Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wisconsin-Minnesota thoughts

I'm getting too old for this!

Today's game should not have been close. We absolutely dominated the second half, ran the ball with authority, Tolzien settled down. And yet ...

Couldn't close the deal until the absolute end. Brown's fumble ... what can you say? The back-to-back 40-yard pass plays that allowed Minnesota to get close. Letting the Gophers convert fourth-and-16.

But we beat Minnesota. Again. Got to see our kids parade the Axe around their shiny, tiny new stadium. We're 5-0. Can't complain too much.

-I just loved the way we blocked for John Clay and the way he ran. It appeared that we wouldn't be able to do to much up the gut, with their enormous defensive tackles, but the off tackle runs were so effective. Especially around the left, have to credit Gabe Carimi. It will be interesting to see how the staff arranges the depth chart heading into next week. It's hard to see how they can keep Brown at #1, but if they're dead set on keeping Clay at #2 for whatever pscyhological reasons are at play, who are they going to start? Montee Ball? Stay tuned. Just happy Clay is looking like the back we envisioned.

-Tolzien was shaky at times, which is understandable given it was his first road start. Early on it seemed like he was fixating on his first option and not moving further into his progressions, which led to the first pick. But he played much better in the second half. His two passes to Lance Kendricks were very nice, particularly the second one that he dropped over Kendricks' shoulder. He fell back on Garrett Graham a bunch, smart move. Loved Paul Chryst's naked bootleg call that led to our last touchdown, and how Tolzien covered up with two arms at the end.

-Minnesota should have run the ball more, they were reasonably effective when they committed to it. When they fell back on the pass, our rush was effective in rushing Weber. O'Brien Schofield and Louis Nzegwu each had two sacks, and were relentless in their rushes. Chris Borland just continues to make plays, he was embarrassing Minnesota's right tackle. And let's not forget the excellent play Patrick Butrym made to intercept Weber's tipped pass. Minnesota was up three and driving for another score at that point, and we dominated play thereafter.

-All kidding aside, TCF Bank Stadium is nice. They need to come up with a better way of getting people in, we had a ridiculous wait and missed the first five minutes of the game. There are no cash registers at the concession stands. And they appear to treat Micron PC Bowl appearances just as importantly as national championships. But all in all it's a nice place, definitely a huge upgrade from the Metrodome.

I'll have more thoughts later, but back to the celebration.


Edward said...

I do think Tolzien was better than you thought, but it was much closer than it should have been. Clay falling forward for 5 yards after contact was great!

Having Ball Puncher go fail in college (and eventually in the cfl) without touching the axe is great though!

Wow, was I the only one who thought they out-thought themselves by passing on 3rd and 1 3 times in the first half?

Great win though, win at OSU and we can dream very big!!!

Will said...

Very impressed with Nzegwu today. Thought he gave a great effort, even on downfield plays.

Happy we are these underrated UW teams vs. the ones who are pre-season ranked in the top 20. The Badgers aren't perfect, but they are plucky - that's for sure.