August 12, 2008

2008: Grading the non-conference schedules

(http://www.sportsline.com/collegefootball/story/10921040)

We've created a vicious cycle in college football. Sure we all love the fact that just about every game is on TV nowadays. And because coaches and athletic directors want their teams to look good on TV, so they schedule a lot of limp fish opponents. Because wins beget bowl games. Bowl games begets job security. Job security begets more money. Thus, more money is insured by wins. You spin me right round baby right round, like a record.

No longer do college football teams across the country take chances. Or, well, rarely do they. Have you noticed how boring Septembers have become, except for the occasional Appy State upset of Michigan or Ohio State showdown with Texas?

Continue reading "2008: Grading the non-conference schedules" »

January 01, 2008

Missed Opportunities Haunt Wisconsin As Tennessee Captures Outback Bowl Win

TAMPA, Fla. - With less than a minute to play, and his No. 18 Wisconsin team trailing No. 16 Tennessee, 21-17, Tyler Donovan couldn't have been happier if he was sitting in front of a platter of steak instead of in a bowl named for a steakhouse.

"Those kind of situations, it's fun," the senior signal-caller said. "Players thrive in those kinds of situations, and I was loving it."

With 28 seconds left, however, he was devastated.

That was when Antonio Wardlow picked off Donovan's would-be touchdown pass to win the game. If he had connected with, Donovan would have been the hero of the 2007 Outback Bowl. Instead, the Volunteers held on for the 21-17 win.

Continue reading "Missed Opportunities Haunt Wisconsin As Tennessee Captures Outback Bowl Win" »

Wardlow Picks Up The Win For Tennessee

TAMPA, Fla. - Perhaps it's tacky to say in a bowl game named for a steakhouse, but stick a fork in this one, because it's done.

Antonio Wardlow picks off Tyler Donovan's pass from the 36-yard line in the end zone, and Tennessee is your 2008 Outback Bowl Champion, beating Wisconsin, 21-17. Volunteers quarterback Erik Ainge is your game MVP after going 25-for-43 for 366 yards and two touchdowns.

More to come.

One More Chance

TAMPA, Fla. - The Badgers get the ball back. A five-yard run for Tennessee isn't enough. The Vols punt with 1:32, and Wisconsin will have to go 88 yards in the next 1:26 with no timeouts.

So Close, Yet So Far

TAMPA, Fla. - For a moment, it looked as if Wisconsin had its moment, as the Badgers looked to have recovered a fumble after a Josh Briscoe reception. However, it was ruled that the Badger who scooped up the ball went out of bounds before getting possession, so the Badgers still have a big stop to get before making their last drive.

Wisconsin's Gamble Doesn't Pay Off

TAMPA, Fla. - Bret Bielema chose to roll the dice, and now, the Badgers have snake eyes staring them down.

On fourth and two at the Volunteer 10, the Badgers went for it, and Donovan wound up throwing high and out of the end zone. The Vols take over with under six minutes to play.

Interesting move by the Badgers. A field goal could get them in position to win with another one, while Wisconsin will certain need a touchdown on their next possession now.

The Longest Field For Vols

TAMPA, Fla. - After nine minutes wihout a major happening in this game, we have a pivotal series coming up.

The Badgers' Ben Strickland downed a punt at the one-yard line, putting Tenneesee behind the eight-ball as they try to gain some yards.

Oopsie...Wrong Name

TAMPA, Fla. - Not much to report so far in the second half, where the biggest miscue belongs to our announcer here in the press box, who just slipped and referred to Wisconsin as the Wolverines.

Now, in all fairness, we aren't all that far from Orlando, where Michigan is playing in the Capital One Bowl, and that game is underway.

Of course, the bigger issue could be the Wolverines' opponent: Tennessee's archrival Florida. Vols fans might actually take more offense to that than Badger fans.

Then again, the fans are in the stands, and we're in the press box, so it doesn't matter all that much.

Tennessee Offense Rolling, But Wisconsin Hanging In

TAMPA, Fla. - The Wisconsin band, under the direction of Michael Leckrone, is currently performing its halftime show, consisting of music from West Side Story.

It's appropriate, because Badgers quarterback Tyler Donovan has taken enough hard shots to the head to make him start singing "I Feel Pretty."

Impressively, though, the Badgers are staying with a Tennessee offense that is going great guns. They'll recieve the ball to start the second half with a chance to tie the game, as the Vols lead 21-14 at halftime.

Continue reading "Tennessee Offense Rolling, But Wisconsin Hanging In" »

Halftime In Tampa: Vols Lead 21-14

TAMPA, Fla. - The teams are headed to the locker rooms, and the bands are on their way onto the field. Your score at halftime: Tennessee 21, Wisconsin 14.

More details to come.

No Warning Necessary

TAMPA, Fla. - Of course, the two minute warning isn't used in college football, but maybe an exception should be made for Wisconsin games

With 1:03 remaining on the clock , Tyler Donovan finds Andy Crooks in the end zone for a four-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-14. The pass caps off a 70-yard drive that took 5:12 off the clock with nine plays.

Wisconsin has now scored 112 points in the last two minutes of the first half during Bret Bielema's tenure as head coach.

Cottam Caught 'Em, Puts Tennesse Up 21-7

TAMPA, Fla. - Don't worry about Brad Cottam, right? He's never caught a touchdown pass in his Tennessee career.

He has now.

A 31-yard pass from Erik Ainge has the Vols up 21-7, capping off a four-play, 51-yard drive that lasted 1:40.

Tyler Donovan is back in for the Badgers at quarterback.

Rough Day For Donovan

TAMPA, Fla. - Tennessee is giving Wisconsin quarterback Tyler Donovan a headache - literally.

The Badger signal-caller had his bell rung again just after getting rid of the ball on third down, banging his head on one of his lineman's legs as he went down on the tackle.

And the pass was completed, but fell just short of the first down.

Vols Have A Fumble Of Their Own

TAMPA, Fla. - Tennessee was sitting pretty, driving deep in Wisconsin territory again with a big run by Montario Hardesty and an Ainge completing to Quintin Hancock, but the Vols have returned the favor as Kirk DeCremer forced and recovered a Lennon Creer fumble to take over for the Badgers.

In Badger injury news, Donovan is back out on the field, and P.J. Hill is out there with him and gaining yardage against the Volunteers as the Badgers attempt to march up the field from depe in their own territory.

