Tag Archives: NCAA Football

Recap: Wisconsin Badgers Defeat Troy Trojans 28-3

BY JEFF BERNIER

Wisconsin v. Troy
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

It was clear from the start on Saturday afternoon from Camp Randall Stadium. The Wisconsin Badgers were going to make the run a priority. In fact, they ran the ball three straight times for a first down on the game’s opening drive. With a promising start, the drive immediately came to a halt on the next set of downs, with a wild snap resulting in an eleven yard loss on third down and five.

With a chance to make a big statement on the road, Troy simply sputtered on their opening drive, going three and out. This time, Wisconsin would take full advantage, wasting little time flying down the field for the game’s first score.

The Badgers big break came on a 30 yard pass and catch play from quarterback Joel Stave to emerging weapon Robert Wheelwright. Stave looked the defense off to Alex Erickson, turned and beamed a beautiful strike to Wheelwright down the left sideline. Wheelwright’s athleticism continues to impress both Stave and his coaches.

Stave followed up his fantastic day one week ago versus Miami (OH) with another stellar effort. The senior threw for 202 yards with a touchdown. His accuracy remained elite, finishing 13/17.

Troy quarterback Brandon Silver had a nice day himself, finishing with 174 yards with 23/34 passes completed. Despite solid quarterback and running back play, the Troy Trojans never really posed a threat to upsetting Wisconsin on this day in Madtown, losing 28-3.

Dare Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal were men possessed on the Badgers second drive, combining for seven yards per carry en route to the end zone. Ogunbowale capped things off with an 18 yard untouched scamper.

Troy was not going to be shut out like Miami (OH) last week. The Trojans moved the ball effectively on the following drive, settling for a 32 yard field goal after a video review overturned a completed pass, making it 4th and 6 instead of 4th and 1 deep inside Wisconsin territory.

Wisconsin v. Troy
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

It was a huge call as Troy had initially lined up to go for it on fourth down. These would be the only points they would score.

Wisconsin erased any hopes for a late comeback by Troy when Stave connected with senior tight end Austin Traylor on a 1-yard touchdown with some five minutes remaining. This followed a 38-yard reception by Traylor moments earlier in the drive.

Troy’s backup kicker Ryan Kay handled the kicking duties Saturday as their starting kicker and long snapper are currently suspended by the team. It was certainly a blow to the team as Kay missed a makeable kick that could have forced the Badgers hand a little more.

Wisconsin’s junior inside linebacker Leon Jacobs was ejected from the game for a vicious, albeit legal hit on Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers. The consensus was that he led with his helmet, leading to the hasty decision by the referees upon video review.

The Badgers defense did not let up after the ejection. It seemed to have motivated the defense was hustling versus Troy’s balanced attack.

Tanner McEvoy continued his outstanding play on both sides of the ball Saturday for Wisconsin. The offensive and defensive specialist rushed for 41 yards on just 2 carries while helping the Badgers secondary keep the Trojans in check in the passing game.

The Badgers rushing attack, led by Ogunbowale and Deal were effective all day long. Ogunbowale rushed for 75 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Not to be outdone, Deal had 84 yards on 16 carries of his own.

Number one receiver Alex Erickson had another fine day with 3 receptions for 87 yards.

Badgers true freshmen Chris Orr had a career day with 13 tackles, leading another dominant defensive effort.

Wisconsin has now allowed just 3 points in their last 8 quarters of play.

After two token matchups at the cozy confines of Camp Randall Stadium, the Badgers will have a much bigger test next Saturday when they host the Hawaii Warriors (1-1). Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm (Eastern).

 

Winning But Worried: 3 Teams Who Risk Staying Undefeated Today

BY TIM TAUER
Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Winning is always great. In the new college football postseason era, winning-out on a decent schedule probably gets you a shot at the championship. But not all is peaches and beer pong in the land of the undefeated. After all, only four teams get a shot at taking home the championship trophy. So, despite being loss-less rocky wins, early injuries, and close games could (and rightfully should) make fans at home a little nervous about the rest of the season. Here are the top three teams, who despite being undefeated, should be worried about going into today’s game.

Auburn – The fact that Auburn (2-0) barely squeaked out a win against Louisville (0-3) and still managed to avoid a drop in the rankings is quite shocking. Louisville went into the season dealing with multiple off-the-field issues, quarterback controversy, and a lackluster run defense. Despite a hot start Auburn looked sluggish in the second half, allowing Louisville a chance at victory up until the very last second.

Auburn eventually dropped eight spots after defeating an unranked Jacksonville State (1-1) in OT. If it weren’t for a botched punt with under a minute left, the Tigers would most likely be heading into today’s game against LSU (1-0) with a loss under their belt.

It seemed as though the game against Louisville could’ve been a fluke- first game jitters perhaps. But the OT victory over Jacksonville State shows that Auburn must re-legitimize themselves as a serious contender before they can move back up.

They have a shot to do so in today’s game against LSU.

Although it may not seem like it from watching the past two games, LSU is Auburn’s first real opponent thus far. A victory against LSU could give Auburn fans, coaches, and players a little relief from what is is shaping up to be a very rocky start. For the Tigers, a big win today could be exactly what they need.

Courtesy of WagerTalk.com

Notre Dame – There were many unanswered questions for Notre Dame going into the 2015 season. Would Malik Zaire be ready to take over as the starting quarterback? Has the defense improved enough to be deserving of the 6th overall defense in college football? After their 38-3 domination over Texas it seemed as though the answers to those questions were yes, and yes. The 6′ 222lb Junior completed 19 of his 22 passes against the Longhorns, racking up a total of 313 yards and three touchdowns. And the defense held Texas to a mere three points. Talks of Notre Dame (2-0) as a likely contender for the playoffs were abuzz.

