Fruehauf Going Off

Story by Steve Fruehauf, Copy Editor

Due to the festivities last week, we didn’t have a print edition, so I will be making up a couple Badgers games that were missed. What an unfortunate couple of weeks it was for the team.

Wisconsin lost by seven points or less in overtime against two different conference opponents. The first was a 21-14 bout against Ohio State on Nov. 17 at Camp Randall Stadium. The Buckeyes, who went undefeated this season, won after a Carlos Hyde two-yard rushing touchdown in overtime.

Ohio State’s Braxton Miller finished the evening off with 97 yards passing and 48 yards rushing. Hyde also ran for 87 yards and another touchdown to compliment his one in overtime.

The Badgers’ third quarterback this season, senior Curt Phillips, gave an impressive performance throwing for 154 yards and a touchdown to tight end Jacob Pedersen. Montee Ball ran for just under 200 yards and added a touchdown to the scoreboard in the second quarter.

Wisconsin’s second overtime loss came at the hands of Penn State. The Nittany Lions landed a late field goal to finish the game 24-21 on Nov. 24 at Beaver Stadium in University
Park (Penn.).

On a positive note, Ball’s only touchdown of the game put him ahead of Travis Prentice from the University of Miami (Ohio), and gave him sole possession of the Football Bowl Subdivision career rushing touchdown record with 79. That guy is an end zone magnet!

Phillips finished the game with another strong outing. He threw for 191 yards, two touchdowns and an

One of his touchdowns was a four-yarder to wide receiver Jeff Duckworth with just 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter to push the game into overtime. Ball added 111 yards on the ground along with his record-
breaking touchdown.

Penn State’s quarterback Matt McGloin threw for 200 yards along with one touchdown in the fourth as well. Running back Zack Zwinak rushed for 179 yards and a touchdown.

What does this all mean for the Badgers? It’s the end of a rather mediocre season, 7-5 overall. Wisconsin had their chances at some big games, but something always seemed to falter. If it wasn’t Danny O’Brien not producing early, it was Joel Stave getting injured mid-season. If it wasn’t Ball getting big blows to the head, it was the Badgers’ wide receivers dropping the ball. We had our chances with a pretty good team this year, but it seems all of the pieces couldn’t be put together.

The only reason Wisconsin is playing in the Big Ten Championship against twelfth-ranked Nebraska is because Ohio State and Penn State were both ineligible.

The Buckeyes were banned due to former head coach Jim Tressel’s failure to report a bribery scandal last season. Penn State is out because former head coach Joe Paterno’s failure to report sexual misconduct involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Regardless, the championship game will air Sat., Dec. 1 on FOX at approximately 8:15 p.m. The Badgers lost by just three to Nebraska earlier this season. In the 30-27 loss, Stave threw for over 200 yards. Ball ran for just 90 yards but scored three touchdowns.

If the Badgers are smart, they will keep the ball on the group until they’re stopped. This is potentially Ball’s last game as a Badger; I’d be willing to wager he is going to perform.

Plus, he ran in three touchdowns last time the two teams met. I know Phillips has had a couple of strong outings, but the run game is what got Wisconsin here.

If Nebraska’s defense stops the run, then start throwing a little more regularly. But I would proceed with caution. My bet is the twelfth-ranked team in the country is going to be looking for the Wisconsin third-stringer to start slinging.