Badger Musings: Ohio State Escapes With Overtime Victory
If you told Badgers fans at the beginning of the year, they would been be 4-2 with wins over LSU and Michigan State, they would take it. Wisconsin could be 6-0, it’s crazy to say that, but there are a couple breaks that could have broke in their favor, we’re talking about Wisconsin contending for a playoff spot. Ohio State and Wisconsin played a classic in Madison on Saturday night. A back-and-forth ball game with Wisconsin nearly pulling it out.
Badgers didn’t convert ‘four-point plays’
If you listen to Bill Simmons podcast, former NFL GM Mike Lombardi talks about ‘four-point plays.’ It’s defined as not converting red zone third downs and costing the team four points in the process by taking the field goal. Wisconsin is up 10-6 late in the first half. They get down to the goal line, and Corey Clement scores to put Wisconsin up 17-6 but a penalty pushes Badgers back leading to a field goal. Wisconsin gets to the goal line again and can’t turn it into seven. Wisconsin costs themselves eight points right there. It could have been 20-6 or 24-6 at half. Wisconsin dominated the first 30 minutes.
Tackling J.T. Barrett was a real issue
Much of Wisconsin’s problems in the second half had to do with not stopping J.T. Barrett at the point of impact. I couldn’t tell you how many times it felt like Badgers had a sack or a tackle for loss then Barrett would escape to find a guy down field or gain yards on the ground with his feet. This hasn’t been an issue for Wisconsin all season long, and I don’t think it will be going forward. Barrett is a special kind of player, and he doesn’t exist much around college football.
Alex Hornibrook bounced back in a strong way
Badgers freshman quarterback is the real deal. He made many great throws under distress of the Ohio State defense. Hornibrook also came up with big third down throws finding Jazz Peavy on multiple occasions. He finished with 214 yards and a touchdown. Hornibrook handled himself much better versus a premier opponent, and it’s not surprising Paul Chryst got him ready to go. It’s exciting to see what Hornibrook can do against some of the lesser defenses in the Big 10.
Corey Clement is healthy and ready to roll
This might be the biggest thing to watch for the second half of the season. Corey Clement finally got his swagger back with 164 yards on 25 carries with 6.6 yards per carry including a 68-yard dash. Clement looked great out there. It seems like he’s finally at 100 percent which he hasn’t been since the first half of the Akron game. That could be bad news for Wisconsin’s upcoming opponents who have both struggled against the run of late.