UW Football: Five things to know before Florida Atlantic

jonathan taylor utah state wisconsin badgers 2017

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by Andy Baggot / UWBadgers.com

IN GOOD STEAD

Tailback Jonathan Taylor did something out of the ordinary in the 59-10 victory over Utah State. He led the Badgers in rushing with 87 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, becoming the first true freshman to be the leading rusher in a Wisconsin season opener since Terrell Fletcher did it in 1991. Taylor is just the fifth true freshman to see action at tailback for UW in the last 26 years, joining Fletcher, Corey Clement in 2013, James White in '10, Montee Ball in '09 and Ron Dayne in 1996. Taylor was the third tailback to see action vs. the Aggies behind sophomore Bradrick Shaw (18-86-1) and junior Chris James (5-15). How did Taylor's season-opening usage compare to his celebrated predecessors? Clement totaled 101 yards and a TD on 16 carries vs. UMass while subbing behind Melvin Gordon (13-144-1) and White (11-143-1). White had 59 yards on 11 attempts vs. UNLV working into the rotation behind (John Clay 17-123-2) and Ball (16-79-2). Dayne, meanwhile, finished with 53 yards and a TD on eight carries playing behind Carl McCullough (16-107-1). Ball didn't see action in the 2009 season opener vs. Northern Illinois sitting behind Zach Brown and Clay. By the way, Fletcher debuted with 63 yards and a TD on 14 carries vs. Western Illinois in 1991.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Incidentally, Taylor is the eighth player with that common last name to play for the Badgers, going back to when George Taylor was a letterman in 1913. Jonathan joins A.J. Taylor, a sophomore wide receiver, on the UW roster. They aren't related. If you're keeping track of such things, the most common last name on the all-time list of Wisconsin is Johnson with 22, followed by Williams and Smith with 17 and Davis with 12.

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