Around the Big Ten, Week 3 Wrap Up.

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Illinois (2-1)

 

Illinois 28Â N. Illinois 22

The Illini were able to hold on in a close one this weekend in Champaign, and improve to 2-1 on the year. Despite the Illini going for 319 rushing yards, the Huskies held in there until the end thanks to 85 yards in Illini penalties and a rather poor Illinois passing attack. Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure had another big day however, picking up 180yds on the ground on his way to his fourth straight over 100yd rushing game. Freshmen QB Nathan Scheelhaase, followed with 115yds rushing. Scheelhaase whose performance has been decent thus far this season provided a very unbalanced attack for the Illini whose passing total was a scant 70 yards on Scheelhaase’s 8 for 16 passing. The Huskies by contrast had 227 yards through the air and 163 yards on the ground. Illinois OL Hugh Thornton had to be taken off the field in the third quarter after suffering what appeared to be a serious injury which included a several minute span of motionlessness. He was later diagnosed with only a strained muscle in his neck and released from the hospital. The N. Illinois Huskies fell to 1-2 on the year. The scoring summary for the game went as follows: 

1ST Quarter,

ILL     TD      11:11  Nathan Scheelhaase 9 Yd Run (Derek Dimke PAT)         NIU0       ILL7

NIU    TD      07:03  Chad Spann 1 Yd Run (Two-Point Conversion Failed)        NIU6  ILL7

NIU    TD      03:55  Chandler Harnish 37 Yd Run (Pat Failed)    NIU12ILL7

2nd QUARTER        Â

ILL     FG      14:25  Derek Dimke 25 Yd  NIU12ILL10

ILL     TD      01:58  Jason Ford 8 Yd Run (Nathan Scheelhaase Run For Two-Point Conversion)    NIU12ILL18

4th QUARTER                     Â

ILL     FG      07:07  Derek Dimke 32 Yd  NIU12ILL21

NIU    TD      06:00  Landon Cox 19 Yd Pass From Jasmin Hopkins  (Michael Cklamovski Kick)   NIU19ILL21

ILL     TD      01:43  Mikel Leshoure 29 Yd Run (Derek Dimke Kick)     NIU19ILL28

NIU    FG      00:19  Michael Cklamovski 48 Yd   FINAL: NIU22 ILL28

 

The potential chink in the Illini armor for this week appears by way of its unbalanced offensive output. Though they picked up a rather remarkable 319yds on the ground against a weaker opponent this game, they will certainly need more than 70yds of production through the air against stiffer, Big Ten competition who have the horses to stack the box all game and stop the run.

 

Next Foe: Bye week.

 

 

 

Indiana (2-0)

 

Indiana 38Â W Kentucky 21

The Hoosiers returned to action following a 16 day lay-off with a decisive win in Bowling Green against W. Kentucky and in-so-doing handed the Hiltoppers their 23rd consecutive loss. Ouch. Hoosier QB Ben Chappell gave a career passing performance with 366yds through the air on 32 of 42 passing. Hoosier WR Tandon Doss gave the Hilltopper faithful a taste of what was to come when he took the opening kickoff 87 yards. The very next play however, the ball was turned over on a Darius Willis fumble. W. Kentucky then marched it down field and scored the first touchdown of the game after a 91yard 10 play drive. The Hilltoppers ended the first quarter up 7-0. The second and third quarter belonged entirely to the visiting Hoosiers however, and by its end, it was a 31-7 game that’d gotten out of Hilltopper reach, for good. W. Kentucky mustered only 288 yards of total offense in the contest, while Indiana went for 466 yards, including converting 10 of 12 third downs. The Hoosiers only punted once this entire game. Indiana WR Damarlo Belcher lead all receivers with 135 yards on 10 receptions. The scoring summary for the game looked like this:

           1st QUARTER                     Â

           WKU  TD      09:27  Bobby Rainey 11 Yd Run (Casey Tinius Kick) IND 0 WKU 7

       2nd QUARTER            Â

           IND  TD        13:46  Damarlo Belcher 11 Yd Pass From Ben Chappell (Mitch Ewald Kick)       IND  7 WKU7