That's Another Way To Do It: Vols up 7-0

TAMPA, Fla. - Tennessee is on the board with a touchdown 5:11 into the game. The scoring play was a direct snap to Gerald Jones, which seems to be the Vols' best option for getting the ball to a receiver so far.

Erik Ainge has looked shaky early on, throwing a third-down pass right at a defender on the Vols' first drive, then throwing very high out of the end zone when Tennessee got close. To Ainge's credit, the key play of the drive that got Tennesee deep into Badger territory was a 40-yard pass to Denarius Moore.

The Jones run capped off a nine-play scoring drive of 66 yards that lasted 2:33.

Mistakes Early

A couple of mistakes early made sure that neither team's first drive lasted long. Tennessee's opening drive never recovered from a holding penalty that negated a nice run by Arian Foster, while the Badgers looked to be in good shape after Tyler Donovan completed a pass to Paul Hubbard on third-and-8, only for Eric Berry to force the fumble and DeAngelo Willingham to recover.

The Vols are driving now in Badger territory.

More Lineup Notes And The Coin Toss

TAMPA, Fla. - A couple more changes in the lineup to report as we get set to kick off.

O'Brien Schofield will start at left end for Wisconsin in place of Kurt Ware, while Ben Strickland gets the start at left cornerback for Aaron Henry.

For the Vols, Jerod Mayo moves from "Mike" to "Will" in the linebacking corps to replace McCoy, with Ellix Wilson starting in Mayo's middle position.

Wisconsin won the coin toss and will defer to the second half. Tennessee will receive and defend the North

G'Day From The Outback, Mate!

TAMPA, Fla. - Good morning and Happy New Year from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, where we're counting down to kickoff of the 2008 Outback Bowl. Today's matchup pits the No. 18 Badgers of the Univesity of Wisconsin against the No. 6 Volunteers of the University of Tennessee.

Here's a few things to keep an eye on as we get ready for the 11:00 AM kickoff here in Tampa.

Continue reading "G'Day From The Outback, Mate!" »

November 10, 2007

Badgers too much for Michigan on both sides of ball

MADISON, Wisc. - The 37-21 final score might suggest that Wisconsin dominated throughout, but for a brief period of time the Wolverines had possession of the football with only a field goal needed to claim the lead. The Badger defense would have none of that on Senior Day. The win was not only a boost for program pride; it probably will help place Wisconsin in a respectable bowl at season's end.

Coach Bret Bielema explained his team's journey best: "We may not be the prettiest girl in high school, but people still stand in line to take us to prom."

Continue reading "Badgers too much for Michigan on both sides of ball" »

After interception, Brown adds the finishing touch

MADISON, Wisc. - Facing a possible letdown, the Badger defense came through and forced an interception that the Wisconsin offense later turned into a touchdown. With a nine-point lead, and three minutes remaining, Wisconsin's upset win is close to safe.

On the clinching drive, running back Zach Brown did most of the work. The freshman gained his 101st yard on the six-yard touchdown which ended Michigan's hopes for a come-from-behind victory.

Donovan leaves the game ...

MADISON, Wisc. - With Michigan closing the gap in this game (23-21), thanks to an Adrian Arrington touchdown grab, the Badgers were dealt a serious blow, losing quarterback Tyler Donovan to what appears to be a serious injury. Allan Evridge has entered the contest ...

Just like that ...

MADISON, Wisc. - Facing a third down on its own three-yard line, Ryan Mallett tossed a 97-yard touchdown to Mario Manningham to close the gap, 23-14. Will Lloyd Carr regret not going for two? Hard to say at this point.

Third Qtr Recap: Badgers continue to pound Michigan

MADISON, Wisc. - The Wolverines could do nothing right in the third quarter. Their passing game stalled drives, and the running game disappeared. Wisconsin continued its momentum and as the quarter came to a close appeared ready to add to its 23-7 lead. To help the cause, freshman running back Zach Brown is starting to gain large chunks of ground, and Paul Hubbard and Travis Beckum are an unstoppable duo in the passing game. Oh, and the Badgers controlled the clock for 11:17 of the quarter.

A sideline catch in the closing minutes of the quarter by Hubbard gave him more than 100 receiving yards for the day.

Needing one yard, Hill gets stuffed

MADISON, Wisc. - The Badgers could have put the game away, but from one-yard out P.J. Hill could not break through the Michigan defense. Instead, Wisconsin opted to kick a field goal for a 23-7 lead. The Badgers are very much in control of this game with less than 20 minutes remaining.

On the 16-play drive, tight end Travis Beckum recorded his fourth 100-yard receiving effort of the season.

Smith out, Hill in

MADISON, Wisc. - On the Badgers' opening drive of the second half, the crowd went wild when the game announcer's voice thundered "PJ HILL" after a rushing attempt. Hill skipped the first half due to his injured ankle, but came into the game in time to replace sophomore Lance Smith, who is not expected to return due to a shoulder injury.

In need of big play, Wolverines bungle opportunity

MADISON, Wisc. - After its opening second half drive stalled, the Wolverines scooped up a fumble off a punt return. The ball hit Wisconsin's Niles Brinkley in the back and teammate David Gilreath tried to cover the ball, but was unsuccessful.

The Wolverines got the ball at the 38-yard line, but two failed plays and a delay of game forced a third-and-12 at the 40-yard line. A knocked-down pass forced a Wolverine punt which rolled into the end zone.

Missed opportunity -- for sure.

Badgers honor Dayne

MADISON, Wisc. - During the halftime ceremony, Wisconsin retired the number of college football's all-time leadng rusher, Ron Dayne. Athletic Director and former coach Barry Alvarez did the honors, while former Badger greats offered words for their former teammate. Dayne also took part in the pre-game coin flip.

At his best, Dayne was one of the Big Ten's toughest backs to tackle -- big and quick-footed, he helped take the program to a new level in the late 1990s.

At the Half: Badgers in control, Wolverines not yet dead

MADISON, Wisc. - Entering the contest, few would have believed the Badgers would control the first half as well as they have (20-7). But big plays on third downs have helped Wisconsin to sustain drives and put points on the board.

There is plenty of football left, but to keep its perfect conference mark intact, Michigan must make several key adjustments during halftime.

Continue reading "At the Half: Badgers in control, Wolverines not yet dead" »

Odd ruling gives Wolverines chance to close gap

MADISON, Wisc. - On a third down play, the referees ruled that Ben Strickland and Greg Matthews simultaneously caught the football, thus giving Michigan a first down. It had appeared that Strickland was in control of the interception, but the referees didn't see it that way.

