Corey Davis: Western Michigan WR a Threat Wisconsin Defense Needs to Slow Down

BY Fansided and Taylor Johnson/FanSided via Badger of Honor • December 28, 2016

Western Michigan and WR Corey Davis looking to expose Wisconsin’s pass defense in the Cotton Bowl a la Penn State from the Big Ten championship game.

Western Michigan has a very explosive offense and the biggest playmaker the Broncos have is wide receiver Corey Davis. A big threat on offensive, Davis has wreaked havoc on opposing defenses all season long. And although the Wisconsin Badgers defense has been stout all season, it certainly has its flaws. Those were exposed during the Big Ten championship game, and if Wisconsin does not want history to repeat itself, slowing down Davis will be a top priority.

On the year, Davis has hauled in 91 catches for 1,427 yards and 18 touchdowns. Those 18 scores are second-best in the country this season and Davis ranks ninth among FBS receivers with that yardage as well. Davis also averaged 109.8 yards per game receiving on the season.

Twice Davis hit double-digit receptions and there were five games in which he reached triple digits for yards. That includes a 12 catch, 272 yard performance at Ball State in which he found the end zone three times.

But enough about Davis, for now at least. He faces a Badgers that was one of the best in country. However, one of their flaws was facing a pass-heavy offense. And that was very evident in the Big Ten championship game against Penn State. The Badgers held on to a two-touchdown lead going into halftime. But Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley absolutely lit up the Badgers defense in the second half and finished the game with 384 yards and four touchdowns. He ended up finding Saeed Blacknall six times, two for scores, for 155 yards including a 70 yard touchdown. Wisconsin’s defense, mainly their secondary, had no answer for Blacknall or Penn State’s aerial assault.

Back to Western Michigan, Davis, and this passing attack up against the Badgers defense. Some key players on the defensive line, Conor Sheehy and Alec James, should be back for the Cotton Bowl and provide a much-improved pass rush. But it’s the back-end of the defense that will need to step up. The last memory people have of this defense is getting completely gashed by the Nittany Lions. If not prepared, the Broncos and Davis will provide a repeat performance in Dallas the day after New Year’s.

With nothing to lose, look for Western Michigan to play loose in the Cotton Bowl against Wisconsin. Expect them to try to exploit a very mediocre Badgers pass defense. And also expect them to get Davis involved early and often. If Wisconsin is not careful and do not shut down Corey Davis, it could end up being a very long day and a miserable way to ring in the new year.

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