Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011
Badgers fall flat at Ohio State
The Badgers refusal/inability to adapt to the Ohio State defense last night cost them the game. Ohio State knew that the heart of the Badger offense was the run game and they came prepared to keep Montee Ball in check. If you remove the late-in-the-fourth-quarter 40 yarder that Montee Ball had, the Badgers were able to muster just 49 yards rushing on 28 attempts. Ohio State was able to completely negate Wisconsin's ability to move east-west on the field, yet the Badgers continually tried to run that way and get the ball outside. In fact, Montee Ball running on the inside pretty much made his game against Michigan State, yet Wisconsin rarely used that play last night. Despite a full game of seeing that the run outside wasn't working, when it came to a crucial 4th and 2 late in the 4th quarter, the Badgers ran a sweep and were unable to convert. I understand that Wisconsin is a run team first and there is a thought that eventually Ball will be able to break one, but at the same time, being stubborn and refusing to adjust your game plan likely cost you the game. Russell Wilson was extremely successful through the air. Yet it felt like Bielema forgot that he had that weapon in his arsenal. Bielema played like this was other Badger teams who had middling quarterbacks and few receiver targets and HAD to run to be successful. Wilson proved over the final few drives that he was capable of making the passes and the receivers made the plays to complete the catches. If the coaching staff had been smart enough to use those weapons all game, the score wouldn't have been nearly so close.