Camp Randall went nuts.

On the next play, Ryan Mallett hit Mario Manningham for a 12-yard score. It was Manningham's first catch of the day, and it put the Wolverines back into the contest.

Another score for Badgers ...

MADISON, Wisc. - It's the Tyler Donovan Show in Madison.

On a third down, Donovan escaped a collapsing pocket and made a nice chain-moving run. A nine-yard Lance Smith run and a 24-yard skinny post pass from Donovan to Beckum gave the Badgers goal to go. From there, took a boot to the right and dove on the corner marker for a 17-0 lead.

The Wolverines have had no answer for the Badgers' passing attack, and the pass rush has yet to have an effect.

Michigan offense missing in Madison -- Henne out

MADISON, Wisc. - Ryan Mallett, who replaced Chad Henne on the Wolverines' last drive, completed a nice out route to Adrian Arrington at the beginning of the second quarter. Then he overthrew a wide open Arrington on second down to create a key third-and-13 situation. Taking a deep drop, Mallett was sacked by Nick Hayden and Matthew Shaughnessy to end the Wolverine drive.

The four-play drive is symbolic of how the Wolverines have performed in the early going of this contest.

First Qtr Recap: Badger front seven steps up

MADISON, Wisc. - The Wolverine rushing attack has found no room in the first quarter, as Wisconsin's front seven has closed off the corners and clogged up the middle. So far, the best offense for Michigan has been the wide receiver screen pass, which they've used several times for minimal yardage.

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No Hill, no Hart (so far)

MADISON, Wisc. - Same as last week, Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill has been left off the active roster. Michigan's Mike Hart, who did dress and join his team at mdfield for the coin toss, has not seen much field time; instead, Michigan has turned to Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor on its first few possessions.

Thanks to Michigan mistake (and a bit of luck) Badgers strike first

MADISON, Wisc. - The Wolverines made the first mistake on Saturday and immediately the Badgers repaid the favor -- well, at least they tried to.

Continue reading "Thanks to Michigan mistake (and a bit of luck) Badgers strike first" »

Badgers look to avenge lone loss of '06

MADISON, Wisc. -- Three months ago, many expected this contest would decide the Big Ten race, and possibly the national title. Michigan's sluggish start and Wisconsin's midseason woes have caused the game to lose some of its luster. Now it is Michigan's final test before a showdown against Ohio State next week, and it is Wisconsin last chance to prove its worth to potential bowl suitors.

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November 03, 2007

Ohio State overcomes late scare to defeat Badgers 38-17

COLUMBUS, Ohio - No Block O shuffle for Wisconsin today. Nope, today it was the Buckeyes dancing their way to its biggest win of the season as they came from behind to defeat the Badgers 38-17 Saturday afternoon.

Ohio State overcame its toughest challenge of the season behind the play of tailback Chris Wells and quarterback Todd Boeckman. Down 17-10 late in the third quarter, Wells broke off touchdown runs of 31 and 30 yards on consecutive drives to pull his Buckeyes ahead 24-17. Boeckman than added a touchdown pass two drives later to move ahead comfortably 31-17. And just for good measure, Wells punched in his third touchdown of the contest on a 23-yard sprint to the endzone to seal the 38-17 victory.

"We knew it would be a battle and it was just that," said Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. “Anything that came our way in terms of adversity our guys handled. We are awfully proud of the way we got after it. I don’t know if it was our greatest performance, but we ended up winning and we have a chance to fight another round.”

Wisconsin quarterback Tyler Donovan had a strong first half performance to keep the Badgers close, as he constantly picked apart the Buckeye secondary. He finished the game 17-of-29 for 239 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Boeckman, meanwhile, completed 17-of-28 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns as well.

Both defenses were solid most of the game until the Buckeyes broke it open late in the third quarter. The No. 1 ranked Ohio State defense finished with 10 sacks, four of which were by Vernon Gholston, and hauled in a pair of loose fumbles.

Continue reading "Ohio State overcomes late scare to defeat Badgers 38-17" »

Ooops, he did it again - Wells breaks off another 30-yard touchdown run

COLUMBUS, Ohio - After a three-and-out forced the Badgers to punt out of their own redzone, the Buckeyes proceeded to ride the shoulders of Beanie Wells all the way down the field and into the endzone following another 30-yard touchdown run from Wells. Ohio State now leads 24-17.

Continue reading "Ooops, he did it again - Wells breaks off another 30-yard touchdown run" »

Wells gives crowd of 105,000-plus new life, ties game at 17-17

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Just when it seemed like things were starting to fall apart for the Buckeyes, Chris "Beanie" Wells brought a desperate crowd to its feet when he broke off a 31-yard touchdown run to tie the game up at 17-17. Now, it's up to the Buckeye defense to elevate its game. A juggled return on the kickoff and an illegal block in the back has the Badgers backed up inside its own 10. The crowd, meanwhile, is doing everything it can to disrupt Donovan's communication abilities. The roar inside the press box windows is deafening.

Donovan continues to pick apart Buckeye secondary, Badgers jump to 17-10 lead

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Memories of recent years are beginning to swirl around Ohio Stadium. The cold and bitter winds have brought an erie feeling back to the Horseshoe for the first time all season. The generator of those winds: Tyler Donovan.

Continue reading "Donovan continues to pick apart Buckeye secondary, Badgers jump to 17-10 lead" »

Donovan connects on 50-yard pass, then 28-yard TD to tie game

COLUMBUS, Ohio - It didn't take long for Wisconsin to knot this game up at 10-10, as they strung together three plays of over 20 yards. The first game on the opening handoff when Brown raced for a 22-yarder before being tripped up at his 24. Donovan then hooked up with Paul Hubbard on a 3rd-and-3 play for 50 yards to take the ball to the Buckeyes' 13-yard line. A chop block sent the Badgers back 15 yards and onto the Buckeyes' 28 yard, but it proved to make little difference since Donovan connected yet again on the very next play with Beckum for a 28-yard touchdown pass.

Continue reading "Donovan connects on 50-yard pass, then 28-yard TD to tie game" »

Halftime: Ohio State 10, Wisconsin 3

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State kicker Ryan Prettorious' 27-yard field goal with 14 seconds left in the quarter capped off a defensive dominated half. Look for the second to remain much the same.

