I generally refrain from commenting on games I did not witness in person, but the general analysis I am hearing about why Wisconsin lost is driving me bonkers.  The defense was not the unit at fault.  Admittedly they started poorly, but after the first quarter they gave up at total of seven points.  Once again they smoke and mirrored a scheme to hide a pretty miserable secondary.

No, the game was actually lost during the Badgers first possession of the 4th quarter when they ran FIVE straight pass plays – approximately a fifth of all all the pass plays they ran the entire game.  They panicked.  It was late in the game and they were trailing so they went totally against their strength and tried to move the ball quickly when they did not need too.  They were only down one score and had plenty of time – and had in fact been moving the ball well on the ground.  They should have kept pounding it at TCU’s defense (also unless John Clay was more hurt than I realized, he should have seen the ball more).  It worked the next drive, but when they missed the two point conversion it was too late.  I understand the mentality of thinking you need to hurry up if you are behind, but what you do best is run and that’s been working you have to stick with it.  In 2006 title game OSU ran right through Florida to pull within seven in the second quarter, but then abandoned the only thing that had worked for them on offense for the rest of the game.  They may not have one, but if they kept running they might have kept it closer (and given their defense some time to regroup on the sideline).

Also the two point conversion play wasn’t bad.  Spreading the field actually worked against their secondary – Tolzien’s intended target was open – their linebacker just made a great play.  Anything can happen on a single play.

One last aside.  I never blame any football player for going pro early, the game is too violent to come back and just assume you won’t get hurt for a year.  And John Clay probably has enough draft stock to go pro – he’ll be picked high enough to get a nice little check.  But he won’t be much of an NFL back.

Advertisements