After discouraging start, Badgers’ Wildgoose had encouraging finish

Wisconsin cornerback Rachad Wildgoose’s day against Northwestern did not start out well.

Playing on special teams early in the first quarter, Wildgoose was called for a personal foul penalty before the Wildcats booted a punt from their own 4-yard line. Instead of Wisconsin, which already led 7-0, having the ball at the Northwestern 45, the Wildcats kept the ball and marched down the field, eventually getting on the board with a field goal.

More Badgers coverage

The penalty flipped the momentum quickly, as Wisconsin would have been poised to take a two-touchdown lead and perhaps getting Northwestern back on its heels quickly.

A young player easily could have crumbled after making such a gaffe. Wildgoose did the opposite.

The sophomore cornerback made three tackles in the game – and all were big stops, with Northwestern either losing yards or getting nothing.

The first came early in the second quarter. On a third-and-7, Northwestern quarterback Hunter Johnson tried a screen pass to Drake Anderson, but Wildgoose ran past an attempted block and blew up the play for a 1-yard loss, forcing a punt.

Later in the quarter, Johnson kept the ball and tried to get outside. There was some space, but Wildgoose recognized the play and abandoned his receiver and came up to make the tackle at the line of scrimmage.

Finally, in the third quarter, on a third-and-9, Johnson tried another screen pass, this time to Isaiah Bowser, and nearly the exact same thing happened as with Wildgoose’s first tackle: He got past an attempted blocker and tackled Bowser for a loss, this time two yards.

After a discouraging start, it was an encouraging finish for Wildgoose. Can’t ask for more than that from a young Badger.

Here’s the complete rundown of the young Badgers after four games:

“TRUE” FRESHMEN
Keeanu Benton, NT
South Florida: 2 tackles (solo), TFL
Central Michigan: Started, 1 tackle (solo), TFL
Michigan: Started, 1 tackle, QBH
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Clay Cundiff, TE
South Florida: Did not play
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play

 

Leo Chenal, LB
South Florida: 5 tackles (3 solo)
Central Michigan: 4 tackles (4 solo)
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play

 

Semar Melvin, CB
South Florida: 1 tackle (solo)
Central Michigan: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play

 

Graham Mertz, QB
South Florida: Did not play
Central Michigan: 4-of-5 passing, 35 yards
Michigan: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play

 

Have not played
Peter Bowden, LS; Stephan Bracey, WR; Logan Brown, OL; Dante Caputo, S; Julius Davis, RB; Jordan DiBenedetto, WR; Quan Easterling, FB; Dean Engram, CB; Tatum Grass, LB; Rodas Johnson, DE; Jackson Kollath, LB; Spencer Lytle, LB; Cooper Nelson, QR; Maema Njongmeta, LB; Logan O’Brien, OL; Gio Paez, NT; Cam Phillips, WR; Hayden Rucci, TE; Joe Tippmann, OL; Titus Toler, LB; Blake Wilcox, K; James Williams, CB.

 

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN
A.J. Abbott, WR
South Florida: Did not play
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Donte Burton, CB
South Florida: Played, did not record a statistic
Central Michigan: 1 tackle (solo)
Michigan: PBU
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Boyd Dietzen, DE
South Florida: Played, did not record a statistic
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Jack Eschenbach, TE
South Florida: Played, did not record a statistic
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play

 

Jaylan Franklin, OLB
South Florida: 1 tackle (solo), sack, TFL
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Michael Furtney, OL
South Florida: Played, did not record a statistic
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

C.J. Goetz, DE
South Florida: Played, did not record a statistic
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Isaiah Mullens, DE
South Florida: Played, did not record a statistic
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Taj Mustapha, WR
South Florida: Did not play
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play

 

Reggie Pearson, S
South Florida: Started, 1 tackle (solo), FF
Central Michigan: Started, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Started, 3 tackles (2 solo), .5 TFL, FF
Northwestern: 1 tackle (solo), PBU

 

Cormac Sampson, OL
South Florida: Did not play
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Brady Schipper, RB
South Florida: Did not play
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Alexander Smith, CB
South Florida: Played, did not record a statistic
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: 1 tackle (solo), PBU

 

Jack Torchio, S
South Florida: Played, did not record a statistic
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: INT, PBU
Northwestern: Started, 1 tackle (solo)

 

Nakia Watson, RB
South Florida: 14 rush, 80 yards, TD
Central Michigan: 8 rush, 29 yards, TD; 1 catch, 0 yards
Michigan: 13 rush, 31 yards
Northwestern: 1 rush, 1 yard; 1 tackle

 

Chase Wolf, QB
South Florida: Played, did not record a statistic
Central Michigan: 1-for-1 passing, 2 yards
Michigan: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play


Have not played
Travian Blaylock, CB; Nate Carter, QB; Mike Gregoire, WR; Isaac Guerendo, RB; Jacob Heyroth, ILB; Andrew Lyons, OL; Conor Schlichting, P; Marty Strey, OLB.

 

“TRUE” SOPHOMORES

John Chenal, FB
South Florida: 1 rush, 2 yards; 1 catch, 12 yards; 1 tackle (solo), FF
Central Michigan: 3 rush, 11 yards; 1 catch, 2 yards
Michigan: 2 rush, 5 yards, TD
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Aron Cruickshank, WR
South Florida: 1 kick return, 23 yards
Central Michigan: 1 catch, 19 yards; 2 punt returns, 14 yards
Michigan: 1 kick return, 11 yards
Northwestern: 2 kick returns, 69 yards

 

Jack Sanborn, LB
South Florida: Started, 5 tackles (2 solo)
Central Michigan: Started, 1 tackle, INT, QBH
Michigan: Started, 7 tackles (5 solo), 2 TFL, sack, FF
Northwestern: Started, 13 tackles (7 solo), TFL, PBU

 

Rachad Wildgoose, CB
South Florida: 2 tackles (solo)
Central Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: PBU
Northwestern: 3 tackles (3 solo), 2 TFL

 

Bryson Williams, NT
South Florida: 1 tackle (solo)
Central Michigan: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play

 

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), 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