Continue reading "Halftime: Ohio State 10, Wisconsin 3" »

Defenses settle down, both teams start punting

COLUMBUS, Ohio - After both teams put points on the board in each of their opening drives, its been nothing but defense and speical teams through the midway point of the second quarter.

Continue reading "Defenses settle down, both teams start punting" »

Boeckman completes pass to himself, Bucks forced to punt

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Boeckman appears to be making a strong case for possible Heisman attention, as he just proved he can do anything for the Buckeyes. On their last play, he not only threw for another completion, but also hauled in the pass for a catch. Unfortuantely, his pass attempt was deflected by the front line and returned right back to him where he brought in the errant pass for a loss of 13-yards.

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Badger fake punt on fourth-and-14 leads to field goal

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Badger quarterback Tyler Donovan appears to be struggling with his passing game, but it makes no difference. Punter Ken DeBauche threw a 31-yard rope to a streaking Paul Standring down the sideline on a fourth-and-14 play. Wisconsin marched the ball all the way down inside the Buckeyes 5-yard line, but was forced to settle for a field goal after Brown was shut down by Buckeye safety Anderson Russell trying to get around the corner.

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Boeckman comes out of opening drive throwing, connects with Robiskie on 30-yard touchdown

COLUMBUS, Ohio - I said in the pregame notes that the key to the game for the Buckeyes was scoring on the first drive. Well, Boeckman and Co. delivered to jump out to an early 7-0 lead. It took less than three minutes.

Continue reading "Boeckman comes out of opening drive throwing, connects with Robiskie on 30-yard touchdown" »

Hill out for game

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Sophomore sensation P.J. Hill will not be suiting up for the Badgers today as he continues to nurse as sore Achilles tendon. Hill is standing on the sidelines with a boot on his leg, which is bad news for Wisconsin. Freshman Zach Brown will fill in at tailback. Ohio State will receive the opening kick off as the game gets underway.

Buckeyes look to avenge Badger's "Block O" shuffle

COLUMBUS, Ohio - If there was any team that could say it has Ohio State's number these past five years, none could make more of a case than Wisconson. The Badgers have won three of its last four games against the Buckeyes, all of which have come in Ohio Stadium. None proved to be more taunting than their last meeting however, as the Badgers followed up their 24-13 upset win in 2004 by dancing all over the Buckeye's Block O at midfield. Now, Ohio State is eager more than over to add its Big Ten rival to its long list of victims.

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October 06, 2007

Illini snap Wisconsin's Streak; Win Second Straight Over Ranked Opponents

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Thanks to another stellar running effort, Illinois (5-1 overall, 3-0 in Big Ten) snapped No. 5 Wisconsin's (5-1, 2-1) fourteen-game win streak. The Illini rushed for 289 yards on 44 carries (6.6 yards per carry), and made the big plays when they needed them.

Continue reading "Illini snap Wisconsin's Streak; Win Second Straight Over Ranked Opponents" »

Badgers Still Fighting

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Wisconsin is still alive. Tyler Donovan hit WR Garrett Graham with a 9-yard touchdown pass to cap off an 82-yard drive. Illinois still leads 31-26, with 1:31 remaining. Wisconsin retains all three time outs.

Continue reading "Badgers Still Fighting" »

Illini on Verge of Upset

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Running Backs Rashard Mendenhall and Daniel Dufrene ran the Badgers ragged on a 71 yard Touchdown Drive. Reserve QB Eddie McGee--who replaced an injured Juice Williams on the drive--ran the ball in for a five-yard TD.

The Illini lead 31-19 with 5:28 remaining

Continue reading "Illini on Verge of Upset" »

Illini holding off Badgers--for now

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. It looked like Wisconsin had seized the momentum, but then Illini DB Kevin Mitchell picked off Tyler Donovan on what looked like a miscommunication between Donovan and his receiver.

On Wisconsin's next possession, Vontae Davis picked another deep ball thrown by Donovan.

Continue reading "Illini holding off Badgers--for now" »

After third quarter, Illini lead Badgers 24-19

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Wisconsin will start with the ball at their own 10 when the fourth quarter begins.

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PJ Hill is just fine; Badgers make it 24-19

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - PJ Hill came out of the game last possession, but he came back in a big way, starting the Wisconsin drive with a 30 yard run and ending it with a one-yard TD plunge.

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JUUUUUIICCCEEE

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - That's not booing, that's the sound of Illini fans hailing their sophomore QB Juice Williams. He ran for 53 yards on Illinois's touchdown drive, which was capped off by Rashard Mendenhall's third TD of the game.

Continue reading "JUUUUUIICCCEEE" »

Wisconsin Comes Out Strong; Cuts Lead to 17-13

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The Badgers looked very effective on their first drive of the second half, which culminated in a 43-yard touchdown reception by Kyle Jefferson on a fake end-around play-action pass.

Continue reading "Wisconsin Comes Out Strong; Cuts Lead to 17-13" »

Wisconsin WR Swan out for game

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Wisconsin's #1 WR Luke Swan was injured late in the second quarter. Swan left the field on his own power, but he will not return. He had 67 receiving yards in the first half, and leads the Badgers in receiving yards this season.

Mendenhall Leads Illini to 17-6 Halftime lead

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Illinois Jr. running back Rashard Mendenhall has been the story in the first half.

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Wisconsin settles for field goal

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Wisconsin's Taylor Mehlhaff hit a 38-yard field goal to make the score 17-3, Illinois.

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Juice is Loose

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. QB Juice Williams led the Illini on a 75 yard drive, capped off by a 5-yard TD pass to Rashard Mendenhall. The Illini lead 17-0.

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Lovely Reda, Field Goal Made

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Illinois Kicker Jason Reda nailed a 50-yard field goal to put the Illini up 10-0. Maybe Vegas did know what they were doing.

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Wisconsin can't convert on third down

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. For the third time, the Badgers moved the ball into Illinois territory, and for the third time, they failed to convert on third down to keep the drive alive.

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Bad news for the kickers

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Wisconsin's Taylor Mehlhaff missed a 38-yard Field Goal, and Illinois's Anthony Santella shanked a punt for just 14 yards.

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One Possession each, no score

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Six minutes into the first quarter, it's still scoreless in Champaign.

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Game Time

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The game is about to begin, and Illinois students are positively drunk with anticipation.

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Wisconsin at Illinois: Game Preview

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The unranked Illinois Fighting Illini (4-1 overall, 2-0 in Big Ten) enter their home contest against the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers (5-0, 2-0) as--get this--2.5 point favorites.