           IND  FG        05:48  Mitch Ewald 28 Yd   IND 10           WKU 7

           IND  TD        00:15  Tandon Doss 3 Yd Pass From Ben Chappell (Mitch Ewald Kick)   IND 17       WKU 7

       3rd QUARTER            Â

           IND  TD        09:51  Ben Chappell 1 Yd Run (Mitch Ewald Kick)           IND 24   WKU 7

           IND TD         00:18  Ted Bolser 11 Yd Pass From Ben Chappell (Mitch Ewald Kick)     IND 31  WKU 7

       4th QUARTER Â

           WKU  TD      13:00  Bobby Rainey 11 Yd Run (Casey Tinius Kick)        IND 31           WKU 14

           IND  TD        07:58  Nick Turner 24 Yd Run (Mitch Ewald Kick)            IND 38           WKU 14

           WKU  TD      05:24  Marcus Vasquez 31 Yd Pass From Kawaun Jakes (Casey Tinius        Kick)     FINAL IND38 WKU21

 

 

The potential chink in the Hoosier armor comes by way of their relative inexperience three weeks into the season. After their long bye (16 days in total) they squared off against an opponent who has lost 23 straight times. While most Big Ten teams have been tried to some extent by now, and therefore afforded the opportunity to tighten up the loose screws in their sets, the Hoosiers are largely untested. That puts them at a disadvantage in my book, and Michigan looms in the not too distant future.

 

Next Foe: Home against Akron. Sat, Sept 25 7:00PM ET BTN

 

 

 

Iowa (2-1)

 

(24)Arizona 34Â (9)Iowa 27

On what promised to be a marquee early season non-conference battle, the Hawkeyes took to the Arizona desert in what ultimately ended up being a late night football horror for their squad. With night time temperature in the mid 80’s the hostile crowd roared as the Wildcats jumped on the Hawkeyes early. After less than five minutes of play the Wildcats had jumped out to a 14-0 lead. That lead only grew to a 27-7 margin by the half. The Hawkeye’s…just didn’t look like the Kirk Ferentz coached Hawkeyes. Iowa allowed their opponent to score 30 (or more) points on them for the first time in 33 games (since Purdue accomplished the feat back in 2007). One early Arizona TD came from Trevin Wade’s 85 yard interception return. Another, and adding significantly to Ferentz’s already growing headache, was a second quarter Wildcat 100yd kickoff return by Travis Cobb, following the Hawkeyes first score of the game. After the half the Hawkeyes seemed to stabilize a bit and the offense gained some momentum. At 8:12 in the fourth quarter the game was tied at 27-27. Former Spartan QB Nick Foles however, caught William Wright on a 4yd pass again take the lead. From there the Wildcat defense simply dominated the Hawkeyes in eye popping fashion, gaining sack after sack (three straight on final drive) and sealing the Hawkeye’s arid fate. Nick Foles gave a stout and gutsy 28 of 39 passing performance for 303 yards and one interception. Stanzi went 18 of 33 for 278 and one interception. Iowa’s rushing game was shut down all night gaining just 29 total rushing yards by game’s end. Hawkeye Johnson-Koulianos led the Hawkeye receivers with 114yards on seven receptions. Marvin McNutt followed with 66yards on 3 receptions. The game scoring summary went as follows:

1st QUARTER         Â

           ARIZ TD       12:45  David Douglas 5 Yd Pass From Nick Foles (Alex Zendejas Kick)             IOWA 0         ARIZ 7

           ARIZ TD       10:10  Trevin Wade 85 Yd Interception Return (Alex Zendejas Kick)                  IOWA 0         ARIZ 14

2ND QUARTER      Â

          IOWA TD      14:50  Jewel Hampton 4 Yd Pass From Ricky Stanzi (Trent Mossbrucker Kick)  IOWA 7           ARIZ 14

           ARIZ TD       14:36  Travis Cobb 100 Yd Kickoff Return (Alex Zendejas Kick)                      IOWA 7         ARIZ 21

