Are The Badgers Back? Wisconsin Dominates In Jim Leonhard’s Debut

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Jim Leonhard’s first game as the interim coach of the Wisconsin Badgers was a massacre against Northwestern.

Going into the game, fans were curious to see what Wisconsin would look like after the Badgers fired Paul Chryst following a terrible loss to Illinois.

Well, the answer was simple and it was also absolutely beautiful.

Jim Leonhard dominates in interim head coaching debut for Wisconsin. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Wisconsin Badgers under Jim Leonhard’s leadership dismantled, destroyed and obliterated Northwestern 42-7.

Not only did Wisconsin’s defense manhandle the Wildcats, the offense looked like a completely different team was playing today.

Wisconsin beats Northwestern 42-7. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Wisconsin looks like it has a different offense under interim head coach Jim Leonhard.

Graham Mertz threw for five touchdowns and 299 yards, Braelon Allen rushed for 135 yards and threw for a touchdown and Chimere Dike caught 10 balls for three touchdowns and 185 yards. Imagine reading those stats a week ago and believing they’d be real. Nobody would have bought it.

Now, let me be the first to say that Northwestern is a bad team. I’m under no illusion that the now 1-5 Wildcats are a good football team.

Graham Mertz dominates Northwestern. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Pat Fitzgerald’s team is horrible, but let’s not take anything away from what Wisconsin did today. Under Jim Leonhard, Graham Mertz played his best game in more than two years.

That has to count for something, and for the first time in a long time, the team looked inspired.

The Badgers improve to 3-3 after beating Northwestern. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Where do Wisconsin and Jim Leonhard go from here? It’s hard to say, but clearly, Leonhard is rolling and it’s great to see. Nobody could have seen today coming, but the Badgers got the job done. Next up is Michigan State. Wisconsin fans are definitely hoping for a sequel of what we saw today.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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