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September 29, 2007

Badgers squeak out win over Michigan State

MADISON, Wisc. -- The Badgers gave their opponent opportunities to win, but Michigan State was not able to come away with points in two late drives that stalled in Wisconsin territory. Wisconsin walked away with the 37-34 win.

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Spartans shooting themselves in the foot

MADISON, Wisc. -- Two key penalties, a holding and a roughing, have helped the Badgers get back out in front, 37-34, in an important Big Ten matchup. Without the calls the Spartans might be charging for the go-ahead score.

Third Qtr Recap: Badgers starting to pull away in Madison

MADISON, Wisc. -- As well as Michigan State has run the ball (Javon Ringer has 142 yards and is averaging 17.8 per carry) the Badgers have started to dominate this game by way of their imposing defensive line. On one series, Nick Hayden and Kirk DeCremer registered sacks, forcing the Spartans to punt from near their goal line. The pressure applied by Wisconsin has limited Michigan State's ability to bail itself out of long-yardage situations. And now traling 34-24, the Spartans are running out of time to use that potent rushing offense that's proven so effective so far.

It's been all Tyler Donovan and P.J. Hill for Wisconsin. With a banged up receiving corps, Donovan has scrambled and found Travis Beckum on passing downs. Hill, meanwhile, has chipped away at the Spartans all afternoon. He'll be sore after this one (29 carries through three quarters).

Now, back to the game as it's time to 'Jump Around' with the Badger student section ...

Spartans score, Badgers claim moral victory

MADISON, Wisc. -- The Spartans got the ball to start the second half and after an incompletion running back Javon Ringer took a pitch right and made a nice cut-back for a 70-yard run. Jonathan Casillas saved a touchdown on the play and the Badger defense stopped the Spartans on a third-and-goal from the two. The Brett Swenson field goal made the score 27-24.

On the ensuing kick, freshman David Gilreath made a 56-yard return to put Wisconsin in good shape for its opening drive of the half.

More see-saw action to follow (we're sure of it) ...

**Bad news for the Badgers: receiver Kyle Jefferson is out of the game with a head injury, leaving Tyler Donovan few options to throw to.

First Half Recap: An unexpected shootout

MADISON, Wisc. -- The Badgers and Spartans are setting off fireworks in their contest, with a combined 48 first-half points. Both offenses are playing determined football, but the defenses have also failed to capitalize on mistakes and slow down the opposing running game.

Continue reading "First Half Recap: An unexpected shootout" »

Again, it's Donovan

MADISON, Wisc. -- What a game for the Badger signal caller! After Lance Smith advanced the ball for a first down, Tyler Donovan absorbed a blow from a Spartan defender and found freshman Kyle Jefferson streaking down the middle of the field for a 64-yard score. The play put Wisconsin back out front, 21-14. So far Donovan is nine-of-12 for 182 yards and two scores.

Donovan takes command

MADISON, Wisc. -- Starting from his own nine-yard line, Badger quarterback Tyler Donovan led his team on a 12-play drive that concluded with his two-yard touchdown pass to Travis Beckum to tie the score, 14-14. Donovan completed five-of-six passes on the drive for 74 yards. He added a nine-yard scramble. Credit the Wisconsin offensive line for finding a cure to prevent the Spartans from living in their backfield on this drive. The key play to the drive was a 38-yard pass to Beckum coming out of the quarter break, and after two straight Badger penalties (false start, delay of game).

First Qtr Recap: Spartans playing power game

MADISON, Wisc. -- As mentioned in our pre-game report, the Spartans run the ball and pressure the quarterback about as well as any Big Ten team. They've been successful at both at Wisconsin so far, and that's been the difference.

Continue reading "First Qtr Recap: Spartans playing power game" »

Spartans storm back

MADISON, Wisc. -- Michigan State's running game is already giving the Badger defense fits. On its second possession, Michigan State began on its 37-yard line after fielding a poor punt from Ken DeBauche. From there the Spartans drew the Badgers off-side, then handed to Javon Ringer who busted through the middle of the line and broke to the left hash for a 53-yard gain. Teammate Jehuu Caulcrick took it in from the two-yard line on the next play. The key to the possession was a swarming Spartan pass rush which got to Tyler Donovan (ruled no gain) on the third down before the punt. That allowed for the good field position.

Hill leads Badgers on opening scoring drive

MADISON, Wisc. -- After a poor return pinned Wisconsin at its own 15-yard line running back P.J. Hill took over. He touched the ball eight times on the 11-play drive, gaining 37 rushing yards and eight receiving, and finishing the drive from five yards out to give the Badgers an early 7-0 lead. THe Spartans pass rush got to Tyler Donovan on nthe first pass of the drive but Donovan stood his ground and found tight end Travis Beckum on a key third down. Donovan also hit Luke Swan on a post-corner for 25 yards on the drive. So far, the Badgers offense looks sharp.

Big Ten battle of undefeated Badgers & Spartans

MADISON, Wisc. -- The Big Ten conference picture will clear up some today after Wisconsin and Michigan State go to war at Camp Randall. As usual, WIsconsin's mad mob of red-wearing, beer-soaked fans have lined all of the side streets in anticipation of yet another test for their top 10-ranked club. It's a crazy scene, bu this game could also have a crazy outcome.

Continue reading "Big Ten battle of undefeated Badgers & Spartans" »

September 22, 2007

In another close one, Badgers win fourth

MADISON, Wisc. -- Leave it to Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz to sum up tonight's road loss to the Badgers. Said Ferentz, "We're not an offensive juggernaut. When we get field position, we need to get points." Such was the problem for Ferentz's Hawkeyes all evening, as they let opportunities slip through their fingers. When the fourth quarter arrived, and with their defense exhausted from the long night's work, the opportunities had dried up. Wisconsin took the Big Ten opener for both teams, 17-13.

Continue reading "In another close one, Badgers win fourth" »

Rumblin' P.J. Hill .. Badgers back on top

MADISON, Wisc. -- Putting his teammates on his back for a long drive, running back P.J. Hill piled into the end zone from two yards out to give Wisconsin a 14-10 lead. Hill carried 10 times for 43 yards on Wisconsin's 11-play, 68-yard drive.

Hill is approaching 100 yards against a stout Iowa run defense.

3rd Qtr Recap: Same score, neither team stepping up

MADISON, Wisc. -- Do either of these teams want this game? The Badgers and Hawkeyes are both blowing chances to put the other away. Case in point: backed up at its one-yard line, Iowa mounted a long drive, then crumbled inside of Badger territory. The Badgers have done nothing since scoring a touchdown late in the second quarter.

