianone misses a field-goal attempt. Anthony Lotti's Aussie punts buried the Owls at the 7 and 4, but he continued to struggle when asked to boom the ball. Zach Hintze filled in effectively for injured P.J. Rosowski on kickoffs. The return game hasn't done much so far.

Coaching: C

Like the Utah State game, UW won handily but didn't do the little things consistently. Just before halftime, UW wasted a timeout on an FAU run that went out of bounds. Had the Badgers kept that timeout, they would have had one more shot into the end zone from inside the 10 in the half's closing seconds.

Overall: C-plus

The Badgers came out fast and threatened to blow it open early, but two huge mistakes -- a blown coverage and Hornibrook's interception -- threw the Owls a lifeline. After that, UW played only well enough to win. The Badgers' dominance -- a 564-248 edge in yardage -- wasn't reflected on the scoreboard.

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