When the NCAA scheduled the University of Wisconsin football team to take on the Florida Atlantic Owls, everyone thought that the game would be an absolute blowout for the Badgers.
I am not ashamed to say that even I thought this game was going to be a walk in the park for Wisconsin. Florida Atlantic is a team who ended their previous season with a 3-9 record, and was just coming off of a 42-19 loss to the Navy in week one.
The first quarter of the game was just as everyone expected, with the Badgers earning two rushing touchdowns with ease. Thanks to freshman Jonathan Taylor, the Badgers were beginning the game with a great momentum behind them, and it didn’t seem as though Florida Atlantic was capable of stopping this Badger offense.
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Something changed in the second quarter, and the Badgers began to struggle a bit more than they had in the previous quarter. Alex Hornibrook was having a harder time finding open receivers, and runs weren’t getting the same yardage that they had been just fifteen minutes prior.
The Badgers still managed to keep their momentum going, and their 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter quickly became a 24-14 lead by the end of the first half.
It was from there that things truly began to unravel for the Badgers. Runs were yielding far fewer yards per carry, and Hornibrook was struggling to find an open receiver downfield.
By now, most people would have estimated that the scoreboard should have been about 49-14 Badgers, and Wisconsin should have started throwing in the second or the third string players. I don’t think that anyone would have imagined that Florida Atlantic would have put up as strong of a fight as they did.
While the Badgers managed to find their footing at the end of the game, it was clear there were still some communication errors that this team needs to fix. With only BYU left before the Badgers begin their Big Ten season, these fixes need to happen fast if Wisconsin wants to find itself in a better position than they started the season with.
31 Wisconsin Final Score Florida Atlantic 14
Post game sounds:
Troy Fumagalli on momentum breakdown in the first:
“Being consistent is the biggest thing, and finishing things. There really is no magic to it, we need to make it happen. One thing goes wrong and we need someone to pick it up. We’ll keep working on it.”
Chris James on fixing mistakes before BYU: .
“It’s little details, stepping left instead of stepping right, those kinds of things. As a crew we’re getting better every day and the offensive line is getting better. The offensive line is making our job easier, so hats off to them.”
Derrick Tindall on fixing defense communication:
“Obviously we gave up a big touchdown because of communication, so it’s things like that. Just knowing when you have top help and when you don’t. [D’cota Dixon and I] thought we had help behind us, and there actually wasn’t and it ended up being a big play. I feel like if we know how to play this stuff nobody can really move the ball on us.”