What’s wrong with the Wisconsin football offense?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s only been 3 weeks of college football, but as we know in college football, a lot can be learned about a team in one game because every game truly counts. A lot of optimism was at the forefront concerning this Wisconsin football team. So much so, they were ranked in college football’s preseason top 25 after going 7-6 the previous season. With the addition of Quarterback Tanner Mordecai to new offensive coordinator Phil Longo’s air raid offense to pair with a Heisman-caliber running back in Breon Allen, the Badgers were poised to make a lot of noise this season.

Through the first three games of the season, the passing game has looked pedestrian. Basically, a Badgers offense has appeared as it always has, with a great running game and a not-so-great passing attack. The Badgers rushed for 301 yards against Buffalo but struggled against Washington State. While the passing game was less than impressive in Week 1, it looked better in Week 2 and showed signs of improvement in Week 3 against Georgia Southern.

What’s wrong with the Wisconsin football offense?

Tanner Mordecai, the super transfer, has not lived up to the standard he set for himself during his years at SMU. A lot of it can be just getting familiar with Phil Lungo’s offense. Another reason can be the badger’s receivers.

Through three games, the best receiver has been sophomore Will Pauling. Chimere Dike, last year’s leading receiver through two games, has eight catches for 151 yards, and Pauling has 11 catches for 149 yards. USC transfer C.J. Williams, who was lighting things up in spring ball and fall camp, hasn’t found a way to make an impact as of yet. He only has four catches, but the bulk of the blame has to be on the quarterback play.

The SMU transfer through three games has thrown two touchdowns and two interceptions. Wisconsin football has had its share of average quarterback play with an awesome running game in the past, but when they managed to land Tanner Mordecai this offseason by way of the transfer portal, Badger fans assumed someone who threw for more than 3,500 yards and more than 32 touchdowns each of the past two seasons would excel in  Longo’s offense.

That hasn’t happened.

Braelon Allen

The Big Ten’s best running back, according to NFL scouts, Braelon Allen, has looked substandard. Last season’s All-American selection got off to a hot start with 141 yards and two scores against Buffalo.

Since then, he hasn’t even hit 100 yards in a game, and in Wisconsin’s first true test this season against a Washington State team, he only managed to gain 20 yards.

Against Georgia Southern, he scored twice while gaining 94 yards, but anyone who has watched the junior running back his first two seasons in Camp Randall knows that this isn’t the same Allen. Part of the problem is that Lungo’s offense isn’t suited for downhill runners such as Allen, and heavy sets are why Allen thrived in his first two seasons.

It’s early in the season, and there is still time for the Wisconsin football offense to get cooking, but the team that we have seen the first three weeks is not what was on display during the spring camp.

Longo’s offenses at his previous schools have ranked in the top five in the ACC when he was at North Carolina and in the SEC when he coached at Ole Miss.

Next. CFB's top 10 quarterbacks after Week 3. dark

Wisconsin football’s next three games are against Purdue, Rutgers, and #24 Iowa. It remains to be seen if this Badgers offense gets on track with the defense.