Not much new to report .. stay tuned.

Christensen saves Iowa -- again

MADISON, Wisc. -- After a Ken DeBauche punt pinned the Hakeyes on their one-yard line, QB Jake Christensen scrambled for 17 yards on the first play, then completed a pss on the next for 11 more yards. A Damian Sims 22-yard run on the third play of the drive put the Hawkeyes into Badger territory.

More up and down at Madison

MADISON, Wisc. -- Iowa DB Jayme Murphy popped the opening kick out of David Gilreath's hands. The Hawkeyes took control, but after three plays were forced to kick the field goal. The Badgers' Nick Hayden blocked the kick, however, and the Hawkeyes were left with nothing to show for the fumble.

First Half Recap: Badgers & Hawkeyes

MADISON, Wisc. -- The scoring came all at once -- minutes before the half wrapped --but the fireworks were enough to satisfy a packed house (82,630) at Camp Randall. Now the red-wearing Badger fans hope their team can re-claim the lead.

Continue reading "First Half Recap: Badgers & Hawkeyes" »

Wow, that was fast

MADISON, Wisc. -- Just after giving back the lead to Wisconsin the Iowa offense stormed back. Quarterback Jake Christensen worked his magic, guiding the Hawkeyes on a five-play, 62-yard drive that lasted just :32. Yeah, that's right, 32 SECONDS. Where was this offense earlier in the half (or the team's first three games, for that matter)? With four ticks left in the half, Christensen hit Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for a strike. Heading into the locker room Iowa has a 10-7 advantage, and the momentum.

Iowa draws first blood, Badgers bounce back

MADISON, Wisc. -- An error on the part of Tyler Donovan helped Iowa earn the game's first points. Looking for Luke Swan, Donovan was intercepted late in the half, giving Iowa excellent field position. From there, the Hawkeyes worked a seven-play, 22-yard drive before settling for a 41-yard Daniel Murray field goal to make the score 3-0.

But with less than two minutes to go in the half, the Badgers mounted their own drive. P.J. Hill had a pretty run to the goal line. Before he reached it, he coughed up the ball. Center Marcus Coleman landed on it for a Badger touchdown with :55 remaining. But instant replay took away the score due to an early whistle. No biggie, Donovan found Travis Beckum two plays later for a touchdown. Score: 7-3 Wisconsin.

The play was the first touchdown Iowa has allowed all season ... a seven-play, 72-yards drive in 1:39.
Amazing --after absolutely no offense, whatsoever, now it's become a scoring spree.

First Qtr Recap: Badgers & Hawkeyes

MADISON, Wisc. -- Here are the numbers for the first quarter: Iowa, 17 plays, 10 yards. Wisconsin 16 plays, 33 yards. Ugh. Here are a few notes from the first quarter ..

Continue reading "First Qtr Recap: Badgers & Hawkeyes" »

Offense, anyone?

MADISON, Wisc. -- So far, the game between the Badgers and Hawkeyes has been a defensive stalemate. Both offenses have had an opportunity to cap a scoring drive, but mental errors and misfires have prevented any scoring thus far. Still, this might be the most exciting 0-0 game in the country.

Hawkeye defense bails out bad start from offense

MADISON, Wisc. -- With the Badgers charging, and in scoring range, the Hawkeye defense swarmed Badger quarterback Tyler Donovan, then Mike Klinkenborg forced a fumble to reverse the momentum the Badgers had built.

To start, the Hawkeye offense was held to a three-and-out on their first series after an incompletion, failed run and a QB sack. The Badger defense came out of the tunnel on fire, and their quick work gave the offense great field position to work with. From there, Badger quarterback completed his first two passes -- one to freshman Kyle Jefferson, the other to Luke Swan. But the Donovan turnover has put the Hawkeyes in position to score the game's first points.

Hawkeyes and Badgers ready for battle

MADISON, Wisc. -- A primetime game -- and pivotal Big Ten matchup at that -- is more than enough to set State Street in Mad-Town on fire. Brats, burgers and plenty of Wisconsin's finest beer are scenting the scene for tonight's Badger-Hawkeye game, the first-ever evening meeting in the history of this series.

This game will be won in the trenches, where the Badgers own arguably the best offensive line in the conference. That unit must contain an Iowa front four that has lived in its opponents' backfield in the first three weeks of the season.

The winner of this one will march on to compete in a Big Ten race that becomes more focused with each passing week.

Continue reading "Hawkeyes and Badgers ready for battle" »

September 09, 2007

It's A Win

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- It must be something to do with being a Big Ten team and having the No. 5 national ranking stuck before your name.

For the second straight week, a Big Ten team struggled with that label, but unlike Michigan last week against Appalachian State, Wisconsin was able to take care of business at UNLV when it counted, pulling out an ugly 20-13 victory.

Continue reading "It's A Win" »

Badgers Survive

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- Credit the Wisconsin defense for coming up with two tremendous sacks on the final drive that set up 4th and 16. Dixon's pass fell incomplete from his own 25, and the Badgers were then able to run out the clock.

The final score from Las Vegas, Wisconsin 20 and UNLV 13. I'll be back with a recap in a bit.

Running For Dear Life

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- Former Wisconsin QB John Stocco couldn't have done what current Wisconsin QB Tyler Donovan did. On a 1st and 15 from the UNLV 29, Donovan rolled out to the left, with everyone to the right, leaving only one man to beat.

Donovan scampered 29 yards to the corner of the endzone where he was pushed out of bounds by Mil'Von James, but Donovan was asble to get the ball over the pylon as he was in midair with 1:53 left in the game to give the Badgers an 18-13 lead, after an official review of the play which confirmed the call on the field.

The Badgers then went for two, with Donovan rolling out to the right this time, finding WR Luke Swan in the endzone for the two-point conversion that gives the Badgers a 20-13 lead. An outstanding, methodical 10 play, 61 yards, 5:40 second drive, when the Badgers needed it the most.

One last drive for the Runnin' Rebels and they start at their own 14 yard line.

Badgers Driving

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- On 4th and 1 from the UNLV 37, P.J. Hill went straight ahead for two yards to keep the drive alive, with four minutes remaining in the game and trailing 13-12. It must be something about Big Ten teams ranked No. 5 in the nation? (Michigan last week)

Just before that, the Badgers had to complete a third down conversion. But Hill is trying to carry this team on his back.

