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Thanks for the Tune-Up, Austin Peay
Posted By Chad Seely On Sep 26 2010 @ 12:37 pm In Wisconsin | No Comments
Say all you want about the Badgers scheduling a cupcake in their final non-conference game of 2010. It has been no secret to all Badger fans that despite the 3-0 record going into the game against Austin Peay, Bucky has not lived up to expectations. That may still be the case but a 70-3 beat down of Austin Peay will certainly boost the Badgers confidence going into their matchup against Michigan State.
In my preview article I said I would be looking for two things: a blowout and for the Badgers to stay healthy. Both of those happened, the blowout in grand fashion. The 70 points scored is a new school record in the modern-football era. The first 9 possessions went for touchdowns. 618 total yards. 346 on the ground and nearly perfect play from quarterbacks Scott Tolzien and John Budmayr.
It was nice to see the reserves get some solid playing time before Big Ten play starts. You never know when the coaching staff might be forced to go to a backup to step up and play meaningful minutes. We’ve already seen it with injuries to Chris Borland, Nick Toon and David Gilreath. Luckily, the Badgers have good depth at linebacker. At wide receiver its been a different story with guys like Jared Abbrederis and Kyle Jefferson picking up the slack. That will help Scott Tolzien out tremendously throughout the year. Even though both Toon and Gilreath will be back this week, it’s important to know the Badgers essentially can go five-deep at receiver.
Right tackle Casey Dehn got his first collegiate start in place of Ricky Wagner who was out with a shoulder injury. On the first series I thought Dehn missed his block which lead to Tolzien being sacked but after a second look it appeared as if running back James White missed his blitz pickup. Other than that, White played a perfect game. The freshman gained 145 yards on just 11 carries including four touchdowns. John Clay rushed for 118 yards on 15 carries, extending his streak to 10 straight games with over 100 yards on the ground.
So, the Badgers escape non-conference play with a 4-0 record. I guess when you look back on it they are lucky, but at the same time, 4-0 is exactly what it is: a perfect record. And that’s all that matters in college football. On to East Lansing for the Badgers first Big Ten conference game of the year. They’ll have their hands full with a Spartan squad that is also 4-0 on the young season. The last time they visited East Lansing, the Badgers blew an 11-point lead in the 4th quarter and ending up losing 25-24. You can expect Bret Bielema to use that game as a sparkplug for this Badgers team.
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