           ARIZ FG       05:42  Alex Zendejas 22 Yd IOWA 7         ARIZ 24

           ARIZ FG       00:16  Alex Zendejas 47 Yd IOWA 7         ARIZ 27

3RD QUARTER      Â

           IOWA TD      07:15  Derrell Johnson-Koulianos 37 Yd Pass From Ricky Stanzi (Trent Mossbrucker Kick) IOWA 14       ARIZ 27

4TH QUARTER       Â

           IOWA TD      08:59  Marvin McNutt 18 Yd Pass From Ricky Stanzi (Trent Mossbrucker Kick)      IOWA 21       ARIZ 27

           IOWA TD      08:12  Broderick Binns 20 Yd Interception Return (Pat Blocked)                                 IOWA 27       ARIZ 27

           ARIZ TD       03:57  William Wright 4 Yd Pass From Nick Foles (Alex Zendejas Kick)                          IOWA 27 ARIZ 34

 

Several chinks in the Hawkeye armor were exposed in this match up. The Hawkeyes for whatever reason have not played well against westerly teams in recent years. The temperature, time difference, late night game, hostile crowd, and a very good opponent likely all played a factor in the loss. Ferentz’s Hawkeyes have made it a habit of late to sneak out wins late in the game. The Hawkeye’s simply can’t make so many mistakes and expect to constantly emerge victorious. This is a good team, but they’ve got a lot of work to do yet.

 

Next Foe: Home against Ball State. Sat, Sept 25 Noon BTN.

 

 

 

Michigan (3-0)

 

(20)Michigan 42 UMass 37

This was supposed to be the weekend for some game-time back-up QB development in the Big House when the newly ranked Wolverines, most assumed, would quickly dispatch its lowly FCS opponent and Forcier or Gardner would then get numerous snaps. UMass however had no intention of laying down- and nearly pulled off what would have been another morale shattering stunner in-line with the App State disaster- in Ann Arbor. One bright spot for the Wolverines was that QB Denard Robinson was not so heavily relied upon to carry the offensive output load.  Robinson still gave an impressive showing with 241yards on 10 of 14 passing, but Michigan RB Michael Shaw had a career day with 126 rushing yards and three TD’s. Wolverine WR Darryl Stonum led receivers with 121yds on just three receptions. It was however the Michigan defense that got exposed by its FCS opponent. UMass QB Kyle Havens gave an impressive 22 of 29 passing effort on his way to 222yards total. Additionally the Minutemen added good balance to the mix with 217yards rushing. What it amounted to was 37 points scored against the Wolverines. The high performance Wolverine offense did enough to survive and remain undefeated on the year, but just barely. The long scoring summary appeared like this:

1st QUARTER         Â

           MASS FG      10:00  Caleb Violette 29 Yd MASS 3         MICH 0

           MICH TD      03:35  Michael Shaw 1 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)   MASS 3  MICH 7

2nd QUARTER        Â

           MASS TD      14:25  Jonathan Hernandez 10 Yd Run (Caleb Violette Kick) MASS 10       MICH 7

           MASS TD      01:17  Jonathan Hernandez 9 Yd Run (Caleb Violette Kick)  MASS 17       MICH 7

           MICH TD      01:01  Darryl Stonum 66 Yd Pass From Denard Robinson (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)  MASS 17       MICH 14

           MICH TD      00:16  Darryl Stonum 9 Yd Pass From Denard Robinson (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)    MASS 17       MICH 21

3rd QUARTER        Â

           MICH TD      12:29  Michael Shaw 34 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick)  MASS 17       MICH 28

           MICH TD      06:18  Denard Robinson 8 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick) MASS 17       MICH 35

4th QUARTER         Â

           MASS TD      13:47  Kyle Havens 7 Yd Run (Caleb Violette Kick) MASS 24       MICH 35

           MICH TD      11:57  Michael Shaw 4 Yd Run (Seth Broekhuizen Kick) MASS 24       MICH 42

