Today we traveled to Camp Randall Stadium to see the No. 24 ranked Wisconsin Badgers host the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. To no one’s surprise the Badgers dominated at home, returning to .500 after their heartbreaking loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide in Arlington, TX last week. Watching Joel Stave and company rebuild their confidence in front of the home crowd, our photographer Dan Garcia captured some of the game’s best moments.
Read our game recap here and check out our photos from the Wisconsin’s impressive performance over Miami University below.
There’s no telling how much sleep Wisconsin Badgers head football coach Paul Chryst got heading into his team’s home opener at Camp Randall Stadium; a place so near and dear to his heart. He’ll have no problem sleeping after the Badgers performance Saturday.
The Miami (OH) RedHawks (1-1) were simply no match for the more talented and experienced Wisconsin Badgers as they were steamrolled by the home team by a score of 58-0. The Badgers never trailed in the game, racing out to a 37-0 halftime lead.
The Badgers took no chances with their feature back Cory Clement, who didn’t dress for the game due to his ailing groin issue.
“I have to come in and be smart, mature and not only think about myself but for the [best interests] of the team,” Clement said prior to the game. “You don’t want to put the team under any more stress of when I’m going to come back. … I want them to feel comfortable and be able to rely on me that I’m going to make the best decision for myself.”
Instead, the Badgers (1-1) rolled with Dare Ogunbowale, a former defensive back, and redshirt freshman Taiwan Deal to handle the bulk of the Badgers carries. Ogunbowale rushed for 112 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. Deal complemented nicely with 45 yards and two scores. The tandem really got going in the second half as Wisconsin went to the ground game heavily due to their commanding lead.
This day however belonged to the defense for the Badgers as they completely shut down the RedHawks in all facets of the game. Wisconsin held Miami (OH) to negative rushing yardage for much of the day as they finished with minus 3 yards on the ground.
Wisconsin’s do-it-all senior Tanner McEvoy was all over the field for the Badgers on Saturday. He had a key interception in the first half, and caught three passes for 30 yards on the other side of the ball. Wisconsin junior safety Leo Mussa added two interceptions of his own.
With both teams struggling to get their offense going for much of the first quarter, it was Wisconsin who broke through with the game’s first touchdown. Senior quarterback Joel Stave connected with junior wide-out Robert Wheelwright on a 14 yard touchdown with just seconds remaining in the first quarter. The pass and catch gave the Badgers a 13-0 lead after one quarter. It was a much needed confidence boost after the Badgers had stalled twice in the red zone to start the game, settling for two chip shot field goals by sophomore kicker Rafael Gaglianone.
The rout was on from there, as Stave carved up the RedHawks secondary with one of the best halves of football in his long career. Wheelwright finished the day with six receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Alex Erickson added five receptions for 73 yards.
Wisconsin leaned on its veteran quarterback probably a little more than they would have liked to with Clement being sidelined. Stave was certainly up to the challenge. The senior threw for over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns by halftime, finishing the game 19/30 for 236 yards with those 3 scores.
Miami (OH) struggled all day trying to move the football against a motivated Wisconsin defense. The RedHawks could only muster 157 yards of total offense.
The Badgers racked up 451 yards of offense with a balanced attack. They also controlled the game, winning the time of possession 36:49 to 23:11.
Wisconsin will now turn its attention to next week where they will host the Troy Trojans (0-1) of the Sun-Belt Conference. But not before they enjoy their dominating performance Saturday, giving head coach Paul Chryst a win in his home debut.
This Saturday we will be traveling to Madison, WI for our launch of The Early Registration Sports, as the Wisconsin Badgers will take on the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks in hopes to bounce back from their 35-17 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide last week. After years of scheduling confidence building season openers against unranked non-conference opponents, Wisconsin is now returning to Camp Randall Stadium for their second consecutive home opener, 0-1, after their new model of opening their season with challenging opponents on the road.
In 2014, the Badgers had to bounce back from a heartbreaking 28-24 loss to LSU in Houston, TX. That year they were able to quickly get their spirits high again as Wisconsin dominated Western Illinois, 37-3, only giving up 162 yards of total offence. This week, the Badgers hope to repeat their return to Madison, this time against the Miami University RedHawks.
Although Miami (Ohio) is going into the game after a convincing, 26-7, win over Presbyterian last Saturday, all signs point to a Wisconsin victory.
Wisconsin is looking for their 20th straight home opener win and their 33rd straight home win (T-6th with Virginia Tech ’99-’09) over a non-conference opponent. And of their non-conference games, the Badgers have done particularly well against the Mid-American Conference, having not lost to the conference since 1988, before any of either teams’ student-athletes were born.
Although a miracle win over the stronger opponents in Wisconsin is unlikely, Miami (Ohio) could not ask for better settings going into Camp Randall. Kicking off his second year as head coach, Miami’s Chuck Martin just saw his team have their best rushing performance under his watch as head coach, with 205 yards rushing against Presbyterian. Freshman Alonzo Smith, the new number one rushing option for the RedHawks, ran for 86 yards with two scores.
To go with Miami’s impressive rushing efforts, Wisconsin is coming off a disappointing defensive effort against Alabama, giving up 238 rushing yards and 4 rushing scores. Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst was disappointed in his front 7, counting 17 missed tackles against the Crimson Tide. To make matter worse, going into Week 2, UW team captain Michael Caputo’s status is still up in the air after leaving the Alabama game early with a concussion.
Don’t let Wisconsin’s defensive struggles and Miami’s new rushing confidence fool you though, Wisconsin is clearly the bigger and better team, with a front seven that shadows over that of Presbyterian. Wisconsin did not schedule itself against Alabama on the road at “Jerry’s World” to get a easy win, they did it to get better and answer the team’s tough questions early in the season. Despite an opening loss, it’s how the Badgers respond, make adjustments, and move forward that will determine their fate later in the year.
After facing Alabama, one of the nation’s top teams, the 24th ranked Wisconsin Badgers should have no problem dominating Miami (Ohio) throughout four quarters after competing with Alabama in the first half. Simply put, a competitive Big 10 program should easily handle a Mid-American team, especially at home. The Badger are not only looking to win this Saturday, and to return to .500, but they are hoping to do it in a convincing fashion to erase any offensive and defensive doubts that were picked up last week in Arlington.
Prediction:Wisconsin 42, Miami (Ohio) 7
Game time: Saturday, September 12, 11:00 AM CT on ESPNU; Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI (Buy Tickets)
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