StaTuesday: Badgers passing targets through four games

Last season, Alex Hornibrook targeted wide receiver Jazz Peavy more times (16 to be exact) than any other Wisconsin Badgers player.

That was so 2016.

This year, Wisconsin’s quarterback has a new preferred No. 1 receiver — and he’s actually a tight end.

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Despite missing last week’s game against Northwestern, Troy Fumagalli leads the Badgers in targets one-third of the way through Wisconsin’s regular season.

Fumagalli also has the two-highest single-game number of targets: 12 vs. Florida Atlantic and nine vs. Utah State.

Only one other player has been targeted more than five times in a game by Hornibrook thus far, and it is his new favorite (apparently) wide receiver, Quintez Cephus, who had seven targets against Northwestern and overall is second on the team with 20 targets.

Peavy, such a big part of last year’s offense, had five targets against FAU. In the Badgers’ other three games, he has just four targets combined. Yikes. His nine targets on the season are currently fourth on the team.

Below is a list of all of Hornibrook’s targets. And by all we mean all. Included in the list are plays lost due to penalties (while they don’t count in official stats, it still gives insight on the play and who he’s targeting). In the chart, LOST/PEN means passes which were likely catches but a penalty on Wisconsin nullified the play. The header INC/PEN indicates passes which were incomplete but there was a penalty on the defense (think: pass interference).

And for those curious, Jack Coan has thrown one pass this year — a completion to Garrett Groshek.

PLAYER TARGETED CATCHES DROPS INT LOST/PEN INC/PEN
Cephus 20 14 1 1
Davis 12 6 1 1 2
Fumagalli 23 15 2 1
Groshek 1 1
Ingold 2 2
James 5 3 1 1
Neuville 4 3
Peavy 9 5 2
Penniston 6 3 1
Shaw 1 1
A.J. Taylor 10 7 2
J. Taylor 2 1 1 1
Thrown away 1
TOTALS 96 60 9 3 3 4

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns