2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 2 - Oregon St at Wisconsin
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Sept. 10 at Wisconsin 35 ... Oregon State 0
CFN Analysis: The running game didn't work so hot early on for the Badgers, but that's what they have Russell Wilson. With the Beavers loading up to stop the ground game, Wilson was brilliant completing 17-of-21 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns, and then everything else kicked in as usual with Montee Ball tearing off 118 yards and two touchdown on just 18 carries. The defense didn't allow a thing and wasn't fazed at all by Oregon State's attempt to mix things up with the quarterbacks and the short passing game. This was another dominant performance against an overmatched team, but it's going to be a tough battle against Chandler Harnish and Northern Illinois next week; there can't be a lapse on the way to Chicago.
Oregon State doesn't have the firepower. The injury issues are one thing, but for a second straight week, the passing game failed to click and has absolutely nothing happening down the field. Not having Malcolm Agnew, who ran for 223 yards against Sacramento State but was out with a hamstring injury, didn't help take the pressure off the quarterbacks. Ryan Katz got his chances, but he was quickly replaced by Sean Mannion who completed 25-of-38 passes for 244 yards, but failed to come up with any big plays to change the game around. The Beavers were outclassed, but the ugliness of the first two weeks could go away with a win over UCLA next week.
(AP) MADISON, Wis. -- Russell Wilson threw three touchdowns and No. 8 Wisconsin overcame a slow start from its running game to beat Oregon State 35-0 at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday.
With Oregon State's defense stuffing running backs Montee Ball and James White early on, Wisconsin pounced on special teams mistakes and leaned on Wilson and the defense to do the rest.
In his second career start for the Badgers (2-0), Wilson was 17 of 21 for 189 yards and the three touchdowns, including a pair to tight end Jacob Pedersen. Wisconsin's running game broke through after halftime, and Ball had a pair of touchdowns in the second half.
Sean Mannion most of the snaps at quarterback while the game still was in doubt but struggled to move the ball for Oregon State (0-2).
Ryan Katz, the team's starter last season, also played for the Beavers.
Wilson, a former North Carolina State standout who gave up a minor league baseball career to return to college football, continued his successful start with the Badgers.
And Wisconsin's offense certainly got some unintended help from Oregon State. The Badgers' first touchdown was set up by a shanked punt and their second touchdown drive was helped by a personal-foul penalty on a punt.
Coming off a head-scratching loss to Sacramento State, Oregon State came into the game unsettled at quarterback and probably didn't walk away with any answers. Mannion and Katz both struggled to move the ball.
Oregon State did play well on defense early on but the Beavers still trailed 21-0 at halftime, undone in large part by special teams mistakes.
The first came on the Beavers' second possession, when punter Johnny Hekker bizarrely shanked a ball out of bounds for a four-yard loss that gave the ball back to the Badgers deep in Oregon State territory.
Oregon State's defense held on first and second down, then gave up a 17-yard touchdown from Wilson to a wide-open Pedersen.
The Beavers made another mistake early in the second quarter, when a personal foul penalty on long snapper Marcus Perry on a punt gave the ball to the Badgers near midfield.
Facing third-and-5 at the Oregon State 46, Wilson hit Nick Toon for a 17-yard catch-and-run and a first down. Wilson finished the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Toon, who made a leaping grab in the end zone.
With Wisconsin leading 14-0, Oregon State needed a drive to stay in the game. Instead, kick returner Kenyan Parker decided to field a kickoff inside the 5-yard line and step out of bounds to back the Beavers up into their own end zone. Then the Beavers took a delay-of-game penalty on first down.
Mannion hit Jordan Bishop for a 32-yard gain, but he was sacked by the Badgers' David Gilbert two plays later and the Beavers had to punt. Wisconsin took over at its own 28 and put together a 12-play, 72-yard drive capped by a 6-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Pedersen.
The Badgers' running game began to break through on the final scoring drive of the first half, then took over on the first drive of the second half. Ball and White both ran effectively on a drive that ended with Ball's 19-yard touchdown run. Wisconsin led 28-0.
The Badgers then put the game away when they stopped Oregon State's offense on a fourth-and-2 conversion attempt late in the third quarter.
