Jim Leonhard’s defense broke a school record that stood for 70 years

The Grit Factory will be remembered at Wisconsin for a myriad of reasons, but now they’ve officially etched their names into the school’s history books.

Jim Leonhard’s defensive unit finished the season allowing just 64.8 rushing yards per game. Not only did that make them the nation’s top ranked rushing defense, but it also broke a program record that has stood for seven decades.

The previous school record was set back in 1951, when that Badgers team allowed a meager 66.8 yards rushing. Back in 1951, Wisconsin only played a nine-game season, but this year’s team broke the school record in 13 games.

Leonhard’s defense became the first at Wisconsin to play in 10+ games and hold their opponents season rushing total under 1,000 yards.

This past season, only four teams topped 100 yards rushing in a single game against the Badgers: Army, Michigan, Northwestern and Nebraska.

For the season, the Badgers defense saw 398 rushing attempts and allowed just 842 yards (2.12 YPC). The 2.12 yards per carry allowed was also tops in the nation by a wide margin.

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