November 23, 2008

Series by series: UW's offense against Cal-Poly

MADISON, Wis. - Offensively, the Wisconsin football held the ball for only 20 minutes of its game against Cal-Poly on Saturday. Still, the Badgers were able to put up 429 total yards of offense as it squeaked past the D1-AA Mustangs 36-35.

The following is a series by series review of UW's offensive possessions:

First quarter:

Drive No. 1: Started on own 20 yard line following opening kickoff.
Plays: 6
Yards: 40
Result: John Clay lost fumble.

Key play: The Badgers started the game with six straight running plays and were moving the football. However, on third and two, Clay took the handoff and picked up the first down. But, before he was down, he fumbled and the Mustangs recovered.

Drive No. 2: Started on own 34 yard line following kickoff. (7-0 Cal-Poly)
Plays: 4
Yards: 18
Result: 34-yard Brad Nortman punt.

Key play: After Dustin Sherer connected with David Gilreath for 22 yards on the first play of the drive, P.J. Hill was hit for a two-yard loss on first and 10 inside Cal-Poly territory. Then, on the ensuing play, Sherer was sacked for a nine-yard loss and UW was unable to convert third and 21.

Second quarter:

Drive No. 3: Started on own 17 yard line following 58-yard Harlan Prather punt.
Plays: 3
Yards: -3
Result: 39-yard Nortman punt.

Key play: Facing a manageable third and four, Sherer was once again sacked, forcing UW to punt.

Drive No. 4: Started on own seven yard line following Prather punt.
Plays: 3
Yards: -2
Result: 35-yard Nortman punt that was returned for a touchdown. (13-0 Cal-Poly)

Key play: Nortman kicked a low, line-drive punt that got to Mustang returner Tredale Tolver quick enough that he could assess his running lanes. When he caught it, he cut it up to his right and barely beat Nortman to the pylon for the touchdown.

Drive No. 5: Started on own 36 yard line following kickoff.
Plays: 6
Yards: 64
Result: 17-yard Clay rushing touchdown. (13-7 Cal-Poly)

Key play: Sherer dropped back on second and 13 early in the drive and found Gilreath across the middle of the field. The sophomore caught the pass, cut across the field and picked up 39 yards. Four plays later, Clay sprinted to the end zone to give UW its first score.

Drive No. 6: Started on own 27 yard line following kickoff. (20-7 Cal-Poly)
Plays: 4
Yards: 73
Result: 26-yard Nick Toon touchdown catch. (20-14 Cal-Poly)

Key play: Starting the drive with just over one minute left in the half, UW marched down the field with gains of nine, 15 and 23 yards before Sherer connected with Toon for the touchdown.

Third quarter:

Drive No. 7: Started on own 23 yard line following Prather punt.
Plays: 3
Yards: 7
Result: 46-yard Nortman punt.

Key play: None

Drive No. 8: Started on own 20 yard line following kickoff. (23-14 Cal-Poly)
Plays: 4
Yards: 80
Result: 10-yard Hill rushing touchdown. (23-21 Cal-Poly)

Key play: As Sherer was nearing the sideline on a rollout, he found Gilreath open down the same sideline for a 49-yard gain. Three plays later, Hill scored on a determined 10-yard run.

Fourth quarter:

Drive No. 9: Started on own 17 yard line following kickoff. (29-21 Cal-Poly)
Plays: 8
Yards: 33
Result: Turnover on downs

Key play: At the time, it seemed like Sherer had found Gilreath for another big gainer. Then, it seemed the Badgers were on the wrong end of another bad bounce. It looked like Gilreath had the ball stripped, had it kicked and hit the pylon, indicating a touchback and change of possession. However, the play was reviewed and ruled incomplete, that Gilreath never had possession.

Three plays later, however, Sherer was unable to complete his fourth down pass and UW turned the ball over on downs.

Drive No. 10: Started on own 11 yard line following Prather punt.
Plays: 9
Yards: 89
Result: Three-yard Hill touchdown run. (29-29 tie)

Key play: With the pocket collapsing and the clock running down, Sherer broke out of the pack and sprinted for a big 22-yard gain. The run gave UW great field position and paved the way for the dramatic finish.

Three plays later, Clay broke a run off right tackle for 27 yards on third and one to set up Hill's second touchdown of the game. Then, on the same play as his touchdown run, Hill managed to get across the goal line for the game-tying two-point conversion.


Drive No. 11:
Plays: 3
Yards: 25
Result: Six-yard Clay touchdown run. (36-35 Wisconsin)

Key play: After Cal-Poly's kicker missed his third extra point attempt of the game, Philip Welch connected on UW's extra point to seal the Badger win.

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