Donovan hands off to Hill has become the recipe for the drive, and a good one at that, as he has gained five yards nearly each carry. With the Badgers at the UNLV 29, they were charged with a delay of game, pushing them back to the 29, with just over 2 minutes left.

In field goal range.

UNLV Right Back

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- Most of the time when you hear,"Right Back" in Las Vegas, it is at the craps table. But tonight, it's with UNLV coming right back with a field goal to match Wisconsin's only minutes before.

Travis Dixon drove the Rebels down the field, and set up a Sergio Aguayo field goal of 35 yards to give the Rebels a 13-12 lead.

It's starting to get serious here in the desert.

Badgers Take The Lead

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- Wisconsin just can't get ANYTHING going on offense here in the second half. The UNLV defense is swarming, giving Donovan no time, and when he does get off a pass, his receiver either drops it or they are hit so hard, the ball pops loose.

But the Wisconsin defense came up with a huge play. DB Shane Carter picked off the Travis Dixon pass and returned it 35 yards to the UNLV 39 yard line with under 13 minutes to play in the game.

On 3rd and four, guess what? ANOTHER dropped pass, it was well short of a first down, but Kyle Jefferson had the ball go off his finger tips as he was hit very, very hard. So was Tyler Donovan.

So then the Badgers lined up for a 51 yard field goal, Taylor Mehlhaff drilled it to give Wisconsin a 12-10 lead with 12:22 to play. His career-long is 52, coming last season against Arkansas in the Capital One Bowl.

Kiss Of Death

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- The UNLV student section just started the "Overrated" chant. So if Wisconsin comes back to win this game, Rebels fans can send their complaints directly to them.

It's always the kiss of death to chant that, especially with 6 minutes left in the third quarter, up only one point. Head-scratching.

The UNLV defense continues to swarm. After a huge fourth down stop on P.J. Hill before the go-ahead field goal, they just stopped the Badgers three-and-out deep in Wisconsin's own territory, with a big sack from LB Beau Bell, who shot around the edge and took down Tyler Donovan.

Quite honestly, the Badgers look completely uninspired, with no one stepping up to make a big play at the moment.

September 08, 2007

Bombs Away

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- UNLV QB Travis Dixon is keeping this thing interesting. He bombed one down the right sideline for 35 yards to WR Casey Flair to the Wisconsin 35. A nice rush by David Peeples set the Rebels up for a 25 yard field goal that gives UNLV a 10-9 lead with 7:16 remaining in the third quarter.

The 38,250 people in attendance are making a lot of noise, with the Rebel fans making a lot of noise, and the Wisconsin side, eerily silent. The attendance is the third largest home crowd in UNLV history, and is the fourth sellout, with all four coming against Wisconsin.

I told you the Badgers travel well. Now they just have to make those fans happy.

Nine Is Deceiving

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- Sometimes a number can be deceiving. Star RB P.J. Hill wears No. 39, and after he carried on the Badgers' first play from scrimmage at their own 10 yard line, a pile formed, and under it was a player with a No. 9 on his jersey down hurt. Somehow, WR Paul Hubbard was down, he's No. 19.

An injury timeout ensued and he limped off with the help of two trainers favoring his right leg. That's certainly not good news for the Badgers' offense. Hubbard, a fifth year senior from Colorado, is one of the offense's big guns.

It was just announced that Hubbard is done for the night with a right knee injury. Tape It Up will keep you posted on his injury throughout the week. It didn't look too good though.

An Ugly Half

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- Luke Swan dropped a bullet pass from Donovan down at the goalline on 1st and 10 from the UNLV 15 with 21 seconds to go in the half. It was AT LEAST the third dropped pass of the half by Badgers' receivers. On 3rd and 5 from the 10, with five seconds left in the half, Donovan overthrew his receiver in the back of the endzone.

It brought up a 27 yard field goal by Taylor Mehlhaff as time expired in the half, which gave Wisconsin the lead 9-7, even though they didn't play like the fifth best team in the nation, and certainly didn't deserve the lead.

The Wisconsin offense did wake up with that last drive, with a 14 play, 81 yard drive to pick up the three points and take a lead into halftime. The Bret Bielema halftime speech will most likely not be aired on Versus, it wouldn't meet FCC regulations.

Continue reading "An Ugly Half" »

Go For Three

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- An interesting couple of possessions by both teams. UNLV RB Robert Paulele 34 yard reception on 3rd down to the 27 yard line.

But a huge play by the Wisconsin defense, on 4th down from the Wisconsin 20 yard line, Wisconsin's Elijah Hodge came up with a big stop, dropping UNLV QB Travis Dixon for a loss of one, and handing the ball back over to the Badgers in their own territory.

Why not go for a field goal?

Sergio Aguayo is a senior kicker for the Rebels and went 3-for-3 last week against Utah State with a long of 48 yards. Very interesting to not kick there, as it would have been about a 37 yarder.

But it worked, as Paul Hubbard dropped a Tyler Donovan pass on 3rd and 4 from the 25 forcing the Badgers to punt. I'd still have taken the points, but I understand the logic when you're going up against the No. 5 team in the country.

UNLV got the ball back, got back into Badgers territory with a couple of nice WR screen passes to Casey Flair, but had to punt. Unfortunately, the UNLV punter, Brian Pacheco couldn't Coffin Corner it, and Luke Swan was able to return it back to about the 45. Wisconsin's Prince Moody committed a special teams cardinal sin, with an obvious block in the back that put the Badgers back to their own 8 yard line.

Another heavy underdog is hanging around, in a big way here with under five minutes to play in the first half, with the Rebels still leading the Badgers, 7-6.

Bielema's Jacket

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- Chants of "Let's Go Rebels" have drowned out the obnoxious amount of Wisconsin fans in attendance. One note, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema must be trying to make weight. HE'S WEARING A WINDBREAKER. EARTH TO COACH BIELEMA, IT'S 100 DEGREES OUT!!!

Word is, some Badgers fans bought UNLV season tickets just to get into this game, after UNLV stopped selling individual tickets. It's a pretty smart idea. Considering the tickets were around 100 or so for the season, and many people in attendance paid 100 bucks per seat.

P. J. Hill took over on Wisconsin's next possession, reeling off some big runs to finish the first quarter with 57 yards on six carries with a long of 20.