Oregon State (0-1) at Wisconsin (1-0) Sept. 10,
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Here's The Deal … Wisconsin picked up where it left off at the end of the 2010 regular season with a dominant win over UNLV, and while playing a Pac-12 team was supposed to be a big deal, now, after Oregon State's ugly collapse last week in a loss to Sacramento State, the trip to Chicago to face Northern Illinois might be the toughest non-conference game of the lot.
It wasn't supposed to be this way for the Beavers, and it still might change around if the offense can get the passing game going better than it did last week. There's talent and athleticism on both sides of the ball, but the defense needs more time and more work after undergoing a major personnel overhaul. Wisconsin isn't going to care too much about the Beavers needing more work.
Oregon State has the short-to-midrange passing game that should give the Badgers a hard time, but can the defensive front hold up against the punch-in-the-mouth attack? Wisconsin has offensive balance with Russell Wilson leading a sharp passing game, but is the reloaded offensive line ready for far more defensive pressure than UNLV was able to provide?
Last year, Wisconsin needed a few special teams miracles to get by a plucky Arizona State team 20-19, and while Oregon State doesn't have the same athletes those Sun Devils had, they can move. The last time OSU played a Big Ten team was 2008, losing at Penn State 45-14, which was the last game against the Big Ten since losing to Michigan 31-12 in 1986. After last week's embarrassment, this game matters, but next week's Pac-12 opener against UCLA will mean far more. A nice showing in Madison would do wonders, while the Badgers are looking to move up the rankings after solidifying themselves in the top ten this week.
Why Oregon State Might Win: Wisconsin has major problems with good quarterbacks who can move and can get the ball out of their hands in a hurry. Oregon State's Ryan Katz and Sean Mannion can dink and dunk, even if they didn't do a strong job of it against Sacramento State, and they should give the Badgers fits. Don't let the 51-17 final score fool you; Wisconsin had problems with UNLV's offense. Caleb Herring completed 18-of-27 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns, and while the scores came when the game was out of reach, Wisconsin couldn't come up with stops when there wasn't pressure into the backfield. The Badgers don't have a top pass rush, and if Oregon State's shaky line can keep Katz upright, the opportunities will be there down the field. The key will be to stay out of third and long situations against a D that bends, but will also dial it up a few notches when it has to.
Why Wisconsin Might Win: Even if Oregon State was 100% there would be problems, but the Badgers will be facing several backups in key spots. Star receiver James Rodgers is still out of the mix with a knee injury; All-America caliber tight end Joe Halahuni is out with a shoulder injury; and in the worst of all worlds against the Badger running game, the defensive interior is in trouble with tackle Dominic Glover still trying to come back from academic issues and fellow tackle Kevin Frahm out against with a knee injury. Last week, the Beavers got pressure into the backfield without a problem and it still didn't matter, with the secondary getting picked apart for 296 yards and four touchdowns. They're not going to generate a consistent pass rush this week, which means …
What To Watch Out For: … it should be another week of the Russell Wilson show. The NC State transfer didn't disappoint in his debut completing 10-of-13 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns against the Rebels, while running twice for 62 yards highlighted by a brilliant 46-yard touchdown dash. In this offense, he doesn't have to do anything more than hit the single-covered receiver, and while he was a bit sloppy and missed a wide open target down the middle of the field, he was brilliant. After one week, Oregon State's pas efficiency defense is 101st in the nation.
Wisconsin ran for 241 yards and five touchdowns as a team, and James White and Montee Ball were terrific, but the nation's leading rusher is on the other side of the field. Answering the concern about who'll replace Jacquizz Rodgers, Malcolm Agnew ran wild last week with 223 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries. Because Oregon State doesn't have enough injury problems, the 5-8, 188-pound true freshman has a bit of a hamstring issue, but when he's right, he's extremely fast, smart, and tough enough to handle the workload … if he's 100%.
What Will Happen: Oregon State will have its moments. The Badgers will give up passing yards, and there will be a few long, sustained drives to answer for the tough UW marches, but the Bucky machine will keep on rolling. Wisconsin has too much balance, too much talent, and too many weapons for the Beavers to be able to keep up.
CFN Prediction: Wisconsin 38 … Oregon State 20
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Wisconsin -16 O/U: 57
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