Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wisconsin-Fresno State box score

Sifting through the box score from the Fresno game, some random thoughts:

-Lost the time of possession battle again, by a lot -- seven minutes. In the fourth quarter, Fresno had the ball for more than 13 minutes! Of course, Clay's long touchdown run and our last drive before Fresno's tying field goal made for two short possessions. Next week I'd like to see us really pound the rock and put together some long, sustained drives against Wofford.

-Fresno converted 11-of-18 third down tries. Unlike last week, though, we seemed to get better later in this game. There were a couple times when, at least judging by the yellow line on the TV broadcast, it appeared Fresno got very favorable spots.

-I did notice this as it happened, but did you see Erik Smith carried the ball once for a loss of four yards? If I recall the announcers attributed the run to John Clay. Wonder what prompted Smith's insertion in that situation, rather than sticking to the Clay-Zach Brown tandem.

-Didn't talk about it yesterday, but how big was Isaac Anderson's long catch at the end of the first half that set up Philip Welch's long field goal? That was a really nice play, and a gutsy call by Paul Chryst -- the kind Badger fans would probably like to see more of at the end of halves.

-Also meant to make note of the really nice catch Mickey Turner made early in the second half. It was a low throw, he seemed to use his fingertips.

-Chris Borland is just so athletic, isn't he? It ended up being a nothing play, but on the last kickoff of regulation, he jumped up and nabbed the kickoff over his head. Didn't look like a typical linebacker's hands. Sure, he should have let David Gilreath catch the ball, or should have lateraled it to him, but it showed the explosiveness and skill the true freshman brings to the table. He also made a great play to down a punt at the 1-yard-line.

-O'Brien Schofield had four tackles for loss and led the team with 11 tackles. How often do you see a defensive end lead a team in tackles? Like I said yesterday, love what he's done thus far.

-Jae McFadden just continues to rack up tackles, 10 yesterday, including a sack.

-Niles Brinkley, nice to see you again! With the emergence of Devin Smith and Antonio Fenelus, Brinkley seemed to get lost in the cornerback shuffle, and while his play was certainly not flawless, his pick was really important for momentum. Fenelus had a pick, too, but the corners' play overall was not strong. They did, however, show much improvement in the second half.

-Hypothetical question: Would Shane Carter or Aubrey Pleasant have made a significant difference in the pass defense against Fresno? Sounds like there's no way they're coming back, too bad.

-Wofford got killed by South Florida in its opener, although it sounds like the game was closer than the 33-point margin. Wofford ran the ball 50 times, threw it 11. Fared much better against Charleston Southern. Should be interesting to see how we cope with the option.