Greetings, Cougar Nation and welcome to Football Friday, Week I style. Hard to believe that another year of mediocrity is upon us (of course, I am referring to this Blog and not the upcoming season. Hope springs eternal in the heart and mind of Brinkhater and his clone army!), but we're amped to get this ball rollin'!
Anyhow, although its not Friday, we’re gonna post a bit early to accommodate the start of the season on Thursday.
Now, onto the season opener.
For those new to this Blog, you should not look for “key things to watch for” stuff from Brinkhater as you will see in the typical mold.
For one, Sedihawk does that on the AOL side as well as anyone (check that, BETTER than anyone). For two (Brinkhater always goes for two), it is also hard to imagine that Brinkhater can compete with the pros who actually write this crap for a living.
As a result, what you will find here on the eve of each game are trends to look for—I’ll leave the x’s and o’s to people who actually know something about the game....
Anywho, as the header indicates, this game is going to come down to “2nd and 3.”
As I noted in the season preview WWWWWWWAAAY back, our greatest chance at an upset rests in our ability to score early, get the Badger defense on its heels, and then make them play catch up while we blitz like hell.
So, here is Brinkhater’s gaze into his soothsayer chalice of Ole Milwaukee Light (gotta drink Wisconsin Beer this weekend, you know):
First of all, call me cwazy, but I really think that there’s at least a 50% chance that we are going to win the toss this week. Given those great odds, Brinkhater foresees us actually winning the toss, electing to receive, and then running the ball out the 27 yard line.
Then, on trots Alex Brink and company... After a 3 yard out to Bumpus, we lose 8 yards on the next two plays. We punt from the 22 and Wisconsin starts their first possession on their own 41 yard line.
At that point, the question is simple: Can we hold em to 3 stinkin’ points?
I think we will.
For me, then, the second possession is key. Do we settle down, put a drive together and put the peddle down a bit, or do we go three and out AGAIN and then face a 10-0 hole early (which will signal onslaught, by the way...)
BUT IF WE PUT A DRIVE TOGETHER ON THE SECOND POSSESSION, the game will be interesting. IF we don’t, its gonna be a laugher. Its really gonna be that simple.
So, look for how our defense does on our first possession and how the O does on the second. For me, that’s the key to whether this “game” will, in fact, be a game.
1) With the humidity as well as the Badger’s depth and talent, you know that they are going to score 14-21 points on sustained drives.
2) With us starting three newbees in the secondary, you know that we are going to give up two touches based on big plays.
3) For us to win, then, we will have to score AT LEAST 35 points.
Here’s why we WILL:
1) The Big 10 showed themselves to be super slow in the big games last year. If we are anything, we are NOT slow.
2) Unlike the SEC who sees offense and talent every year (e.g. the Auburn game), Wisconsin’s schedule was lightweight with the exception of Michigan early in the year. In short, they are NOT prepared for what it is that we COULD bring at them on Saturday (e.g. with Brink on his A+ game and Gipson able to play). Moreover, our front seven is going to be a BEAST for Hill--at least early in the game.
3) With the DE out, they may not be able to pressure Brink sufficiently. And that will cause trouble for anyone.
Why we Won’t:
1) Despite Wisconsin’s schedule last year, NO ONE put points up against them. Part of that has to do with offensive efficiency and BALL CONTROL, but the other part has to do with the fact that they are ranked #7 (and won 12 games last year) for a reason: THEY’RE GOOD!
2) When its HOT and HUMID the name of the game is ball control. While I love the BIG front that we are throwing at them with Rapoti on the DE, I think the steamroll will start in the second half. After we give up a couple of bombs and Hill runs downhill like he's Bill Johnson in the 84 Olympics, its time to upshift from beer to the hard licks......
Anyone wanna say “Auburn-Ohio-State REDUX”? Brinkhater sure does..
This game will be interesting for nearly three quarters as we try to dig ourselves out of a hole early but just can't. Wisconsin rolls us late (insert the "I loved our effort quotes here").
Brinkhater has been wanting to pick an upset all week long but just can’t—especially with Gipson and Ivory questionable.
Badgers 41 WSU 17 (Ya, you go Romeen with that 41 yard squeeker in the first half!)
Beavs 21 Utah 20 (it’ll be ugly but a win for the Chipmunks)
UW 17 Syracuse 14 (Don’t watch if you like yourself or football at all…two bad teams playing, well, BAD football).
UCLA 48 Trees 9 (Get ready to hear about an undefeated match-up between the Cubs and Troy for at least 4 weeks).
CAL 31 Tennessee 14 (First about face of the year: Ainge’s little Pinky allows CAL’s offense to roll)
Bowden Bowl 71:
Bobby 41 Tommy 16 (T-Bone gets his first sip of the bottle in his swan song season).
Enjoy the GAMES!!!!
And go Cougs.
(BTW: Alex's final line: 23-41-262-0(int)-2(tds) CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!!)