Saturday, October 4, 2008

UW-Ohio State thoughts

Well, that was disappointing, wasn't it? Looks like we're quickly fading from Big Ten title contender to afterthought. Motor City Bowl, here we come.

The second half seemed to go by really fast, didn't it? It wasn't as decisive as in the loss at Michigan, but we were clearly outplayed in the second half again. That's three straight weeks, a disturbing trend.

-I liked seeing P.J. and Clay in the backfield at the same time, but can we give up on the pass in the flat to Hill? First Evridge bounces one, then P.J. can't handle a relative gimme.

-My guess is a lot of fans are going to be clamoring for Clay to be the starter after tonight's performance. I'm not ready to, but it's close. P.J. didn't run badly at all tonight, and his touchdown run, where he drove Ross Homan into the end zone, was a man's run. But things seem to pop more when Clay gets the carry. As Mike Patrick pointed out, he hits the hole faster than Hill.

-A key play early in the second half that killed momentum was Isaac Anderson's drop of a perfectly good Evridge pass. Didn't seem like a huge deal, but it cost us the chance to go up two scores and put more pressure on Pryor.

-Shane Carter was very tentative on Wells' big runs. It almost seems like because he got burned taking bad angles so often last season, he's trying to play things more cautiously this year -- and against good backs like Wells, the result is the same.

-That guy at Mickies Dairy Bar was reading the Herald, not the Cardinal -- that doesn't reflect reality, does it? ;)

-It was distressing that Pryor beat us on the final drive with his passing. He looked like he was shot putting the ball back there. Not sure if that's how he normally throws or if it was the hand injury, but it was ugly; got the job done, though. OSU's receivers were wide open, even though we appeared to be dropping six or seven guys into coverage.

-A key field position exchange came late in the third quarter, when Ohio State's A.J. Trapasso outpunted our Brad Nortman by about 20 yards. That negated a nice job our defense had done stopping them deep, and gave the Buckeyes a short field to drive for a field goal.

-Replays showed clearly how disorganized our defense was on Pryor's winning touchdown run. There's that leadership thing again -- get the guys lined up properly, or someone call a timeout and make sure everything is in order. (Burning two timeouts in the first 7:23 of the second half didn't help, either.)

Ohio State may win out and return to the national championship game (and the nation cringes), but there's really nothing special about this team yet. Just like there's nothing special about ours.

In a way, losing last week at Michigan makes this one easier to stomach (finally, a silver lining!). Maybe eased of the burden of great expectations, the Badgers will play loose and go on a run. Or maybe they go into a tailspin and this program is doing some soul searching this offseason. Right now it could go either way.

7 comments:

Scott Tappa said...

Edward posted this on the halftime thoughts, but I'm putting them here, good points.

Edward said...

I hate to be a sore loser... but I watched the Vandy-Auburn game and they reviewed aout 7 plays. In the Badger game, that 2nd "fumble" on the last Ohio State drive looked like an incomplete pass! Which would have made it 3rd and 16 instead of 1st and Ten. NO review! Bielema did not bat an eye!


Also Everidge is the worst Badger starting QB since Samuel. That was an unforgivable play to start a drive! Across the body, on the run, to the center of the field! When you have less poise that a true Freshman (or any of Vanderbilts QBs!) that is a bad sign.

God, I am hoping we don't go into a nose dive

Scott Tappa said...

I was thinking the same thing, but I think Hartline got a foot or two down before losing the ball. Then again, it was almost the exact same thing as the Fresno game. Can't imagine our Big Ten replay officials would have overturned that call.

Evridge played OK overall. That last pass was just an awful decision, throw the ball out of bounds. His confidence seems to come and go. He doesn't ever look to scramble, which is something I thought he did a lot at K-State. If we lose another one or two, I wouldn't be opposed to putting someone else in there, even if they're not as good as Evridge right now, to get a head start on next year.

Mr.Man said...

This is one of those games where you wonder how this season would be different if Evridge had started last season. He just holds onto the ball for so damn long. I know Chryst's patterns take a while to develop sometimes, but still. He needs to make decisions faster.

Right now, it hurts me to say, but he's been a step down from Donovan. At least Donovan was a dynamic runner.

Scott Tappa said...

I was surprised last year when Donovan won the job in fall camp, and assumed it was only because Evridge was hurt. Maybe that was why at the time, but Evridge's confidence does not seem to have returned.

Think Evridge is clearly better than Samuel, but right now is turning in shakiest QB performance since Stocco in '04.

Will said...

Good points guys.

OSU had I believe three fumbles in the second half....they all bounced back into the Buckeyes' hands. Just bad luck there.

That last kick-off return was a disaster. Instead of getting a chance at decent field position, UW was inside the 20 and already at a disadvantage.

Why were the OSU guys so open in the middle of the field on the Buckeyes final touchdown drive?

You have to give Clay more touches. Look for PJ to star at Western Illinois next season. Not trying to be harsh, but he doesn't have Clay's burst. I can deal with a blown assignment on blitz pick-up, if it means the ability to pop 20+ yard runs against top defenses. In fact, if UW loses to Penn State next week, start a younger quarterback as well. Might as well give the younger players a chance to contribute early.

Would love to see the a stats comparison of quarterbacks transfering to other Division I schools to start one season....I'm guessing the numbers aren't great.

We need our coaches to step it up a little.....the two timeouts....potential replay that they didn't catch; another procedure penalty (same one as Michigan), drop passes, those weird clock issues at halftime. Let's go guys.

Mr.Man said...

Yep, the coaches need to do some self-evaluation. I'm pretty sure the wide-open Bucknut receivers on that last drive were due to some poorly aligned guys in the secondary. And I don't think youth is much of an excuse, except for Goins. Every other guy back there has been in the program for at least two full years. What do you say, Coach Crooks and Doeren?

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