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October 4, 2010

Series by series: UW offense against MSU

MADISON - Offensively, Saturday's loss at Michigan State was atypical of a Wisconsin performance. The Badgers never really found a rhythm in the passing game and the running game was hit or miss. As a result, UW returns home with a goose egg in the conference win column.

Before shifting the attention towards Minnesota and the annual 'Battle for the Axe,' BadgerBlitz.com takes a look back at every UW offensive series.

FIRST QUARTER:

Drive No. 1: Started on UW 13 yard line following opening kickoff.
Plays: 3
Yards: 4
Result: 35-yard Brad Nortman punt.

Key play: Right from the opening kickoff it looked as though the Badgers would be in for a long day. Freshman James White muffed the kickoff and struggled to get out to the 13 yard line. Then, just a mere three plays later Nick Toon dropped a strike from Scott Tolzien. Though there was a holding penalty that would have negated the first down, the drop was a sign of things to come for a Badger offense that struggled.

Drive No. 2: Started on UW 24 yard line following kickoff. (3-0 Michigan State)
Plays: 4
Yards: 21
Result: 40-yard Nortman punt.

Key play: After John Clay opened the drive with an 18-yard run, the momentum quickly subsided. Three plays later, facing a third and seven, Tolzien was unable to get the ball to White. Credit Greg Jones with the quarterback hurry.

Drive No. 3: Started on UW 26 yard line following Antonio Fenelus interception.
Plays: 8
Yards: 74
Result: 16-yard White touchdown run. (7-3 Wisconsin)

Key play: After Tolzien hit Jacob Pedersen for 26 yards on third and four, White took the handoff and sprinted untouched to the end zone for the score.

SECOND QUARTER:

Drive No. 4: Started on MSU 33 yard line following Aaron Henry fumble recovery.
Plays: 4
Yards: 1
Result: 49-yard Philip Welch field goal. (10-3 Wisconsin)

Key play: Tolzien tried to pass to Clay on first down, but it fell incomplete. On second down, Clay was stuffed for a one-yard gain. Finally, on third down, Tolzien was unable to connect with a rusty Toon. UW was forced to settle for the field goal even after getting great field position from the turnover.

Drive No. 5: Started on UW 28 yard line following 36-yard Dan Conroy field goal. (10-6 Wisconsin)
Plays: 3
Yards: 0
Result: 46-yard Nortman punt returned 74 yards by Keshawn Martin for a touchdown. (13-10 Michigan State)

Key play: Kicking with the wind, Nortman tried to put too much on his punt. As a result, the junior punter ripped a line drive with minimal hang-time and Martin made him pay as he went untouched for the score.

Drive No. 6: Started on UW 24 yard line following kickoff.
Plays: 5
Yards: 23
Result: 14-yard Nortman punt.

Key play: Obviously flustered from his previous punt escapade, Nortman shanked a punt for 14 yards.

Drive No. 7: Started on MSU 48 yard line following Devin Smith interception.
Plays: 4
Yards: -21
Result: 47-yard Nortman punt.

Key play: The Badger defense had just forced its third turnover of the half, but yet again the offense squandered the opportunity. This time, Denzel Drone forced a Tolzien fumble when he hit him as the Badger quarterback was set to throw. Eventually Peter Konz was able to recover the loose ball, but it set up a 2nd and 37 situation UW was unable to overcome.

Drive No. 8: Started on UW 24 yard line following kickoff. (20-10 MSU)
Plays: 1
Yards: 1
Result: END OF HALF

Key play: N/A

THIRD QUARTER:

Drive No. 9: Started on MSU 47 yard line following 43-yard Aaron Bates punt.
Plays: 3
Yards: 47
Result: 34-yard White touchdown run. (20-17 MSU)

Key play: Following a stout three-and-out from the defense, the UW offense kept the momentum going. This time, White took the handoff from Tolzien, started to his left, saw that was jammed up and rolled to his right. With his speed, the freshman was able to take the broken play 34 yards for the score.

Drive No. 10: Started on UW one yard line following turnover on downs
Plays: 3
Yards: 7
Result: 43-yard Nortman punt.

Key play: Again, the Badger defense made a huge play by holding the Spartans on fourth and goal from the one. But again, the offense lacked any sort of flow and responded with a three-and-out.

FOURTH QUARTER:

Drive No. 11: Started on UW 30 yard line following kickoff (27-17 MSU)
Plays: 11
Yards: 70
Result: 12-yard Pedersen touchdown reception. (27-24 MSU)

Key play: Having just crossed into Spartan territory, Tolzien was faced with a third and 10. No worries, though, as the senior quarterback found Lance Kendricks on a middle screen for a 12-yard gain and a first down. UW went on to eventually score.

Drive No. 12: Started on UW 23 yard line following kickoff (27-24 MSU)
Plays: 8
Yards: 45
Result: Turnover on downs.

Key play: With desperation setting in after a crushing 15-play, 84-yard MSU touchdown drive, UW was forced to attempt to score quickly. It didn't work. Tolzien hit David Gilreath for 14 yards when the Badgers needed 17 on fourth down and that was that.



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