Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wisconsin-Northern Illinois halftime thoughts

By my reckoning, the Badgers should be up 21-3 right now, not 14-6. As much as I've been pleased with the play in general, the same sloppiness that killed us last year crept into our first half play.

-Jae McFadden's stupid, stupid facemask gives Northern three points.

-Travis Frederick's hold on a nice Zach Brown run kills a drive that seemed headed for the end zone.

Mistakes happen, but we don't have the overwhelming talent or veteran savvy that allows us to shrug it off easily.

Other thoughts:

-Rascal Flatts for the Big Ten Network's theme song? Check the demographics, BTN, not a good call.

-No windbreaker for Bielema? Did he ditch thtat last year?

-Needless to say, nice way for Scott Tolzien to begin his first game as a starter. It helped that Isaac Anderson was so wide open Allan Evridge could have hit him. Tolzien has played pretty well so far. Anderson and Garrett Graham getting so open helps.

-On Anderson's reverse touchdown, Gabe Carimi got out on the perimeter and created enough interference to let Ike find the end zone. Shades of Joe Thomas.

-Like the depth on Philip Welch's kickoffs thus far, reaching the end zone consistently.

-On defense, J.J. Watt and O'Brien Schofield are playing very well. Watt is Matt Shaughnessy's height, but with more bulk and seemingly more quickness. He's behind the line of scrimmage a lot. Schofield, too, and he's lining up without a hand on the ground. Also seen him dropping back into coverage on what appear to be zone blitzes.

-Seems like we're blitzing a lot, which I like. Our defense is probably going to give up some big plays this year -- why not blitz and try to increase the odds of us turning big plays? Blake Sorensen has made more plays in the first half than he has in his career thus far, it seems he may have found a role as a blitzer.

-Mike Taylor is living up to the hype earlier. Tackle for loss, and the strip/fumble recovery was beautiful. As the announcers pointed out, it came after he made a sound tackle. Hope the injury he suffered isn't serious.

-Couple rough patches for Aaron Henry. He really blew a tackle on Northern's one big play of the half, and his interference penalty was blatant. Hope it doesn't mess with him mentally.

-Always love to see the new kids out there. Chris Borland has been in a lot, as have Antonio fenelus and Anthony Mains.

-See that block Nick Toon threw on that Northern defender? He blew him up! Love it when our receivers contribute as blockers.

We should be in fine shape here, but we also should have stepped on their throats by now.

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