Tyler Donovan then completed a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Garrett Graham who made a nice one handed grab on the play-action pass. The ensuing extra point was botched, when holder Ken Debauche mishandled the snap, and when he stood up with the ball, he got hit very, very hard.

With 14:55 remaining in the second quarter, we have a 7-6 ballgame, in favor of UNLV.

The Travis Dixon Show

LAS VEGAS, Nev.-The Rebels certainly run an interesting offense. Nearly every snap, UNLV QB Travis Dixon rolls one way or the other, leaving it easier for him to rush, and he can fire on the run too. I mentioned before that the Badgers may have trouble with him, and on the Rebels second drive, they did.

Dixon on 3rd and 2 at midfield, completed an 18 yard pass down the sideline to Rodelin Anthony who stepped out of bounds, otherwise he was gone down the sideline for six.

Dixon then continued to show why he's a dual threat, rushing for seven yards down to the 23 yard line.

And then he completed a 21 yard pass down to the 6 yard line (after a false start penalty). And then he rushed for two yards, setting up 3rd and goal from the 5. He then threw a gorgeous pass to the corner of the endzone to Casey Flair for the touchdown. His first passing TD of his collegiate career.

The thing is, he is getting hit ferociously every play. How long can he take such a beating in 98 degree heat? We'll see. With 3:13 left in the first quarter, it's 7-0 UNLV after a 14-play, 80-yard drive.

Three And Outs

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- We got off to an interesting start here when the ball fell off the tee twice on the opening kickoff for Badgers kicker Taylor Mehlhaff kicked the ball threw the open endzone for a touchback, with the help of wide receiver Brian McCulliss holding the ball for him.

On the play, UNLV's K.C. Asiodu committed a personal foul to drop the Rebels back to the 10 yard-line. Someone in the pressbox said,"Are they trying to break the record for the number of personal fouls in a season?"

That's not the way to beat the No. 5 team in the country.

on the second play from scrimmage, the Rebels fumbled a handoff but was covered up, and after the first series, the Rebels went three-and-out after gaining two yards.

But the Rebels defense was able to bend, but not break on its first appearance of the night. Wisconsin had to punt on its first drive as well, after picking up a first down and getting into UNLV territory thanks to P.J. Hill picking up 17 yards on the ground, but a holding penalty on tight end Garrett Graham negated a P.J. Hill first down run on 3rd and 4. Punter Ken Debauche then punted into the endzone for a touchback.

Wisconsin QB Tyler Donovan had all the time in the world it seemed to complete a couple of passes, but just missed Graham in the endzone on a post route down the middle of the field. We could definitely see that connection later in the game.

Five minutes gone by in this one, no score.

It's 100 Degrees

LAS VEGAS, Nev.- For one weekend every few years, Las Vegas becomes Madison, Wisc. of the west. And this weekend, that is certainly the case.

Stroll along the famous Las Vegas strip, and all you see is red. Red hats, red t-shirts, red beads, red facepaint. Ever since arriving on Thursday night, it's the only thing there is, in every hotel, every casino, every pool. Wisconsin fans have invaded Las Vegas.

They like to pride themselves in being one of the best traveling parties in the nation, and by my account, they have to be right up there in that category.

Tonight, No. 5 Wisconsin (1-0) takes on UNLV (1-0) at Sam Boyd Stadium in beautiful Las Vegas.

Continue reading "It's 100 Degrees" »

September 01, 2007

After slow start, Badgers finish strong against WSU

MADISON, Wis. -- Entering this season, some were concerned about Wisconsin's ability to pass the football. Not anymore.

Continue reading "After slow start, Badgers finish strong against WSU" »

Third Qtr: Cougars climbing back

A poor punt from Badger Ken DeBauche proved costly as Washington State got the ball at the Wisconsin 42-yard line and used a nine-play drive to get back to within seven points. Running back Dwight Tardy had a nice run through the gut on a third-and-eight, and quarterback Alex Brink later converted a QB sneak on third and inches. Brink hit Brandon Gibson on a seven-yard strike to make it 28-21.

Cougars back in it

MADISON, Wis. -- A poor punt from Badger Ken DeBauche proved costly as Washington State got the ball at the Wisconsin 42-yard line and used a nine-play drive to get back to within seven points. Running back Dwight Tardy had a nice run through the gut on a third-and-eight, and quarterback Alex Brink later converted a QB sneak on third and inches. Brink hit Brandon Gibson on a seven-yard strike to make it 28-21.

No better student-fan attraction

MADISON, Wis. -- When the third quarter came to a close the Badgers were nipping at the goal line again, trying to slam the door on a Washington State team that seemed more prepared than most every college football expert had given them credit for. Then the Wisconsin students had their party -- an end zone rendition of 'Jump Around' that was so powerful it shook the press box located several levels above. The regular home game event is always a spark to the offense and, sure enough, soon after followed a touchdown that gave the Badgers a commanding 35-21 lead.

Swan a one-man attack for Badgers

MADISON, Wis. -- With two catches, one a fade for 43 yards, the other a 30-yard catch amidst three defensive backs -- Badger receiver Luke Swan served as the catalyst on a seven-play, 82-yard second quarter touchdown drive that gave Wisconsin its first lead of the game over underdog Washington State. The senior receiver now has four catches for 92 yards with 36 minutes of football remaining on the clock. Reserve tight end Garrett Graham scored on a short pass to cap the drive.

1st quarter update: No room to run for Badgers

MADISON, Wis. -- The end of the first quarter saw a 14-14 tie, but the most noticeable stat in the Badgers game against Washington State was P.J. Hill's average per carry -- a measly 3.1. Hill was expected to dominate on this day but so far all the sophomore has been able to do was walk through a sizeable hole for a one-yard score. With seven carries, Hill's longest run so far has been six yards.

The star so far: Washington State quarterback Alex Brink, who completed seven-of-10 passes for 94 yards and picked up a key 18-yard run.

Cougars get quick start

MADISON, Wis. -- Some poor pass coverage by Wisconsin All-American candidate Jack Ikegwuonu and a fortuitous bounce have helped Washington State get out to a quick 7-0 lead on the Badgers.

Continue reading "Cougars get quick start" »

Badgers begin Big Ten title chase

MADISON, Wis. -- State Street is buzzing with red-wearing Badger backers, all with the same thought on their minds: can today be the first step in a 2007 BCS march? Of course, Washington State stands in the way, and Wisconsin has not faced many quality non-conference opponents in recent years.

Continue reading "Badgers begin Big Ten title chase" »

 

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