The Wisconsin Badgers used a huge first half to defeat West Virginia 34-17,
in front of 76,320 at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers came out with a bang and lit
up the Mountaineers for all of their 34 points, which was fortunate considering they
were roughed up in the second half. The Badgers racked up 447 yards on offense, but
they gave up 399 yards to the Mountaineers. The big lead may have caused the
Badgers to loosen up a little too much in the second half, but the Big Ten season
is right around the corner, and the Badgers better be ready to play 60 minutes.
The Badgers normally rely on the run, but the passing game is what carried them on Saturday. Brooks Bollinger, who was very inconsistent in the first two games, looked like a different quarterback against the Mountaineers. Bollinger had probably his best game as a Badger, going 14-20 for 218 yards, and two scores. It was also his passing that led them to 27 points in the second quarter.
The first score for the Badgers was a 19-yard strike to freshman Jonathan Orr in the corner of the endzone. With All American Lee Evans sidelined, and sophomore Darren Charles nursing a sprained ankle, Orr has stepped up in a big way. Orr went off on the Mountaineers to the tune of 5 catches for 94 yards, and two scores.
The Badgers also got a huge lift from another freshman, receiver Brandon Williams. Williams made several key plays in the first half, and finished the game with 6 catches for 125 yards. Williams and Orr are very young and gifted athletes that made the Badgers look explosive on offense. These kids are only going to get better.
The running game was effective, with sophomore Anthony Davis rushing for 75 yards on 19 carries, and one score. Freshman Dwayne Smith fills fits in well as the back-up tailback, and looks to be a little stronger between the tackles than Davis. Smith finished with 38 yards on 9 carries, and was never taken down by the first tackler.
The young Badger defense is finally starting to jell. The defensive line is relentless, and continues to make plays. Defensive ends Erasmus James and Jake Sprague led the team with 7 and 6 tackles respectively, and Darius Jones played well as a situational pass rusher. Sophomores Anttaj Hawthorne and Jason Jefferson provided good run support, and had some push on passing plays.
The linebacking trio of Kareem Timbers, Jeff Mack, and Alex Lewis missed some tackles and blew some assignments, but they made plays when they needed to. Mack is the leader of this group, and played from sideline to sideline, finishing with 4 tackles.
The Badgers defensive backs played through their mistakes to have a pretty good game. Sophomore corner Scott Starks gave up completions of 28 and 36 yards, but he also knocked down a third down pass with very tight coverage. Senior B.J. Tucker was burned for a 36-yard completion, but was in great position when the Mountaineers tried to go deep on him again.
Freshman safety Jim Leonhard has continued to be the spark for the Badgers defense. Leonhard is always around the ball, and just missed making his fourth interception of the year. Though Leonhard is only 5' 8" and 174 pounds, he makes up for those limitations by playing smart football. Leonhard has excelled in coverage, but he has also been able to come up and stop the run.
The Badgers came out on fire, but failed to keep the pressure on for 60 minutes. This team is starting to come together, but the competition will get stronger. Next up is Northern Illinois, which should be another tune-up. After that the Badgers will face a strong Pac-Ten team in Arizona, and that will be a true barometer for how they will fare in the Big Ten.
This merchandising site sponsored by
Interactive Data. All
orders will be provided with a money back guarantee. If you
are not completely satisfied, return your purchase within 30 days
of purchase for a full refund (Shipping Excluded). If you have any questions
or comments, regarding this www site, please send them to