This week, we’ve got our friend and the guy in charge of Bucky’s Fifth Quarter, Adam Hoge, joining us for a little give and take. This is his third visit to tBBC , and it worked well for Buckeye hoops, but not so much for pigskin… Be sure to check out our side of the conversation at B5Q!
1. Russell Wilson has had an obvious impact on the field for the Badgers this season. Has he also had a significant impact to this team off the field? What was the fan reaction to his arrival on the team?
It’s truly remarkable how seamless the transition was for Russell Wilson. He had been in Madison for less than two months when he took the field in the opener against UNLV and he had the entire offense mastered. But what’s even more impressive is that his teammates voted him a captain in such a short time. Wilson is a great football player and is very smart, but his leadership skills are off the charts. You saw that come to life last weekend when he led the Badgers back in the fourth quarter at Michigan State.
As for the fan reaction, it was nuts, has been nuts and will continue to be nuts. The term floating around Madison is “Russell Mania” and that sums it all up. The recruitment of Wilson was the story of the summer in Wisconsin and it was probably the second-biggest college football story of the offseason behind the Ohio State drama.
2. Has the addition of Wilson substantially changed the “Power Run” offensive style Wisconsin has preferred since….well, the beginning of time? How would you describe the offensive attack now? Read More
There ain’t no thunderstorm bright enough, ain’t no rain storm long enough, ain’t no computer smart enough –to keep me from helping you weaklings! Week 1 is in the books, and though I finished sub .500 in the first week of our picks, I am spry and ready to prove that Week two is my week!
Okay, so finishing 4-5 wasn’t so bad in our first round of games. Considering TCU was a lock ( son of a). Notre Dame never loses in week one right?? (Fight this Irish) I thought Ducks fly together? I guess not when you spread em’ out in Dallas.
Breakdown of Week 1:
So just how ugly was it in the very first analysis for our panel? If your name starts with an E and ends with @tBBC then you’re smilin’ this week. If you’re the dope that writes this article, then you are just happy you tied the computer! Apparently anyone named Joe is a week 1 WEAKLING. Here is a look at this week’s results.
Experts (David Fox/Yahoo!): 7-2
Joe D: 4-5
Joe L 3-6
Props going to David Fox, for boldly picking Baylor over the favored Horned Frogs. He said it in the interview, this defense has a lot of work to do. Fox’s only lost came from Notre Dame and Oregon.
Eric went toe-for-toe, but chose TCU instead of Baylor. Let’s just say he has been wishing bad things upon the Bears all week. Don’t worry Eric, the whole panel was. The Bulls and Bears swept the panel in week 1. Eric says this is a true sign from the football gods that TCU belongs in the Big East.
And well, with the Irish, we are used to this by now aren’t we?
The panel got back on track with sweep wins by selecting Oklahoma over Tulsa and Mizzou over Miami (OH).
Week Two Analysis:
Speaking of those Wacos, this week’s guest writer Lisa Horne of Fox Sports.com and I discuss Big Ten and SEC expansion and the Big 12′s role in it to open things up. Lisa then helps us break down Michigan/ND (EWW), Arizona State/Missouri, Auburn/Mississippi State and Wisconsin/Oregon State with us. A very solid interview with Lisa, as she brings us her great football knowledge. And yes, she chose Michigan, but what else was she supposed to do? Take Notre Dame?
Now it’s time to get to the Games!
Ohio State traveled to the hostile confines of Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Badgers. Unfortunately, the Special Teams demons came back to haunt the Bucks as they fell to Wisconsin 31-18. Pryor had an off day, hitting only 14/27 for 156 yards and an interception.
The game started out in poor fashion. On the opening kickoff David Gilreath took the kickoff return for a touchdown. The score put the Badgers up 7 a mere 12 seconds into the game and set the tone for the game to come.
On the ensuing Buckeye drive, the woes seemed to continue. The second play from scrimmage saw Pryor pitch an option to Dan Herron which bounced off his hands and went out of bound 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The next play was an errant pass from Pryor that was almost intercepted. Thankfully the defender fell out of bounds, but the play forced the Buckeyes to punt. The Badgers were firmly in the driver’s seat with the ball in great field position.
With their first offensive possession, the Badgers came out doing what they do best – running the football. Two straight runs to Clay gave them a first down and moved into Buckeye territory. With the Buckeyes struggling to stop the power running game, the Badgers simply kept plowing away until Clay finally broke a 12 yard run for a touchdown.
The Buckeyes began to find some room to move the football, particularly on Quarterback runs. Pryor gained first down yardage on a pair of long 3rd down runs. One was a great scramble for the first after none of the receivers broke open. Unfortunately, the drive stalled on a pass to Jake Stoneburner that was ruled an incompletion on replay. The Buckeyes were again forced to punt, but things were no-where near desperate yet.
With a 14 point lead, the Badgers were entirely comfortable keeping the ball on the ground. The strategy continued to work as the Buckeyes were entirely unable to stop the running attack. The drive consumed the remainder of the quarter and ended in an early second quarter touchdown. Absolutely nothing the Buckeyes were doing defensively was having any success on the Badger’s gameplan.
The Buckeye offense finally got themselves going. Pryor rescued the drive on several occasions with great running, but as the Buckeyes closed on the endzone, they were carried on the legs of Dan Herron down to the 3 yard line. The Badgers clamped down on the Buckeyes close in to the endzone and prevented 3 straight runs to force the Buckeyes to kick a field goal. However, simply getting points was a win for the Bucks this early and gave the Defense something to work for.
