Fruehauf Going Off

Story by Steve Fruehauf, Copy Editor

Due to the loss of Joel Stave, Wisconsin’s offense needed to find someone to fill the starting quarterback position. They decided on senior Curt Phillips over Danny O’Brien, who struggled earlier this year. But the Badgers did little through the air last Saturday. Actually, they only threw the ball seven times total. Rather, the Badger’s running game ran to an easy 62-14 victory over Indiana.

With Montee Ball leading the way, the running game accumulated 564 yards and seven touchdowns. Ball’s three touchdowns in the game pushed him to second all-time in career rushing touchdowns with 77 total. Two more scores will give him sole ownership of the record.

But for the times that they did throw, Phillips executed. He was able to connect with Sam Arneson for the only Wisconsin passing touchdown in the game. But with the limited amount of attempts (7) he had, I wouldn’t necessarily say he would do as well with more opportunities.

My one negative note on the game is that Phillips didn’t get many attempts. The team is looking for a replacement for the rest of the year and lack of opportunity could hinder his performance. He needs enough throws to establish a presence.

Also, the Badgers are way too run heavy. I know it worked this game, but better teams could stop a one-sided offense. They play Ohio State next week, a team that is currently undefeated.  Their defense is much better than Indiana, who allows ten more points on average than Ohio State.

But come on, what a crazy performance by Wisconsin’s run game. Seven touchdowns? That’s video game scoring right there. Montee Ball, no matter the amount of crap I sometimes give him, is the real deal. And a positive for the Badgers, they will have James White when Ball graduates at the end of this year.

White is only a junior and a back up to Ball but he still puts up around 645 yards on the season along with eight touchdowns. That’s half of Ball’s current TD totals and yet, White gets a fraction of the carries. That goes to show how effective our run game is going to be in the future.

Along with White, Melvin Gordon is another back up that performs very well give the amount of attempts he receives compared to others. He will be a nice back up to White next year.

They may have to be run dependent next year as well because I don’t see the passing offense getting that much better.  Jared Abbrederis is the only prominent wide receiver on the team. And Stave will be back from his upper body injury trying to stay healthy and be productive.  That may be an issue since has passing offense has trouble getting the ball in the end zone.

So I say even out the offense a little more for next game. I know this is weird coming off of a 500 plus yard rushing game, but the Ohio State defense will be way better than Indiana’s. This could potentially lead to a difficult time moving the ball mainly on the ground. This game will be a true test to see if Phillips will be able to hang with the boys.