           MASS TD      05:15  Julian Talley 5 Yd Pass From Kyle Havens (Two-Point Conversion Failed) MASS 30       MICH 42

           MASS TD      2:05    Andrew Krevis 7yd pass from Havens (Violette Kick) MASS 37         MICH 42

 

The myriad of chinks in the Michigan armor appeared in glaring fashion in this matchup, despite Michigan eventually getting the W. While the offense did a good job of showing it may have some other capable weapons (albeit against an FCS opponent), its defense gave up 37 points to what should have been a grossly outmatched football team. In all, this Michigan team has an abundance of problems: defense, special teams and depth are chief among them. One problem this team doesn’t have is its starting QB Denard Robinson. Question is, how far can that take them this season? The road gets far more bumpy, than UMass.

 

 

Next Foe: Home against Bowling Green. Sat, Sept 25 Noon ESPN2                     Â

 

 

 

 

Minnesota (1-2)

 

USC 32  Minnesota 21

One week after a demoralizing home loss in its new TCF Bank stadium to FCS opponent South Dakota, the Gophers were handed another home loss, this time courtesy of the high profile Trojans. The Trojans gave a rather sloppy and uninspired effort but overall the feeling was that Minnesota was fortunate to keep the final margin at only 11points. The Trojans went with a power running formation and essentially ground out the win in the end, amassing 216yards rushing. The Gophers rushing attack meanwhile was held to a rather paltry 83yards. Minnesota QB Adam Weber gave a decent- but not good enough- performance, accounting for 224yards on 15 of 29 passing, two TD’s and two interceptions. Gopher WR MarQueis Gray led all receivers with 98yards on four receptions. The Trojans sluggish start combined with their penchant for penalties for the day, 7 for 71yards in all, kept the Gophers in this game until the fourth quarter when the Trojans then posted a more commanding 32-14 lead. The scoring summary looked like this:

 1st QUARTER                     Â

           MINN TD      07:15  DeLeon Eskridge 1 Yd Run (Eric Ellestad Kick) USC 07

           USC TD         01:47  Marc Tyler 3 Yd Run (Joe Houston Kick)    USC 77

2nd QUARTER                     Â

           USC TD         11:53  Ronald Johnson 53 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley (Two-Point Conversion Failed)USC 13          MINN 7

3rd QUARTER

           MINN TD      05:47  Da'Jon McKnight 31 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Eric Ellestad Kick) USC 13           MINN 14

           USC TD         05:35  Robert Woods 97 Yd Kickoff Return (Two-Point Conversion Failed) USC 19           MINN 14

4th QUARTER          Â

           USC TD         13:39  David Ausberry 21 Yd Pass From Matt Barkley(Joe Houston Kick) USC 26          MINN 14

           USC TD         08:32  Allen Bradford 56 Yd Run (Two-Point Conversion Failed) USC 32          MINN 14

           MINN TD      00:11  MarQueis Gray 22 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Eric Ellestad Kick) USC 32           MINN 21

 

The chink in the Gopher armor at this point –besides obviously having a losing record and being winless at home- is simply confidence. After last weekend’s tough loss to an FCS opponent and then simply being outmatched by the Trojans, it will be a tough coaching job for Tim Brewster to get his Gopher squad back to believing that they can, and should, win football games. Fan morale is low, and Brewster himself is gaining skeptics. If they can regain some confidence, they may be able to salvage this season. That’s a tough pill to swallow this early in the season, but perception in this sport has a way of becoming reality. Brewster needs to give that perception a booster shot… somehow.