It seemed as though the doubts vanished, that was until Malik Zaire fell to a broken ankle late in the 3rd quarter last Saturday against Virginia (0-2). The Caveliers began attacking through the air and the Irish secondary was slow to adjust. This forced Notre Dame to respond with an inexperienced, second-string freshman quarterback Deshone Kizer.

Kizer’s first drive was a disaster. He was nervous, flustered, and indecisive. And it showed.

Down 26-27 with 1:54 left on the clock it was up to Kizer to lead the Irish to victory. Kizer looked infinitely more relaxed, completing every one of his passes as he sought to set up kicker Justin Yoon with a game-winning field goal. Unbeknown to Kizer, however, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had other plans.

Kelly allowed Kizer to take a shot at the end zone. With a few seconds left on the clock, he launched a 39 yard pass and Fuller snagged it in for the game winning touchdown.

Notre Dame managed to rally against Virginia but not without consequence. They revealed to opponents everywhere that their secondary can be worked. And although Kizer finished strong, there is currently a rather large question mark over the inexperienced quarterback’s head.

Today, Notre Dame will face-off against a tough Georgia Tech (2-0). This is far from a throwaway game, and Irish fans everywhere should be a little nervous about what lies ahead.

Courtesy of Baylor.edu

Baylor – The Bears are undefeated. They’ve dominated every team thus far, beating their first two opponents with a combined total of 122-52; ultimately allotting themselves the number one total offense in all of college football. To top it off, they have the advantage of easing into what seems like a difficult schedule down the road.

So why should Baylor (2-0) fans be worried? Despite it all, the Bears are the only team in the top 10 who dropped in the rankings after last week’s match-ups. They’ve done everything they could, yet if the playoffs were tomorrow Baylor would be out. This has to be worrisome for Bears fans, many of whom feel like they were snubbed a playoffs spot last season.

With opponents like Oklahoma (2-0), Oklahoma State (2-0), and TCU (2-0) in their future, Baylor needs a ranking high enough to be able to take a loss. As of now they aren’t in that spot.

Ohio State has the burden of being number one, and thus, can only go down in the rankings. However, after Baylor’s recent drop it seems as though they, too, share this burden.

Baylor plays Rice (1-1) 2pm CT and is expected to have another blowout game. But if the Bears fall anything short, don’t be surprised if they drop again.

 

Preview: Wisconsin Looks to Build on Blowout Win vs. Miami with Troy

BY JEFF BERNIER

Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

Wisconsin’s shellacking of Miami (OH) at home last week gave the Badgers, and first year head coach Paul Chryst their first win on the young season. The Badgers (1-1) will look to run their home winning streak versus non-conference opponents to 35 in a row when Wisconsin plays host to the Troy Trojans (1-1) of the Sun-Belt Conference this Saturday in Madison, WI.

Long feared for their explosive rushing attack, the Badgers have enjoyed a resurgence in their passing game. The Badgers have had nine different receivers make a catch in the team’s first two games. While it is still early, Wisconsin’s go-to wide-out Alex Erickson is on pace for a 100-catch season.

It may not be a new era in Badgers country, but the team will remain aggressive through the air as their star running back Cory Clement continues to remain sidelined.

Senior quarterback Joel Stave has completed 65.2% of his passes on the season including five touchdowns. Stave has no shortage of quality targets at his disposal.

Junior wide-out Rob Wheelwright looks to be a breakout star for this newfound aerial attack. Standing six-foot-3, Wheelwright has hauled in three touchdown passes, flashing elite athleticism in the process. Alex Erickson is the most consistent of the group, remaining a favorite target of Stave’s. Two-way star Tanner McEvoy has also emerged as a dangerous target. Towering over opposing defensive-backs, the six-foot-6 McEvoy is able to make big plays on offense while also disrupting opponents passing plans with his fearless play at safety.

Having so many options is luxury for any quarterback; just ask Joel Stave.

“It makes it more fun when you can spread it around and truly just go through your reads,” Stave said, “and you’re not as much looking for a guy as you are looking for the open guy … There’s not so much looking for a specific player.”

Paul Chryst definitely has options as far as a game plan goes. While the passing game has shined in two games this season, the Troy Trojans have allowed a whopping 257 rushing yards per game.

Look for the tandem of Dare Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal to once again do most of the heavy lifting this Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. The pair combined for 157 yards and three scores in last week’s 58-0 trouncing of Miami (OH).

The Troy Trojans are coming off a bounce-back victory over FCS opponent Charleston Southern 44-16 last Saturday. The win followed their week-one loss to North Carolina State. Like the Wolfpack, the Badgers will provide Troy a huge challenge, especially on the road. Troy is just 1-20 against ranked opponents since 2001.

Prediction: Wisconsin 48, Troy 6

Game time: Saturday, September 19, 2:30 PM CT on BTN, BTN2Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI (Buy Tickets)

Photos: No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers Defeat Miami (Ohio) RedHawks

BY TER STAFF

Wisconsin vs. Miami (Ohio)

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.

Continue reading Photos: No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers Defeat Miami (Ohio) RedHawks

Wisconsin Dominates Miami (Ohio) to Bounce Back from Alabama Loss, 58-0

BY JEFF BERNIER

Wisconsin vs. Miami (Ohio)
Photo by Dan Garcia/The Early Registration

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 vs. Miami (Ohio)

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.

Preview: Wisconsin Looks to Bounce Back from Alabama Loss with Miami (Ohio)

BY DAN GARCIA

Courtesy of Madison.com

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)