Since Erik isn't getting married this Saturday, I can actually watch Minnesota piss away the game live this year!
Hey, in case you have not heard, there are a couple of big games going on up in
Anyhow, this game kicks off the most critical stretch of games for the Badgers this season and a win would go a long way in keeping up the momentum gathered in the first four games. After this game the Badgers go to
The O-line is still coming together for the Badgers. John Moffit got his first start of the season at guard last week and the rust showed. He picked it up in the second half but was relatively brutal in the first half. 3rd string center Peter Konz has been solid in the middle. Ogelsby appears to be having problems with speed rushers off the end. However, as mentioned above, the line has only given up 2 sacks this season (thanks to Tolzein’s pocket presence) and the pass blocking has been solid. The run blocking is not what it has been in the past for
Speaking of running backs, I am still waiting for John Clay to have that truly big breakout game. I’m talking a 200-yard, 2 TD game. Last week against State he ran well but it seems he left some yards out on the field. However, the key was that he didn’t leave the football out on the field. I think the fumbles in the Wofford game were an aberration and this isn’t a guy with a fumbling problem. John needs to do a better job of finding the holes the line creates. I am excited to see him get in the open field and use his 250 pound frame to just blow up a DB. Zach Brown will get his touches as well. He did destroy the Gophers two years ago in the dome, but honestly, he is just a guy in terms of Big Ten running backs. A solid back up for sure, but not the workhorse.
The Badgers’ D has improved as throughout the season. The line is getting better now that guys are coming back from injury and a set rotation is in place. They are making plays in the backfield and getting to the QB off the ends. The problem is that they have no big run stuffer in the middle. Against the run game, they are vulnerable up the middle but do a good job of running to the boundaries. MSUs big runs were all up the middle. The Linebackers have been playing great. Schofield has been lights out all 4 games and the Freshmen Taylor and Borland really played well last week.
The D-backs are still a work in progress but are getting better. Did a good job of containing the Spartan passing attack for 57 minutes last week. The ability to get pressure up front helps out this secondary immensely. There has been a lot of talk about the play of Chris Maragos. He has made some clutch plays and has had a handful of picks so far this season. However, he is no Jim Leonhard. Maragos is a solid player with good hands, but he doesn’t have the greatest speed and gets out of position sometimes.
The special teams have been solid this year. They don’t appear to be the best blockers in the world, but Gilreath came close to busting one last week. The kick coverage has been good so far this year. After a couple early misses, Welch seems to be back on track after bombing that 57-yarder against
After all that rambling about what
From all reports, it sounds like
It will also be interesting to see how Nutpunch Decker fairs in this game. He suffered an ankle injury in last year’s game. Last week, the Badgers shut down Blair White but MSU was able to work the ball to the other receivers. If the Badgers take away Decker (a humongous if) will Weber be able to find anybody else. Decker leads the team with 35 receptions and the next closest guys have 10. Hopefully Aaron Henry can step up his game and limit Decker.All in all this should be a good game. I don’t see it as a blow-out either way. Will