November 2, 2008

Series by series: UW offense against MSU

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Offensively, Wisconsin had two 100-yard rushers Saturday against Michigan State, out-gained the Spartans by over 100 yards and held an 11 point lead with just over nine minutes to play. Still, the Badgers left Spartan Stadium with a devastating 25-24 loss.


The following is a look back at every offensive series UW had during the game:

First quarter

Drive No. 1: Started on own 20 yard line following opening kickoff
Plays: 5
Yards: 18
Result: 39-yard Brad Nortman punt.

Best play: Dustin Sherer connected with Lance Kendricks on the sideline for a first down on second and seven.

Drive No. 2: Started on own 29 yard line following Aaron Bates punt.
Plays: 8
Yards: 31
Result: 39-yard Nortman punt

Worst play: On third and four just outside of field goal range, Sherer threw an inaccurate pass to David Gilreath that would have been a first down. UW was forced to punt.

Drive No. 3: Started on own 49 yard line following Bates punt.
Plays: 8
Yards: 51
Result: Touchdown (7-0 Wisconsin)

Best play: After six consecutive running plays set UW up on the Spartans one yard line, Paul Chryst called a play-action pass on second and goal. Garrett Graham rolled off the line and was all alone in the end zone furan easy pitch and catch.

Second quarter

Drive No. 4: Started on own 20 yard line following Bates punt.
Plays: 3
Yards: 9
Result: 39-yard Nortman punt.

Worst play: The Badgers had a chance to extend the drive, but P.J. Hill was stuffed on third and one that forced UW's punt.

Drive No. 5: Started on own 35 yard line following Bates punt.
Plays: 2
Yards: 7
Result: Lost fumble

Worst play: After Hill rushed for 14 yards on the drives first play, it looked as though he was not sure of the play call the next. The miscommunication broke the play up and when Sherer was hit, he fumbled. MSU recovered and took over inside Badger territory.

Drive No. 6: Started on own 23 yard line following kickoff. (7-3 Wisconsin)
Plays: 5
Yards: 15
Result: 46-yard Nortman punt.

Worst play: On third and seven, it looked as though Nick Toon had found a gap in the zone and was open for a catch. However, Sherer delivered high and Toon wasn't able to hold onto what would have been a great catch.

Drive No. 7: Started on own 31 yard line following kickoff. (7-6 Wisconsin)
Plays: 10
Yards: 55
Result: 31-yard Philip Welch field goal. (10-6 Wisconsin)

Best play: Just outside of field goal range and facing third and six, Sherer threw a dart to Toon across the middle for a big 26-yard gain.

Worst play: However, with two timeouts left, Sherer decided to waste a much needed down instead of calling a timeout by spiking it. UW would have to settle for the field goal instead.

Third quarter

Drive No. 8: Started on own 25 yard line following Bates punt.
Plays: 9
Yards: 48
Result: Welch misses 44-yard field goal wide left.

Best play: Facing a second and short, John Clay broke a 23-yard run that looked like he had a chance of taking it to the house.

Worst play: On second and five from the MSU 25, Sherer handed off to Bill Rentmeester. Unfortunately, he was brought down for a two-yard loss and forced UW into a difficult third and seven situation.

Drive No. 9: Started on Michigan State 40 yard line following failed fake punt.
Plays: 5
Yards: 40
Result: Touchdown. (17-6 Wisconsin)

Best plays: On two consecutive runs, Hill bulled his way for 25 yards and a touchdown.

Drive No. 10: Started on own 17 yard line following kickoff. (17-13 Wisconsin)
Plays: 3
Yards: 3
Result: 55-yard Nortman punt.

Drive No. 11: Started on MSU 44 yard line following Bates punt.
Plays: 3
Yards: 7
Result: 37-yard Nortman punt.

Worst play: On the first play of the fourth quarter, UW faced a short third and three before a false start penalty backed them up. The Badgers were unable to convert as Zach Brown was brought down three yards shy of the marker.

Fourth quarter

Drive No. 12: Started on own 20 yard line following Bates punt.
Plays: 6
Yards: 80
Result: Touchdown (24-13 Wisconsin)

Best play: Clay took the handoff and burst off right tackle. When he hit the outside lane his sped past every defender for what looked to be a game-sealing touchdown run.

Drive No. 13: Started at own 20 yard line following kickoff. (24-19 Wisconsin)
Plays: 3
Yards: 7
Result: 36-yard Nortman punt.

Worst play: Following MSU's quick answer to Clay's touchdown spring, the UW offense went three and out.

Drive No. 14: Started at own 20 yard line following kickoff. (24-22 Wisconsin)
Plays: 8
Yards: 39
Result: 28-yard Nortman punt.

Best play: Gilreath took the end around from Sherer and ran for 23 yards to the Badger 40 yard line.

Worst play: With just over two minutes left in the game and MSU out of timeouts, the Badgers had an opportunity to clinch the win. Clay took the ball off right tackle and broke it inside the MSU five yard line for the first down. However, the run was negated by a John Moffitt holding penalty that forced UW back and lead to the punt.

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