Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Why you shouldn't be happy with a 24-point victory

For all intents and purposes, this game was 34-3 when it was really over. Wisconsin called off the dogs, put in the backups, and was promptly rewarded by seeing Tyler Donovan fling an interception at a D-IAA opponent -- an interception that was returned for a touchdown. So the victory over Western Illinois taught us at least one thing: Tyler Donovan is not ready to take over should John Stocco go down.

That's especially bad, considering that another thing we learned was that the offense -- be in the line, the running back, or the tight end -- is not very interested in keeping Stocco on his feet. Stocco was sacked three times -- THREE! -- by the Leathernecks. Lest you forget: this is a D-IAA opponent. Their pass rush, while potentially furious, should be something that a Big Ten line can absorb without a problem. Evidently, this unit is porous. This is something that needs to get fixed in a real hurry, since Michigan's defensive line is going to be merciless.

The defense had its problems as well, although those were not as glaring -- and the three interceptions they managed to pull in help as far as resume-building is concerned, too. Missed tackles seemed to be the biggest bugaboo. That, fortunately, is teachable and correctable.

Special teams isn't much of a concern, although if Jarvis Minton fumbles another kickoff return I will show up at Camp Randall as a walk-on the following Monday. Protect the rock, Jarvis!

There were good things, too, though. P.J. Hill wasn't a one-week wonder; he went over a hundred yards and scored three touchdowns. Lance Smith didn't impress, unfortunately, only picking up 11 yards on 7 carries. When Stocco wasn't being hung out to dry by his would-be protectors, he was lighting up the field, passing for 260 yards and making a great throw of 33 yards to Paul Hubbard after a WIU turnover. I love that Paul Chryst called for one of those carpe diem plays.

Linkage: A bunch of homers ask Jeff Potrykus mainly annoying questions; Wisconsin and Virginia Tech will meet up ... in 2016 and 2017; San Diego State's starting quarterback is out; the backup will start at Camp Randall on Saturday; Nicole is really happy about the direction the Packers are headed.

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