 

Next Foe: Home against Northern Illionois. Sat, Sept 25 8:30PM ET BTN

 

 

 

 

Northwestern (3-0)

 

Northwestern 30Â Rice 13

On the back of a 307 yard performance in Houston this weekend, Northwestern QB Dan Persa is quickly establishing himself as a high performance QB in the Big Ten Conference. Persa ended the day completing 24 of 32 passing attempts with no interceptions, and a rushing TD. Overall the Wildcats put up 451yards of offense, 144 of which came on the ground. The Wildcat receiving leader was TE Drake Dunsmore with 6 receptions for 87yards. The Northwestern defense looked decent and included an interception for touchdown by LB Quentin Davie. Rice was held to a lowly 86 rushing yards. Former Michigan Wolverine RB Sam McGuffie was fourth in total rushing yards in the game with a rather subdued 30yards on 6 carries. The Wildcats never trailed in this contest after scoring the first 13 points. The Scoring summary appeared as follows:

1st QUARTER                      Â

           NW FG          11:25  Stefan Demos 42 Yd NW 3 RICE 0

2nd QUARTER                     Â

           NW FG          05:32  Stefan Demos 28 Yd NW 6 RICE 0

           NW TD          03:44  Quentin Davie 11 Yd Interception Return (Stefan Demos Kick)                                                                                                                           NW 13           RICE 0

           RICE FG       00:00  Chris Boswell 31 Yd NW 13           RICE 3

3rd QUARTER                    Â

           NW TD          13:47  Jeremy Ebert 27 Yd Pass From Dan Persa (Stefan Demos Kick)                                                                                                                           NW 20           RICE 3

           RICE FG       09:46  Chris Boswell 24 Yd NW 20           RICE 6

           NW TD          04:07  Dan Persa 18 Yd Run (Stefan Demos Kick) NW 27           RICE 6

4th QUARTER                     Â

           NW FG          07:48  Stefan Demos 21 Yd NW 30           RICE 6

           RICE TD       00:14  Turner Petersen 10 Yd Run (Chris Boswell Kick) NW 30 RICE13

 

 

Few chinks in the Wildcat armor were exposed by Rice in this match up. The Wildcats improved to 3-0 and appear to be on course to being a difficult and pesky opponent for most any team they’ll face this season, but more difficult competition awaits. With stiffer competition will come great exposure of the Wildcat metal.

 

Next Foe: Home against Central Michigan. Sat, Sept 25 Noon.

 

 

Ohio State (3-0)

 

(2)Ohio State 43Â Ohio 7

As Ohio State gave a dominant performance in Columbus on Saturday, Buckeye QB Terrelle Pryor put on an absolute clinic in passing efficiency. In doing so, Pryor set a Buckeye record going a- down-right surgical, 16 for 16 in passing receptions- at one point. Pryor finished the day with 22 of 29 passing and collected 235yards in the process. The only downside to his otherwise remarkable performance was throwing two picks to go along with his two TD’s. But the two Buckeye turnovers paled in comparison to the Bobcats five. The Bobcats were simply and quickly overwhelmed. On the day the Buckeyes tallied 439yards total offense while the Bobcats lethargically posted only 158 yards, their lone score coming late in the fourth quarter. Rushing leader for the Buckeyes was RB Brandon Saine with 48yards. It was DeVier Posey who once again lead receivers with 62yards on his five receptions. Ohio has actually never beaten a ranked opponent.  The scoring summary looked like this:

FIRST QUARTER                           Â

                                                  FG   12:05  Devin Barclay 32 Yd OHIO 0 OSU 3

                                                  TD   05:53  Brandon Saine 9 Yd Pass From Terrelle Pryor (Devin Barclay Kick) OHIO 0   OSU 10

                                                  TD   03:11  Terrelle Pryor 13 Yd Run (Devin Barclay Kick) OHIO 0 OSU 17

SECOND QUARTER            Â

                                                  FG   13:17  Devin Barclay 33 Yd. OHIO 0  OSU 20

                                                  TD   10:25  Jake Stoneburner 5 Yd Pass From Terrelle Pryor (Devin Barclay Kick).OHIO 0  OSU 27

                                                  TD   08:22  Dan Herron 2 Yd Run (Devin Barclay Kick). OHIO 0   OSU 34

THIRD QUARTER                Â

                                                  SF    06:09  Vince Davidson Tackled By Cameron Heyward In End Zone. OHIO 0       OSU 36

                                                  TD   00:41  Dan Herron 1 Yd Run (Devin Barclay Kick). OHIO 0 OSU 43

FOURTH QUARTER             Â

                                                  OHIO TD  06:14  Terrence McCrae 11 Yd Pass From Boo Jackson (Matt Weller Kick). OHIO 7   OSU 43

 

Once again the chink in the Buckeyes armor was revealed with its poor special teams play. The Buckeyes gave up a 99 yard kickoff return but fortunately for them, it was called back by a penalty. Adding to their woes was a blocked punt. This is a recurring problem for Tressel’s Buckeyes this season. It’s starting to look like a glaring weakness. Sooner or later it could catch up to them.

