Football: Badgers storm through Troy, improve to 2-1

first_imgDespite losing a few key pieces along the way and a fire alarm interrupting play in the fourth quarter, the Wisconsin football team was able to fight adversity and pull out a commanding 28-3 victory over Troy Saturday.Over the course of Saturday’s contest, No. 24 Wisconsin (2-1) lost both junior linebacker Leon Jacobs in the first quarter and sophomore cornerback Derrick Tindal in the third quarter on questionable targeting calls.Nevertheless, UW’s defense maintained a bend but don’t break mentality, as despite allowing Troy’s spread offense to gain a total of 255 yards, they did a good job of limiting their scoring opportunities.Linebacker Chris Orr replaced Jacobs in the first quarter, and despite Saturday being the first time he saw extended time on the field, the true freshman made his mark and led the way on defense, finishing with a team-high 14 tackles.“I thought he did a great job,” senior linebacker Joe Schobert said of Orr’s performance. “He stepped in and did what he’s been doing all camp. I’m proud of the way he played and I’m excited to see where he takes it.”Offensively, Wisconsin got off to a very slow start in the first half, as they failed to find the end zone, or even reach Troy’s half of the field, on four of their first five drives to start the game.With just over three minutes remaining in the first half, UW had the ball on their own 10-yard line and just a 7-3 lead, as their lone score came on a 17-yard rush from redshirt junior running back Dare Ogunbowale in the first quarter.However, as halftime approached, Wisconsin managed to go on their most impressive scoring drive of the game, as three completions – including a huge 45-yard gain from fifth-year senior receiver Alex Erickson – brought the Badgers down to Troy’s 10-yard line.Just two plays later, Stave rolled out to his left and was able to find the end zone on his feet from just five yards out, giving UW a 14-3 lead with under a minute remaining in the first half.“I thought that was big and we really needed that,” Stave said. “You didn’t want to go into halftime up 7-3 and giving them the ball to start the next half. I was really happy with the way we responded.”Despite giving up the score, Troy came out strong in the second half, moving down the field and into Wisconsin territory. They were threatening to score and make the game interesting once again.Then, on a first down in UW territory, Schobert broke through the Trojan’s offensive line and knocked the ball out of quarterback Brandon Silver’s hand from behind.Fifth-year senior safety Michael Caputo recovered the fumble and the Badgers were on the move once again.“Their offensive line gave us indicators on pass reads all game,” Schobert said. “We were expecting a pass that play, so a lot of it was just getting a good jump off the ball and making the play.Caputo’s partner at safety – fifth-year senior Tanner McEvoy – remained quiet through the first 37 minutes of the contest after playing well on both sides of the ball last week.That changed in a matter of seconds, as the Badgers slowly but steadily moving down the field on their opening drive of the second half, McEvoy took back-to-back snaps as a wildcat quarterback. The first went for 10 yards; the second went for 31 and a touchdown that put Wisconsin up 21-3.At that point, momentum was completely on Wisconsin’s side and Troy began to lose their grove on both sides of the ball.Stave completed 13 of 17 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown pass, with fifth-year senior Austin Traylor catching the lone touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and finishing with two catches for 39 yards.Erickson led the team in receiving with three catches for 87 yards, while Junior Robert Wheelwright added 2 catches for 50 yards. Redshirt sophomore Jazz Peavy managed 3 for 18 yards.UW balanced their efficient passing attack with their strongest rushing performance of the season, as despite the absence junior running back Corey Clement – who remained out with a groin injury – the backfield tandem of Ogunbowale and redshirt freshman Taiwan Deal combined for 161 yards on 30 carries.“I thought we did a good job running the ball,” Stave said. We stuck with it, kept pushing it and kept leaning on them. I think we did a good job of eventually pushing through and hitting some big runs.”Wisconsin will return home next Saturday for their final non-conference bout of the season, as they will take on Hawaii in primetime at 7 p.m. at Camp Randall.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *