On this week’s episode of “The Camp,” Matt is joined by Danny Cunningham to breakdown the Badgers loss at Michigan, talk about having to reevaluate expectations for the season, get some of Bernie’s stories on his toughest losses and answer your Twitter questions.
MADISON — Jonathan Taylor ran for 221 yards and three scores as Wisconsin improved to 2-0 in Big Ten play after beating Nebraska 41-24 on Saturday night at Camp Randall Stadium.
Offense: RB Jonathan Taylor
For the most part, we haven’t seen the explosive runs this year from Taylor that we saw in his freshman campaign. Whether teams are just doing a better job focusing on him or the running game hasn’t been hitting on all cylinders, Taylor has put up big yards but not a lot of big gains. That changed against Nebraska. Faced with a first-and-10 from their own 12-yard line in the fourth quarter, the sophomore showed off his blend of power and speed by fighting off a pair of tacklers and then leaving everyone else in the dust.
Defense: Rush defense
Wisconsin didn’t have many standout efforts on the defensive side of the ball, but they did accomplish their goal of stopping the run and forcing Nebraska to throw. The Huskers ended up with 111 yards, but almost a quarter of that came on a 28-yard scramble by quarterback Adrian Martinez. Running backs Devine Ozigbo and Maurice Washington combined for 56 yards and were largely non-factors in the run game.
Special Teams: KR Aron Cruickshank
Cruickshank has often been asked on social media when he’s going to take a kick back for a touchdown and he’s always replied that it would come soon. Well, he didn’t get in the end zone, but he came really close in the first half. The only thing that stopped him? Nebraska kicker Barret Pickering, who got just enough of his foot to trip him up. It was one of three good efforts on the night for Cruickshank, who averaged 30 yards per return.
What they said
“It was nice to get out into the open field and stretch my legs a bit.”
— Jonathan Taylor on his career-long 88-yard touchdown run
“[With a] scrambling quarterback, covering a guy for nine seconds is kind of hard. There’s really nothing you can work on if you’ve got to cover for nine seconds.”
— cornerback Rachad Wildgoose on dealing with QB Adrian Martinez and the Huskers passing attack
“I give my hat off to (Martinez). He did [extend] plays well. … We just need to get more pressure. It’s kind of difficult guarding guys for that long period of time. But I think as a unit defensively, we’ve just go to do better. We’ll be ready for next week.”
— safety Eric Burrell on the struggles against Martinez
Videos of the game
For all the lip readers out there:
In Case You Missed It
— Wisconsin celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1993 Big Ten/1994 Rose Bowl title team on Saturday night. The group won the conference for the first time in 31 years and earned the Badgers first ever victory in the Rose Bowl. About 70 members of that team were back for a special halftime ceremony.
— The Badgers’ defense took several more hits on the injury front. Already playing without cornerback Caesar Williams, Wisconsin lost fellow cornerback Deron Harrell to a head injury in the first half and defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk to an apparent left leg injury in the third quarter.
The latter was seen leaving the field on crutches. It’s unclear what the exact injury is, but it’s to the same leg he had surgery on after spring practice that led to him missing all of fall camp and the season opener.
Safety D’Cota Dixon also departed late in the game with what looked like a leg injury, but Burrell said afterwards that he would be fine and expects him to play at Michigan.
Cornerback Faion Hicks played Saturday night despite what he said was a torn ligament in his left hand. He was wearing a soft cast and said it’s something he’ll have to continuing wearing for at least the next four weeks.
— Safety Scott Nelson was ejected for targeting in the third quarter. Because it came in the second half, Nelson will be forced to miss the first half of next week’s game at Michigan.
— Cruickshank delivered a crushing block (see below) on Taylor’s 88-yard touchdown.
— A healthy number of Wisconsin’s verbal commitments in the Class of 2019 were on hand for the game. That included 5-star offensive lineman Logan Brown and 4-star quarterback Graham Mertz.
Inside the Numbers
5 — That’s the number of games that Jonathan Taylor has run for at least 200 yards in his career. It’s tied for the third-most in school history, trailing only Ron Dayne (14) and Melvin Gordon (7).
533 — That’s the total number of yards Wisconsin had in the game. That’s the most for the Badgers in a Big Ten game since putting up 627 yards against Nebraska in 2014.
45 — That’s the projected number of catches this season (if Wisconsin plays 14 games) for Jake Ferguson after hauling in four passes on Saturday. It would be the most by a freshman tight end in Badgers history.
65 — That’s the number of field goals Rafael Gaglianone has made his career — tied for the most in Wisconsin history.
5 — That’s the total number of sacks Wisconsin has this year after linebacker T.J. Edwards picked up two on the night. The Badgers averaged three sacks per game last season.
518 — That’s the number of yards Wisconsin’s defense gave up. It’s the most since Ohio State put 558 on the Badgers in the 2014 Big Ten title game.
Wisconsin (4-1, 2-0) travels to No. 15 Michigan (5-1, 3-0) next Saturday to take on the Wolverines under the lights.
The Wisconsin Badgers return to action following the bye week at home against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Camp Randall Stadium. The last time the Badgers were in action they put forth an impressive effort in a 28-17 victory over Iowa in Iowa City.
The task won’t be as tall this week as the Cornhuskers come into Madison with a very disappointing 0-4 record in Scott Frost’s first season leading the way for his alma mater. The Cornhuskers are 0-2 inside of Big Ten play, with those losses coming by a combined 60 points. Nebraska also lost non-conference matchups at home to both Colorado and Troy as well as having a game cancelled.
Here are three keys for Wisconsin to move to 4-1 on the season:
Contain Nebraska’s offense
The Cornhuskers haven’t looked like a typical 0-4 team to this point in the season, at least according to a couple of Wisconsin defensive starters. Nebraska has been able to look solid at times on the offensive side of the ball with Adrian Martinez leading the way at quarterback. Just last week against Purdue the offense put up nearly 600 yards of total offense in a 42-28 loss in Lincoln.
Despite the fact that Wisconsin has struggled to create pressure on the quarterback at times and is still figuring out how to replace the seven lost starters from the 2017 unit, the defense has been pretty good.
The Nebraska offense will create a unique challenge for the Badgers, but it’s one they shouldn’t have a ton of problems with, either.
Big play offense
This season for Wisconsin, outside of maybe parts of the first game against Western Kentucky, the Badgers have struggled to create big plays offensively. Very rarely does it feel as if the next play could go 65 yards for a touchdown right now for Wisconsin. This week could be an opportunity to change that for the Badgers.
The Cornhuskers have given up 30 or more points in three of their four losses. The only offense that has the type of talent the Badgers do that Nebraska has faced is Michigan, and the Wolverines scored 56 points.
The Wolverines ran for 285 yards in that win over Nebraska, and that’s a number Wisconsin should approach on Saturday night at home.
Continue to ride the created momentum
Trailing by three on the road in a hostile situation, as the Badgers were last time they took the field against Iowa, is a situation that can make or break a team. A number of Wisconsin players expressed that there seemed to be a coming together moment on the sidelines during that fourth quarter.
The Badgers had not yet experienced something like that, even in their loss to BYU. Maybe the loss was BYU was the kick in the shorts that this team needed to create the “us against the world” attitude Wisconsin always seems to have. If that’s the case then the comeback win against Iowa was definitely a moment that this team needed.
Continuing to play with that type of edge can only do good for Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee Brewers just keep winning. For the fifth straight series the Brewers will win at least two out of three, and they’ll go for a sweep on Wednesday night.
The Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs 11-1 on Tuesday night behind a strong pitching performance from Wade Miley and a bit of a weird night offensively. The first seven runs of the night for the Brewers came via something other than an RBI hit.
Miley continued his terrific stretch of pitching as he threw six innings allowing just one run on three hits and striking out five as he earned the win. The bullpen picked up where Miley left off as they struck out five and allowed just two hits in three scoreless innings.
Offensively for the Brewers, Lorenzo Cain found himself on base five times. He was officially 1-for-1 with four walks and two runs scored. Christian Yelich stayed hot as he drove in a pair of runs, and Jonathan Schoop drove in three runs late in the game to pad the lead.
The Brewers will go for a three-game sweep of the Cubs on Wednesday night at Miller Park. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.
Here’s some takeaways from it.
One of the most impressive runs of spring came courtesy of running back Sam Brodner, and it came just 12 months after he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. Now, he’s no longer on the roster, and a team official confirmed Monday he’s no longer a member of the team. The Illinois product was a 3-star recruit that was a part of the 2016 recruiting class.
Also missing was senior offensive lineman Brett Connors. He played in all 14 games last year and had showed versatility in career with the ability to play center and right tackle.
Six more walk-ons — safeties Ryan O’Connell, Jake Benzing and Brad Laufenberg, wide receivers Chris Clementi and Sam DeLany, and cornerback Kobe Knaak — that were on the spring roster are also no longer listed.
WR Aron Cruickshank — No. 11 to No. 1
S Reggie Pearson — No. 19 to No. 3
CB Deron Harrell — No. 89 to No. 8
S Scott Nelson — No. 25 to No. 9
New freshmen numbers
QB Chase Wolf — No. 2
CB Rachad Wildgoose — No. 5
RB Isaac Guerendo — No 10
CB Alexander Smith — No. 11
CB Travian Blaylock — No. 24
RB Nakia Watson — No. 25
ILB C.J. Goetz — No. 34
OLB Jaylan Franklin — No. 42
OLB Mason Platter — No. 48
ILB Jack Sanborn — No. 57
OL Michael Furtney — No. 74
WR A.J. Abbott — No. 89
DE Isaiah Mullens — No. 90
DE Boyd Dietzen — No. 94
TE Cormac Sampson — No. 96
NT Olive Sagapolu down 4 to 342 lbs
OL Jon Dietzen down 13 to 323 lbs
OL Michael Deiter down 18 to 310 lbs
OL Micah Kapoi down 18 to 308 lbs
OL Patrick Kasl down 7 to 318 lbs
TE Luke Benzschawel down 14 to 247 lbs
ILB Griffin Grady down 11 to 214 lbs
S Patrick Johnson down 11 to 193 lbs
OL Tyler Beach up 21 to 311 lbs
OL Alex Fenton up 14 to 313 lbs
OL Logan Bruss up 22 to 303 lbs
OLB Arrington Farrar up 12 to 249 lbs
TE Jake Ferguson up 9 to 239 lbs
OLB Noah Burks up 11 to 241 lbs
ILB Ryan Connelly up 9 to 237 lbs
ILB Chris Orr up 9 to 232 lbs
RB Jonathan Taylor up 7 to 221 lbs
S Scott Nelson up 8 to 202 lbs
WR Danny Davis III up 10 to 196 lbs
You can find the roster here
CHICAGO – Earlier this summer the United States Supreme Court ruled that sports gambling could be made legal on a state-by-state basis. This ruling forced stances to be taken by all major leagues across the country. The Big Ten had an opportunity to comment on the matter Monday morning when commissioner Jim Delany spoke.
“We’ve had a lot of discussion about the changes in gambling that will obviously occur in the coming years,” Delany said. “I think that we would prefer a federal framework that either omits college sports from gambling at the state level.”
With the rules and regulations moving forward still fuzzy in many areas, it’s not known how possible this would be to make happen. Currently, there are no states with teams in the Big Ten in which sports betting is legal, however that may change soon.
Michigan, New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all are projected to have legalized sports betting within the next two years according to a report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. Those five states hold a total of seven Big Ten schools. There’s no promise that all of those states legalize gambling, but it’s certainly a possibility.
One of the things that has been requested is a league-wide injury report. An injury report is not a league-mandated memo at the time being, but some schools, such as Wisconsin and Northwestern, release one anyways.
Those releases aren’t always very specific or accurate. There have been instances where a player’s injury is made to seem less serious than it actually is. The reports aren’t necessarily very specific, either.
“We have an injury report at Northwestern that we’ve done for a number of years,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said Monday. “I’ve been accused of sometimes being honest and sometimes being less than honest. I would agree with that.”
If there is an injury report that is done across the league, there would need to be some type of accountability to ensure that teams are using it properly.
“I’m all for it,” Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. “Now, the specific reason why somebody’s not playing, I don’t agree with. I think there’s a lot of things that our university and our policies that we have to protect with the student athlete’s rights.
“I’m a huge advocate. I’d love to be able to see who is going to be able to play and not play. I think that creates different game-planning. It gives you a better advantage. But you’re also giving somebody an advantage, so it’s an equal playing field. I think teams have the right to know that.”
The injury report would not only help each team in the conference, but it would also help out those looking to wager on games, both legally or illegally. While Delany called for protection regarding gambling, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was more blunt with his words.
“As far as gambling, don’t associate with gamblers, avoid it like the plague,” Harbaugh said. “Don’t walk away from that, run.”
Harbaugh, like the commissioner and most everyone else did agree with the injury report idea, however. The man of few words at the podium said he would support it.
“I don’t call it an injury report as much as I think about it as player availability,” Delany said. “Whether that comes out of an injury or whether it comes out of eligibility or comes out of some transgression of one kind or another, I think we need to do that.
“I think we need to do that nationally. And I think the reason we need to do that is probably with the exception of the home field, the availability of personnel is critical to people who are interested in gambling legally or illegally. And therefore, when players are unavailable, we should know that, if they’re probably or likely, I don’t have the model code, but I do think it’s something that we should do and probably should have done it before, but certainly should do it now.”
The Madison Mallards took down the Fon du Lac Dock Spiders 3-1 in their Sunday night match up. Runs were at a premium, as both pitching staffs were able to work out of some jams and hold back the offense.
However, Andrew Baker dominated at the plate as the Dock Spiders were unable to retire him. He knocked in two runs off a two doubles, a single, and a walk. Baker broke the 1-1 tie in the sixth when he drove in Tyler Plantier, and added an insurance run in the eighth on a double to right field.
The Mallards are off until Thursday for the all-star break. The Mallards will be heavily represented in the match-up, as they are sending eight players and their managing staff.
In a offensive duel, the Kingfish were able to get the better of the Mallards, bringing in 14 runs on 13 hits. The scoring started early and often, with the Kingfish scoring twice in the top of the first and three more times in the second, thanks in large part to Mallard’s errors. Though the Mals were able to score in the third thanks to a David Vinsky single, they were never able to get back into the game. Kenosha’s offensive barrage peaked in the eighth where they dropped a whopping seven runs, including three homers in a row, on the usually competent Mallard’s defense.
Tanner Rogen was one of the lone bright spots from the night, giving up only one hit in two innings
The Mallards finish off their series with the Kingfish at 7:05 tomorrow night at the Duckpond .
MADISON — On Friday, Steve Stricker told reporters that events on the Champions Tour are “do-it-every day” type of tournaments because they last only three days, one less than on the main PGA Tour. Unfortunately for the Madison resident, he only played well on two of the three days, which led to his three-way third-place finish in the American Family Insurance Championship at University Ridge this weekend.
“[It’s] a microcosm of my year, really,” said Stricker, who shot 13-under for the tournament. “Some really good things and then throw some not-so-good things. Like yesterday, the whole round yesterday, that was the worst round I’ve played all year on any of the tours. That just killed me. If I could have just shot even par yesterday it would have given me a better opportunity.”
Instead, he shot a 2-over par 74, leaving him a 6-under coming into Sunday. Not even a very good round of 65 could get him to the top of the leaderboard.
Fellow Wisconsin native, Jerry Kelly, was also in the mix coming down the stretch, spending time in first place at 14-under. But he, like Stricker, couldn’t top Scott McCarron, who earned his first tour win of the year by shooting an 8-under 64 in the final round to finish at 15-under.
“I really thought it was going to happen,” Kelly said of him winning on what some might call his home course. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t as aggressive as I should have been on 16 and 17.”
Stricker was several holes in front of both Kelly and McCarron and knew the type of score he was going to need to win. But he missed birdie putts on the 17th and 18th holes that would have got him there.
“When we were coming in, I told Nicki (his wife and caddie) we’ve got to try to get to 15 [under],” Stricker said. “I saw that these guys are behind me, so I knew that they had the same holes to try to birdie as I did. I just thought that I needed to get to that number and just came up a little bit short. Had the opportunities, I just didn’t make those putts I needed to coming in.”
Kelly also had opportunities that he wasn’t able to convert, which were still on his mind afterwards.
“I’m disappointed, there’s no doubt,” Kelly said. “I want those putts back. I want to just go ahead and hit them hard, who cares what happens.”
In the end, though, both were pleased with the week overall, especially Stricker, who serves as host a tournament that is about a lot more than just golf. Nearly all the events this week, including a big concert Friday night, served as a fundraiser for the American Family Insurance Children’s Hospital.
“We’re fortunate the word is out that we’re doing some good things here, and obviously we’re raising monies for charities,” Stricker said. “But to get the support from the community and players alike [is great].”
MADISON — The first round of the American Family Insurance Championship is in the books, and there is a familiar name atop the leaderboard.
“It’s good just to get off to a fast start, which is key out here,” Stricker said. “There’s only three rounds, so you need to have a do-it-every-day attitude. This was the first day and I did well today. I’ve got to do the same thing (Saturday) and just keep doing what I’m doing. Just keep putting it in play and giving myself opportunities.”
Stricker went through the first nine holes at 4-under, but it probably should have been better. He missed a putt on the ninth hole for par that still had him a little upset afterwards, but he finished strong on the back nine.
“Absolutely not [with] the way he’s been playing,” said fellow Wisconsin native Jerry Kelly when asked if he was surprised with how well Stricker scored. “I talked with him (Thursday), and he was, of course, complaining that he couldn’t make anything. I know how well he’s hitting it.”
It’s Stricker’s second year being able to play on the Champions Tour, and the event makes for a tough back-to-back with the U.S. Open happening the week prior. But the fact he serves as the host, and more importantly, knowing all the benefits the event has for the kids at the American Family Children’s Hospital, Stricker is grinding through.
“It’s a lot of adrenaline this week. That’s kind of what I’m running on, I think,” Stricker said. “It’s a big week for us, so I’m just going with it. I’ll hit the wall, I’m sure, next week.”
Before that happens, he’ll have to fend off a stable of players that are within striking distance of the lead. Brad Bryant, who said he’s playing simply to get himself prepared for the U.S. Senior Open coming up, shot a 7-under 65 and sits in second place. Two shots behind him is Colin Montgomerie, John Daly and Steve Flesch. Kelly is tied for sixth at 4-under and last year’s champion, Fred Couples, is at 3-under.
“Now, it’s actually more fun,” Kelly said of the second and third rounds. “It’s ‘let’s go chase Steve.’”