4th and goal

A football blog

Down, but not out

This is likely the last of my older material that I will post. This one I posted because it is different content-wise from the other two, focusing more on the games aftermath than the game itself.

Packers -10
Giants-38

Going into the bye week, the Giants looked like they were regressing with two consecutive losses, including a 31-13 blowout by the Bengals that was never close. They are no longer regressing, and the packers were unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of what may well turn into a hot streak for the Giants.

However, while Green Bay’s O-line played poorly, and they were plagued by injuries on both sides of the ball, this is not the time to panic. Yes, the Packers just got destroyed by one of the better teams in football. However, Green Bay is still 7-4, one game behind the Bears for the lead in the NFC North. The Packers hold the tie breaker with another game on December 16th.

In addition, this is hardly the only time that a playoff contender has been blown out. In fact, the packers were on the other end of one earlier this year in week 6 VS the Huston Texans. The packers were coming off of a second half meltdown in Indy, holding a record of 2-3 going into Reliant stadium to take on the undefeated Texans. The Packers made a bold statement in a game where Aaron Rodgers threw for 6 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in a 42-24 dismantling of the one of the most vaunted defenses in the NFL. Huston faced the Ravens the next week, and beat them 43-13.

These are just two of several examples of a good team being blown out and coming back to win in stunning fashion the next week. Indeed, that’s what the Giants just did. With that in mind, this is not the time to panic, not at 7-4 with a 2-0 division record. I would not be surprised if the packers get a big win next week against the Minnesota Vikings.

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Big Ten Championship Game

Wisconsin 70 – Nebraska 31

They weren’t supposed to be there. The 7-5 badgers got in to the Big Ten championship game only because of NCAA sanctions to Ohio State and Penn State, both of whom finished above Wisconsin in the division. They went into the game 1 point underdogs after dropping the big ten opener to Nebraska by 3, one of four losses by a field goal this season. Wisconsin was supposed to lose another close one. They proved everyone wrong.

Wisconsin started out fast, which was not unexpected. What was different was the play calling. After taking serious criticism for his vanilla play calling during the Penn State game, offensive coordinator Matt Canada opened up the playbook against Nebraska, giving them new looks to deal with on the defensive side of the ball.

Another major factor was the use of Melvin Gordon, who despite his known playmaking ability, only touched the ball twice against Penn State, once for a 57 yard touchdown. Against Nebraska, Gordon had 4 touches for 152 yards and 1 touchdown by halftime. The badgers also led 42-10. One big reason for the badger’s success was their ability to utilize speed on the outside. Melvin Gordon gave them that speed, but James white also contributed outside. Perhaps White’s biggest contribution, however, was his five total touchdowns, 3 from the barge formation, including a touchdown pass to Sam Arneson.

Montee Ball also had a great game, rushing for 200 yards and scoring 3 touchdowns, including a 56 yarder in the 3rd quarter in which he broke 2 tackles and delivered a mean stiff-arm down field before running into the end zone. During the game, Ball also broke the total career rushing touchdown record of 76, as well as tying the career multi-touchdown games record both held by Travis Prentice of Miami (OH). Ball broke the career total rushing touchdown record held by Prentice last week against Penn State.

Wisconsin will play Stanford in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on January 1st.

Wisconsin loses close game to Penn State

This is the first thing I wrote last December. It is a post game report after the season finale at Penn State. It is the first of a series of my earlier articles I will post.

After a solid start, Wisconsin floundered in their 5th loss of the season. Wisconsin came out running the ball and got two touchdowns in the first quarter, including a 57 yard touchdown pass to Melvin Gordon. The second touchdown was a 17 yard run by Montee Ball, which broke the FBS single season record for career touchdowns with 79. The previous mark was 78, held by Travis Prentice of Miami (OH) (1996-1999). After that, the offense went downhill. Dropped passes, poor blocking and early penalties killed drives. After allowing a touchdown on Penn State’s first drive, Wisconsin held them scoreless for the rest of the half.

The Badgers went into the locker room up 7, but problems continued in the second half. The defense gave up its first field goal early on in the 3rd quarter, but held the Nittany Lions to 6 points in the 3rd. The offense, however, completely stagnated, with three consecutive three and outs. In the fourth quarter Penn State came out hot as Matt McGloin hit Jesse James for a 41 yard TD pass, giving Penn State a 21 – 14 lead, their first of the game. After that, however, the Wisconsin defense managed to hold their own, despite looking gassed late, as Penn State failed to score in regulation. The Wisconsin offense, meanwhile, suffered another three and out and Curt Phillips threw a critical interception in the red zone. While Penn State went 3 and out, that pick cost the Badgers points that could have won the game.

On their final drive of regulation, however, Wisconsin managed to get something rolling. Big plays by young receivers helped move Wisconsin down field, overcoming multiple 3rd downs on the way, a rarity to that point. Then on 3rd down, Curt Phillips hit Jeff Duckworth in the end zone, and Kyle French hit the extra point to tie the game at 21 all with 18 seconds remaining. Penn State took a knee to send it into overtime. Wisconsin’s defense took Penn State three and out, but Sam Ficken snuck a 37 yard field goal through the uprights to put Penn State up 24 – 21. Wisconsin went three and out and Kyle French missed a 44 yard field goal, giving Penn State the win.

Penn State moves to 8-4 (6-2 Big Ten) on the year, while Wisconsin falls to 7-5 (4-4 Big Ten). Due to NCAA sanctions on Ohio State and Penn State, Wisconsin will play Nebraska (10-2) next week in the Big Ten title game.

A new blog

My name is Tyler Richter and welcome to my blog. I am a student at Madison College with plans to attend UW Madison as a Journalism major. I plan on becoming a sports journalist and created this blog to share what I have written about various sports, mostly football.