Saturday, September 20, 2014

Long, Painful Afternoon in Madison


Yeah, that had nothing to recommend it.

UW set all-time records in rushing and total yards today.  Just to have an idea on that, Wisconsin played their first football game in 1889.  They have taken the field 1,188 times and that was the worst.  In those 1,188 games, there had to be 100 worse mismatches than this....and yet here was the team with 756 yards and 644 yards on the ground.

Oh...that rushing total is also a modern era record in the Big 10.  No way to know how many games that covers...a bunch.

Look, I don't feel as badly about this as I did when WKU put 702 on us.  Just the idea we are comparing which 700+ yard defensive performance was worse is not a good place to be...but that was WKU and this was Wisconsin.  The Badgers are really good and the worst possible matchup for us...neither of which would have been true for WKU.  We are built to beat teams of WKU's caliber and not teams like Wisconsin.

Not trying to sugarcoat anything...that was incredibly depressing and painful to watch. This team was beaten in roughly the same fashion that a much worse (we hope) team was beaten by Michigan back in the day.

 As awful as it was, I don't think it tells us very much about our team and our chances to win the conference.  On our best day that's a tough assignment, and then you take BG without Colvin, Ward and Lynch and you have a really difficult assignment--one that Wisconsin exploited relentlessly.  McEvoy threw 16 passes--for obvious reasons.

To weigh in on what appears to be the current debate...I think BG was in the right scheme.  They were crowding the box to try and take the run away...BG just failed to make tackles.  In 1-1 battles between our guys and the guy with the ball, the guy with the ball won most of them.  While you'd like to see a little more parity, their guys are hard to tackle, they are really good players.  Gordon averaged 19.5 yards per carry--partly on us, but partly on him.

Everything else, I'd just advise pumping the brakes.  Not saying you should be happy about today, just saying I don't think today projects very much about the future of the season...well, I'm SURE it doesn't project anything good and I don't think it means that a bad outcome is certain.

BG's defense--even injured--has to tackle better and I don't think it is much more complicated than that.  This was the best offense we will face this year--though not the last good offense--and I think the offense has shown it can be effective.

Let's let things roll out a little bit.  Things are a little more welcoming in the MAC East.   There are clear areas to improve, for sure, and BG is far from a complete team right now...but there is still a long way to go in the season.  This was an awful day, but it doesn't have to predict where we go from here.

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