Season’s Superlatives: Wisconsin’s MVPs, Unsung Heroes, and Best Games of the Season | College football


Statistics: 25 tackles, five for a loss, 2½ sacks, two broken passes, four quarterback hits, two fumbles recovered

The Badgers have been the No. 1 defense for much of the season and one big reason that may have happened was the play of nose tackle Keeanu Benton. While he hasn’t racked up any loss or sack tackles this season, his impact on the unit has been recognized by everyone. The offensive lines paid attention to him and made sure they had two bodies to block him.

“To me, it’s just a disturbance,” Leonhard said of Benton’s impact measurement. “You’re not always going to have production week after week, but at what point (are you?) How are our teams blocking you? How many heads-up chances in the running game or the passing game are you allowed to have? Because obviously, if you take two, you help this defense a lot.

He told reporters he was inclined to return to UW for his senior season, which would be a godsend for the Badgers’ defense who could be light on the experience next year.


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