The Defense finally managed to get some momentum in the game. On a second down near midfield, Andrew Sweat picked off a Tolzien pass over the middle and gave the Buckeyes good field position for the ensuing drive, especially after a late hit out of bounds on the play. The Buckeye offense, however, was completely impotent and gained almost no yardage on a 3 and out drive. The field goal was missed, and all of the momentum gained by the Buckeyes evaporated in 4 quick plays.
The stats were not pretty at the half. Wisconsin had 197 yards to the Buckeyes 94. Pryor had a 4/11 completion percentage for 25 yards compared to Tolzien’s 7/9 for 59 yards. Clay was having the biggest day of anyone, hitting 13 carries for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Buckeyes best, Dan Herron, only had 5 carries for 38 yards – though the 7.6 average is better than Clay’s 6.8.
Admittedly, Wisconsin had a fantastic gameplan going into this game. No-one the Buckeyes had faced all season had challenged the defensive line with a power running game. Also, no-one had yet forced the Buckeyes to try to run the football. By taking away the Buckeye passing game and focusing on running the football up the gut Wisconsin found all sorts of success.
Ohio State came out of the gate in the second half with the ball, and began to move the football again. A great play from Pryor (and a great block from Brewster) to hit Sanzenbacher over the middle saved the drive early. Tressel followed that up with a steady dose of Dan Herron up the gut, which found surprisingly large holes up the middle – again due to great blocking from Brewster. The end of the drive was the best to that point in the game, as a Dan Herron “Boomcat” formation (Buckeye Wildcat) resulted in a massive stiffarm to get Herron into the endzone for six.
The Buckeyes finally got a stop on 3rd and short on the Badgers next possession. With the Linebackers staying to help against the run, the Wisconsin offense found it difficult to punch the ball up the middle – even with running back John Clay in the backfield. The Wisconsin punt left the Buckeyes on their own 6 yardline deperately needing points as the 3rd quarter was wearing away.
The OSU offense began moving the ball with authority. Despite a holding call on a great first down run, the Buckeyes managed to quickly move the ball into Wisconsin territory. The drive showed great balance in the run and pass which seemed to have the Badgers completely confused.
Boom Herron had a fantastic game in this one. Despite some early struggles – especially from the offensive line – Herron finally found some holes opened up by the line. He quickly turned into a guaranteed 3 yards every time he had the ball. The Bucks kept giving the ball back to him and soon had Herron into the endzone for a touchdown.
Impressively, Tressel went for the 2 point conversion. Pryor converted it with a rollout to the right and toss back to the left to Reid Fragel.
The Badgers weren’t going to go away easily. They quickly set up a drive and picked apart the Buckeye defense to get down into the redzone. As earlier in the game, the Buckeye defense was completely impotent in stopping the Wisconsin attack. The Badgers wasted absolutely no time in putting another touchdown on the board to put the score back up to 10 with only 7 minutes left in the game.
The Buckeyes got the ball back but were entirely unable to make anything happen with the ball, going three and out quickly. All three plays were passes that should have been catchable but were either slightly over or under thrown, or simply were not hauled in. Even more questionably, Tressel chose to punt the ball away despite his defense’s complete and utter inability to stop anything today.
The Badgers didn’t play into the Buckeye’s hands. They quickly threw the ball for a huge gain over the middle and followed it up with a healthy dose of running plays up the middle. The drive ended in a field goal that gave Wisconsin the first 30 point game against a Buckeye team since the 2008 USC game.
The Buckeyes had nothing left in the tank. Pryor tried hard to bring the Buckeyes back, but down 13 it was simply too much for him to make things happen.
Dan Herron just missed having a 100 yard day with 20 carries for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Pryor had one of his worst passing days of the season with 14/27 for 156 yards.
Tolzien did everything he had to in order to beat the Buckeyes. He hit 13/16 for 152 yards and threw a pick – though it didn’t cost his team much. John Clay was the first runningback since 2008 to have a 100 yard game against the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes next face Purdue at home in a rematch of last year’s loss. That game will air at Noon.
In his first four seasons as head coach at Wisconsin, Bret Bielema has amassed an impressive array of accomplishments. Below are just a few, taken from Bielema’s profile on the UW athletics site:
–A top-15 winning percentage over his first four years
–Victories in 17 of his first 18 games
–Victories in his first 16 home games
–A 12-1 record and a bowl win in his first season
–21 wins in his first two seasons
Most of these statistics come from the first half of Bielema’s time in the head coaching position for the Badgers, and some think that Bielema’s early success was largely just a result of riding Barry Alvarez’s coattails upon taking over the program. However, after a down year in 2008, relatively speaking, the Badgers came back strong in 2009 to post a 10-3 record and another bowl victory, giving credence to the perspective that Bielema deserves some of the credit for Wisconsin’s success in 2006 and 2007.
I think their offense starts with the toughness that their quarterback shows. Their quarterback stands in there and holds that ball until the last second when the receiver is ready to break and runs when he has to run, kind of plays a little bit in the shadow of their rush game, which their rush game is — it deserves all the kudos that it gets, but their quarterback just kind of whatever the team needs him to do, he does, and he’s a veteran. He’s got a veteran offensive line who are very, very physical. Their tight end position is always one of the deepest and best utilized tight end corps in the Big Ten.
Well, they were going to be ready if we were 15th. I mean, I don’t know that that will change their readiness. What’s most critical is our readiness and our preparation and then how we handle the adversity and how we handle the situation there. There will be times when you can’t hear. There will be times when you’re not in the same comfort zone as you are back in your own meeting rooms at halftime or whatever, but I’m not sure that anything in terms of the rankings are going to change. I mean, Wisconsin is going to be ready, so I don’t know that that will change it.
Hard. Hard and long.