December 28, 2008

Series by series: UW's offense against FSU

Offensively, the Wisconsin football team left its worst performance for last against a very athletic and motivated Florida State squad in Saturday's Champs Sports Bowl. Sure UW amassed 333 total yards, but many of those came with the game out of hand.

Today, BadgerBlitz.com looks back on every offensive series. The following is a series by series recap of UW's 42-13-bowl loss:

First quarter:

Drive No. 1: Started on own three yard line following Graham Gano punt.
Plays: 7
Yards: 38
Result: 55-yard Brad Nortman punt

Key play: On a play that is usually run for David Gilreath, fellow wide receiver Isaac Anderson took the end around for 19 yards and got UW out of bad field position.

Drive No. 2: Started on own one yard line following Gano punt.
Plays: 3
Yards: 2
Result: 45-yard Nortman punt.

Key play: On the punt attempt, it seemed like Nortman was on the verge of getting it blocked in his own end zone. However the freshman remained poised and delivered a very good punt with the Seminoles bearing down on him.

Drive No. 3: Started on own one yard line following Gano punt.
Plays: 10
Yards: 74
Result: Florida State fumble return for touchdown (7-0 Florida State)

Key play: With UW driving on FSU, quarterback Dustin Sherer took the snap from center and tried throwing out to P.J. Hill. However, as he flung the lateral, the ball was batted and Drew Nicholson picked up the ball and rumbled 75 yards downfield for the games opening score.

Second quarter:

Drive No. 4: Started on FSU 46 yard line following kickoff
Plays: 3
Yards: 6
Result: 40-yard Nortman punt.

Key play: On third and two, and UW already in Seminole territory, offensive coordinator Paul Chryst sent in a passing play. However, with FSU's relentless attack, Sherer was sacked, forcing the Badgers to punt.

Drive No. 5: Started on own 28 yard line following Gano punt.
Plays: 6
Yards: 58
Result: 31-yard Philip Welch field goal. (7-3 Florida State)

Key play: Hill found the hole on the second play of the drive, juked a defender and rumbled 46 yards to get UW well into Florida State territory. However, the drive stalled and the Badgers had to settle for the short field goal.

Drive No. 6: Started on own seven yard line following Gano punt.
Plays: 3
Yards: 8
Result: 38-yard Nortman punt.

Key play: With time running out in the half, UW could have run the clock out by running the ball, instead, the Badgers got aggressive and passed. By doing so, the clock remained in FSU's favor and after a timeout following Anderson's short third down reception, the Seminoles utilized the remaining time to score a backbreaking touchdown right before the break.

Drive No. 7: Started on own 23 yard line following kickoff (14-3 Florida State)
Plays: 1
Yards: -2
Result: End of half

Key play: UW kneeled on the ball to go into the half down 14-3.

Third quarter:

Drive No. 8: Started on own 20 yard line following kickoff.
Plays: 6
Yards: 56
Result: 41-yard Welch field goal. (14-6 Florida State)

Key play: Once again, Hill broke into the open field and rushed for a 43 yard gain. Still, UW could only salvage a field goal out of the drive.

Drive No. 9: Started on own 20 yard line following kickoff (21-6 Florida State)
Plays: 3
Yards: 57
Result: Hill fumble recovered by Florida State.

Key play: Following Sherer's 29 yard naked boot leg run, Hill took a handoff, broke into the Seminole secondary, attempted to juke his defender, was spun around, hit and fumbled the ball. This was essentially the nail in the coffin for the Badgers.

Fourth quarter:

Drive No. 10: Started on own 33 yard line following kickoff (28-6 Florida State)
Plays: 3
Yards: 18
Result: Sherer fumble recovered for touchdown. (35-6 Florida State)

Key play: In obvious crisis mode, Sherer dropped back in a collapsing pocket. As he was looking for someone to throw to, he was hit from behind and fumbled. The Seminole defender picked it up and scored an easy touchdown.

Drive No. 11: Started on own 20 yard line following kickoff (42-6 Florida State)
Plays: 3
Yards: -5
Result: 43-yard Nortman punt.

Key play: Facing third and eight, Sherer was sacked for a loss of seven loss, forcing the Badger punt.

Drive No. 12: Started on own 29 yard line following kickoff
Plays: 3
Yards: -2
Result: 45-yard Nortman punt.

Drive No. 13: Started on own 29 yard line following Gano punt.
Plays: 5
Yards: 70
Result: Touchdown (42-13 Florida State)

Key play: If there was any consolation for UW, it was seeing receiver Elijah Theus haul in his first career touchdown. Rolling to his right, Sherer fired the ball towards the end zone. Theus hauled it in, drug his foot and gave UW its only touchdown of the game.

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