Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW Report Card

Game ball goes to: Running
back Zach Brown

Most days, the game ball would go to David Gilreath, who
returned two punts for longer than 50 yards.

Saturday wasn't most days, however. Zach Brown stole the
spotlight from Gilreath, rushing 29 times for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
Brown ran straight through the Minnesota defense, breaking five runs of 15 or
more yards.


Overall: C

Although it was a rivalry game and Minnesota's biggest game
of the season, Wisconsin should have won a little more easily.

It was a one-possession game for most of the contest, and
the Badgers were never able to completely put the Gophers away. If it were not
for Minnesota's careless play — the Gophers were flagged 10 times for 75 yards —
Wisconsin could very easily have been in a much different situation.

The Badgers made plays when they needed to, recovering a
muffed punt at the 15-yard line and scoring two plays later to extend their
lead and later intercepting a pass to seal the game.

Special Teams: C

For as good as Gilreath and the return units were,
Wisconsin's kicking game was shaky. Kicker Taylor Mehlhaff missed two field
goals, including one that banged off the left upright at the end of the first

In limited action, Ken DeBauche punted the ball decently,
averaging 40 yards per attempt.

Daven Jones reacted quickly and was able to snuff out a
Minnesota fake punt attempt early in the fourth quarter and tackle punter
Justin Kucek before he could reach the first-down marker.

Defense: D

Wide receiver Eric Decker had his way with the Wisconsin
secondary, catching six passes for 125 yards–a 20.8 yard per reception average.

Especially disconcerting for the Badger defense was the fact
that Decker did most of his damage matched up against cornerback Jack
Ikegwuonu, who had been playing very well in recent weeks.

The spread option offense again caused all sorts of problems
for the Wisconsin defense, as Minnesota was able to amass 501 yards of total

The saving grace for the Wisconsin defense is that when it
put Minnesota in third down situations, it was able to hold its ground. The
Gophers were just three for 11 on third down chances.

Offense: B

In his third start at running back replacing P.J. Hill, Zach
Brown had a monster day.

The freshman gained a total of 250 yards on the ground and
had more than 100 yards at halftime.

Tyler Donovan returned from an injury to turn in another
gritty showing in his final regular season game at Wisconsin. The senior gained
61 yards on the ground. Throwing the ball was another issue, however. Donovan
was intercepted in the first quarter to set up Minnesota's first touchdown and
only threw for 114 yards against the Big Ten's worst pass defense. To be fair,
Donovan's passing numbers were hurt by several dropped passes from the UW
receiving corps.

Up next: Bowl game
(Date/Opponent TBA)

With the win, Wisconsin finished the season with a 9-3
overall record (5-3 Big Ten). After Saturday's action around the conference, it
appears likely the Badgers will be playing in a pre-New Years' Day bowl for the
first time in three years.

The most likely
possibilities are the Alamo Bowl, Dec. 29 in San Antonio against a Big 12
representative or the Champs Sports Bowl, Dec

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