 

Next Foe: Home against Eastern Michigan. Sat, Sept 25 3:30PM ET ABC.

 

 

Penn State (2-1)

 

(22)Penn St 24Â Kent St 0

A week after squaring off with the number one team in the land down in Alabama, Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions got back to its winning ways at home. Behind freshman starting QB Rob Bolden, the young Nittany’s continued to grow by trial and error and invaluable early season game experience. Bolden had a fair, but not altogether brilliant day, going 17 of 27 passing for 217yards. Bolden did give up two picks however, giving some “error” to his contests “trial.” Nittany RB Evan Royster provided another turnover with a fumble, during his 11 carry for 38yd performance. Royster, a senior, who has had over 3,000 yards in his career with the Blue and White, has vastly underachieved this season. For all three games he’s been unable to tally more than 40yards rushing. Despite all the growing pains the Nittanys held the Golden Flashes scoreless, and forced 2 turnovers. Penn State is now 43-1 against teams currently in the MAC, and that’s quite remarkable considering the seemingly ever increasing parity in these games. The scoring summary for the game looked like this:

1st QUARTER                                 Â

                                                  PSU TD      09:06  Robert Bolden 1 Yd Run (Collin Wagner Kick) KENT 0 PSU 7                                         

                                                  PSU TD      04:06  Evan Royster 3 Yd Run (Collin Wagner Kick) KENT 0   PSU 14

3rd QUARTER                       Â

                                                  PSU FG      01:11  Collin Wagner 27 Yd KENT 0 PSU 17

4th QUARTER                        Â

                                                 PSU TD     08:27  Devon Smith 48 Yd Pass From Bolden (Collin Wagner Kick)  KENT 0   PSU 24

 

The chink in the Nittany Lion armor remains and will continue to be, inexperience. This is a young squad with a freshman QB. Luckily for them they have the most seasoned coach in the entire game, in Joe Paterno. They do have the talent to be a solid squad, especially when Bolden gains experience and Royster gets his groove back. Expect them to progress significantly as the season wears on, but as Alabama aptly showed last weekend, that inexperience can be preyed upon by solid teams.

 

Next Foe: Home against Temple. Sat, Sept 25 3:30PM ET BTN.

 

 

 

 

Purdue (2-1)

 

Purdue 24 Ball St 13               Â

Purdue got the home win Saturday, but their former Miami Hurricane starting QB had yet another tough day adjusting to his new Big Ten QB role. Boiler QB Robert Marve had only 111yards on 12 of 20 passing against the Cardinals, including one interception and two TD’s, but injured his knee early and was held out for much of the second half. He started the second half however, only to throw an interception on his first drive, which ultimately led to a Cardinal scoring drive offensively. On the bright side, Marve did manage to develop a go-to receiver as WR Cortez Smith racked up a career high 117yards on five receptions in the first game without former top receiver Keith Smith (out for season/knee). In all the Boilermakers did however give a remarkably balanced attack with 200 yards passing and 203 yards rushing, and essentially split the the time of possession with the Cardinal’s right down the middle. Additionally, freshman back-up QB Rob Henry gave a 89 passing yards and 65 rushing yard performance filling in for the ailing Marve. Henry led all Boiler’s in rushing yards  in scrambling for those 65. Purdue, though never entirely dominant in the contest, never trailed. Here’s the scoring summary:

