By TOM LEA
MADISON – The infamous wheel route has not been kind to Mike Taylor through three games for the Wisconsin Badgers. It’s something that has to be highlighted for the senior linebacker as his team inches closer to the start of Big Ten play because, simply put, he’s struggled mightily to defend it.
The first time it bit him was in week one. Northern Iowa ran a route combination that forced Taylor to hesitate when deciding to put up the soon-to-be streaking running back or the wide receiver dragging across the middle.
By the time he was able to decipher where he needed to be it was too late. Touchdown Northern Iowa.
Essentially the same thing happened last weekend against Utah State, a play that allowed the Aggies to get on the scoreboard first. And a play that marked the second time this season that Taylor has been exposed on that route.
“There is more to (it than) just covering a wheel route,” Taylor said following Wednesday’s practice. “Obviously you know your job and you know what you’re going to do. In the end you’re supposed to do your job. Obviously it’s my fault. It’s just something you’ve got to work on and see a bunch of things.
“Now that it’s happened twice you’ve just got to be keyed into it and expect it some more. You’re really looking for it.”
Taylor, because it’s happened twice, understands that teams UW plays in the future might target him on similar routes.
“Possibly,” he said. “If that’s what they want to do that’s fine. There’s never been a problem covering routes before, wheel routes or whatever. It’s happened twice. That’s bad, but I’ve just got to get better.
“If they want to do that then fine.”
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