Fruehauf Going Off- Badgers

Story by Steve Fruehauf, Copy Editor

Well, at least it was a game. After a sore start to the season, I’m assuming most weren’t expecting much out of Wisconsin come their Saturday bout against ranked Nebraska. Regardless, they put up a somewhat valiant fight, losing a close 30-27 game.

Joel Stave got the start for the Badgers once again, keeping bust Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien on the bench. The redshirt freshman threw for a respectable 214 yards along with a touchdown. Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis showed up to play for the second game in a row, ending with seven receptions for 142 yards and the only passing touchdown for Wisconsin on the night.

The dark horse this evening ended up being the Badgers running game, but you wouldn’t think it by looking at the statistics. Running back Montee Ball finished the game with 89 yards and three touchdowns.  But other than Ball’s production, the team’s ground game was rather unproductive.

But they shouldn’t take the bulk of the blame. Rather, the offensive line is going to be talked to about their poor blocking against the Cornhuskers. Unfortunately, this is nothing new to the Badgers team this year. They have been shouldering a rather small o-line this season, something very uncharacteristic for a usually bulky Wisconsin squad.

Amongst other struggles, the team once again struggled punching the ball into the end zone. The first half looked very bright for the Badgers but the last two quarters were a disaster. After scoring four times at the beginning of the game, Wisconsin didn’t even get in Nebraska’s red zone the second half except for Ball’s score. On top of that, kicker Jack Russell missed a field goal and blew an extra point that would have landed Wisconsin a one point victory over twenty-two ranked Nebraska.

As for our defense, they looked strong in the first half, just like the offense. But after that, once the opposing team had a couple third down conversions, it was history. The team wasn’t tackling well and was misreading plays all around.

I’m not really sure whether to take this as a step in the right direction for the Badgers because I’ve gotten my hopes shot down before. But they put up a decent fight against a top ranked team for two quarters. Abbrederis had a good game. Stave did as well until he got a stinger in the fourth quarter. I’m saying if the o-line, our defense, and our kicker stay strong for four quarters, we could pull out a victory against another good team. But that’s a lot of ifs.