1st QUARTER                                 Â

                                                  PUR TD      09:53  O.J. Ross 36 Yd Pass From Robert Marve. BALL 0         PUR 7

                                                  PUR TD      01:14  Cortez Smith 9 Yd Pass From Robert Marve. BALL 0         PUR 14

3rd QUARTER                               Â

                                                  BALL TD   12:10  MiQuale Lewis 1 Yd Run (Pat Blocked).BALL 6         PUR 14

4th QUARTER                                   

                                                  PUR TD      12:59  Cortez Smith 76 Yd Pass From Rob Henry.BALL 6         PUR 21

                                                  PUR FG      06:36  Carson Wiggs 23 Yd BALL 6 PUR 24

                                                  BALL TD   04:50  Connor Ryan 10 Yd Pass From Kelly Page. BALL 13       PUR 24

 

The chink in the Boilers armor on display in this game was their somewhat sticky QB situation. Marve himself is still struggling to find his groove amongst his new offensive unit. Behind him at the position is a freshman, with even less experience with this squad. Although he performed decently in his fill-in role, it’s not entirely confidence inspiring when you have so much QB inexperience in your two deep heading into a tough Big Ten regular season. But, Marve finding Cortez Smith as a go-to guy, is a step in the right direction for this offense, surely.

 

Next Foe: Home against Toledo. Sat, Sept 25 Noon BTN.

 

 

 

Wisconsin (3-0)

 

(11)Wisconsin 20Â Arizona St 19

Camp Randall was on upset alert all day on Saturday before finally toughing out the win by the very slimmest of margins. The Badgers have shown quite a few signs of weakness thus far this season, and they did little to instill confidence in the Badger Faithfull’s hope for dominance, for the third straight week. Special team coverage continued to be a thorn in its side in giving up big yardage on returns, 261yards in all on the day. The two longest returns against them were 97 and 95 yards. The Badgers seemed slow and lethargic most of the day, and the Badgers continually saw themselves banged up and nursing injuries throughout the contest. Badger RB John Clay however, posted another 100yard plus rushing day for the ninth straight game, which is the longest such span in FBS currently. Former Michigan QB Steven Threet had a good day with 21 of 33 passing and 211yards. Badger QB Scott Tolzien also had a very decent performance on 19 of 25 passion and 246 yards. Wisconsin TE Lance Hendricks led receivers with 131 yards on his seven grabs. This was a close battle throughout, the difference came late in the fourth quarter when the Badgers blocked the potentially game tying point after attempt. The scoring summary for the game appeared as follows:

1st QUARTER                                 Â

                                                  FG   00:40  Philip Welch 49 Yd. ASU 0WIS 3

                                                  ASU TD      00:28  Omar Bolden 97 Yd Kickoff Return

                                                  (Thomas Weber Kick). ASU7  WIS 3

2nd QUARTER                         

                                                  ASU FG      09:21  Thomas Weber 25 Yd  ASU 10 WIS 3

                                                  FG   06:01  Philip Welch 44 Yd.  ASU 10  WIS 6

                                                  TD   00:10  Lance Kendricks 14 Yd Pass From Scott Tolzien (Philip Welch Kick). ASU 10  WIS 13

3rd QUARTER                         

                                                  ASU FG      11:11  Thomas Weber 36 Yd.ASU 13   WIS 13

                                                  TD   02:48  John Clay 19 Yd Run (Philip Welch Kick). ASU 13  ASU 20

4th Quarter                                ASU TD      04:09  Cameron Marshall 2 Yd Run (Pat Blocked). ASU 19WIS 20

 

The chink in the Badgers armor appeared in form of generic miscues once again. Thus far the Badgers have given a sloppy performance on the field. Special teams return defense has been particularly poor as illustrated above. Giving up a 95 yard return, and a 97 yard return in one game, is not a prescription for success in a long Big Ten season. The Badgers need to get out the screwdriver and tighten things up in a hurry.

 

Next Foe: Home against Austin Peay. Sat, Sept 25 Noon BTN.

 

 

 

Keeping Tabs on Nebraska (3-0)

(6) Nebraska 56Â Washington 21. These Huskers look like the real deal.