October 19, 2009

Series by series: UW's defense against Iowa

MADISON - For most of the snaps in Saturday's loss to Iowa the Wisconsin defense played fairly well. But there were a select few plays, particularly on third down, that doomed the Badgers for the second straight week.

Before moving forward, BadgerBlitz.com takes a look back at every defensive series from Saturday's game.

First quarter

Defensive series No. 1: Started on Iowa 42 yard line following opening kickoff.
Plays: 8
Yards given up: 26
Result: Turnover on downs.

Key play: On the brink of field goal range, freshman Chris Borland sacked Ricky Stanzi on third and 11. Following that play, UW got decent pressure on Stanzi on fourth down and forced him to overthrow his intended target.

Defensive series No. 2: Started on Iowa 20 yard line following 52-yard Brad Nortman[/db[ punt.
Plays: 3
Yards: 4
Result: 50-yard [db]Ryan Donahue punt.

Key play: On third and six, Louis Nzegwu hurried Stanzi into throwing quickly. As a result, the ball sailed over Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and forced the Hawkeyes to punt.

Second quarter:

Defensive series No. 3: Started on Iowa 29 yard line following Philip Welch field goal. (3-0 Wisconsin)
Plays: 3
Yards given up: 5
Result: 58-yard Donahue punt.

Key play: It looked as though freshman running back Adam Robinson would have easily picked up the first down, but unfortunately for Iowa, he dropped the Stanzi pass and forced his team to punt.

Defensive series No. 4: Started on Iowa 35 following Montee Ball touchdown run. (10-0 Wisconsin)
Plays: 7
Yards given up: 45
Result: 37-yard Daniel Murray field goal. (10-3 Wisconsin)

Key play: UW looked like they were in favorable position to force another three and out, but on third and five from the Iowa 40, Stanzi withstood the blitz and bombed one deep towards Johnson-Koulianos. It seemed like the ball was in the air for a while, but when it was caught, it gave Iowa a big, 34-yard gain and extended the drive.

Defensive series No. 5: Started on Iowa 21 following 44-yard Nortman punt.
Plays: 3
Yards given up: 1
Result: 42-yard Donahue punt.

Key play: On third and five, UW senior O'Brien Schofield dropped Robinson for a four yard loss. It was the first of two tackles-for-loss for Schofield during the game.

Defensive series No. 6: Started on Iowa 19 following 46-yard Nortman punt.
Plays: 1
Yards given up: -2
Result: End of half.

Key play: Brandon Wegher was dropped by J.J. Watt for a two-yard loss. After that, Iowa was happy to let the clock wind down and head to the locker room down 10-3.

Third quarter:

Defensive series No. 7: Started on Iowa 46 yard line following Scott Tolzien interception.
Plays: 5
Yards given up: 17
Result: 24-yard Tony Moeaki touchdown reception. (10-10)

Key play: UW cornerback Devin Smith came free on the play but took a terrible angle on Stanzi. Stanzi broke contain, rolled to his right, fired one to the back corner of the end zone and Moeaki did the rest.

Defensive series No. 8: Started on Iowa 20 yard line following 38-yard Nortman punt.
Plays: 5
Yards given up: 5
Result:Schofield fumble recovery.

Key play: Borland came free on a blitz and hit the ball out of Stanzi's hand, forcing a critical fumble that Schofield would recover.

Defensive series No. 9: Started on Iowa 21 yard line following 38-yard missed Welch field goal.
Plays: 7
Yards given up: 79
Result: 10-yard Robinson touchdown run. (17-10 Iowa)

Key play: After playing stout defense for most of the day, the Badger defense collapsed in the fourth quarter. It seemed as though Welch's missed field goal deflated the team's psyche. On the drive, UW allowed Iowa to pass for gains of 11, 21 and 24 yards before Robinson capped it with a 10-yard touchdown run.

Defensive series No. 10: Started on Iowa 40 yard line following 43-yard Nortman punt.
Plays: 9
Yards given up: 29
Result: 48-yard Murray field goal. (20-10 Iowa)

Key play: UW had Iowa in a second and 22 situation outside of field goal range, but Stanzi hit Johnson-Koulianos for 14 yards to get back into it. Then Murray did the rest.

Defensive series No. 11: Started on Iowa 31 yard line following A.J. Edds interception.
Plays: 6
Yards given up: 49
Result: Turnover on downs.

Key play: With Iowa trying to get a first down to salt away the clock, UW's Watt brought Stanzi down for a five-yard sack on fourth and five.

Defensive series No. 12: Started on Wisconsin 40 yard line following Tolzien interception.
Plays: 3
Yards given up: -7
Result: End of game.

Key play: Stanzi took three quarterback kneels and sealed his team's 11th-straight win.

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