October 29, 2008

Chronicling Beckum's career: 2007 and 2008

MADISON, Wis. - Throughout his career, Travis Beckum was continually the focal point of the Wisconsin offense. His skill set at the tight end position was too athletic for opposing linebackers and his hands were overly reliable.

When he went down with a season ending broken fibula last weekend against Illinois, the Badgers lost their go-to offensive weapon.

The following is a look back at every game Beckum played during the 2007 season:

Game 1: Washington State at Wisconsin
Date: Sept. 1, 2007
Result: 42-21 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: After a back-and-forth start to the season opener, the Badgers pulled away from the Cougars for an easy 42-21 win. Beckum finished the game with six receptions for 49 yards.

Game 2: Wisconsin at UNLV
Date: Sept. 8, 2007
Result: 20-13 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: It took a late Tyler Donovan bootleg to the front corner of the end zone for the Badgers to steal the win in Las Vegas, but a win is a win. Beckum finished the physical match-up with six catches for 66 yards.

Game 3: The Citadel at Wisconsin
Date: Sept. 15, 2007
Result: 45-31 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: In a sign of things to come, the Badger defense showed some vulnerability against an inferior foe. Beckum helped lead UW to a harder than expected victory with a four-catch, sixty-yard game with a touchdown.

Game 4: Iowa at Wisconsin
Date: Sept. 22, 2007
Result: 17-13 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: Under the lights of Camp Randall, UW opened Big Ten play with a touch 17-13 nail-biter. Beckum was held in check for most of the night, but he did receive a touchdown pass in the low scoring affair. In total, he finished the contest with four receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown.

Game 5: Michigan State at Wisconsin
Date: Sept. 29, 2007
Result: 37-34 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: In one of his best performances as a Badger, Beckum hauled in 10 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. The game marked the first time the tight end had double digit catches in a game.

Game 6: Wisconsin at Illinois
Date: Oct. 6, 2007
Result: 31-26 Illini win

Beckum's statistics: Even though the game against Illinois was one of the worst team performances in 2007, Beckum once again dominated defenders. He finished the game with 11 catches for 160 yards.

Game 7: Wisconsin at Penn State
Date: Oct. 13, 2007
Result: 38-7 Nittany Lion win

Beckum's statistics: P.J. Hill fumbled on UW's first play of the game and the floodgates opened for Penn State. UW was not really competitive following their deflating loss the week before, but Beckum still had an impact on the game. He finished with five catches for 70 yards.

Game 8: Northern Illinois at Wisconsin
Date: Oct. 20, 2007
Result: 41-3 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: The Badgers got back on track with a huge win against lowly NIU, but Beckum's day was mostly quiet. He finished with four grabs for 25 yards.

Game 9: Indiana at Wisconsin
Date: Oct. 27, 2007
Result: 33-3 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: UW coasted to an easy victory on homecoming to improve to 7-2. Beckum finished the contest with three catches for 45 yards.

Game 10: Wisconsin at Ohio State
Date: Nov. 3, 2007
Result: 38-17 Buckeye win

Beckum's statistics: UW went into No. 1 Ohio State's home stadium and gave the scarlet and gray quite the scare. The Badgers held a 17-10 lead midway through the third quarter but let the game slip away. Beckum had another huge game, nine receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown.

Game 11: Michigan at Wisconsin
Date: Nov. 10, 2007
Result: 37-21 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: Wisconsin beat a banged up Michigan squad handedly to improve to 8-3. Beckum finished with another huge day. In total, he snagged six balls for 106 yards and a touchdown.

Game 12: Wisconsin at Minnesota
Date: Nov. 17, 2007
Result: 41-34 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: In this old fashioned shootout, UW decimated the Gopher defense and racked up the total yards. For Beckum, his game was cut short as he suffered a shoulder injury early in the fourth quarter. Still, he finished with five catches for 89 yards and a touchdown.

Game 13: Outback Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Tennessee
Date: Jan. 1, 2008
Result: 21-17 Volunteer win

Beckum's statistics: In what many thought was Beckum's final game at Wisconsin, he struggled against a feisty Tennessee defense. He capped his junior season with a quiet two-catch, 22-yard day.

2007 final numbers:
Team record: 9-4

Beckum's 2007 final statistics:
-Catches: 75
-Yards: 982
-Touchdowns: 6
-Yards per catch: 13.1

-Finished second in the John Mackey Award voting for nation's top tight end.
-Was dubbed "Tight End of the Year" by Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio.
-First-team All-American
-Consensus first-team all-conference
-Nation's leading tight end receiver

2008 season:

Game 1: Akron at Wisconsin
Date: Aug. 30, 2008
Result: 38-17 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: Did not play due to hamstring injury.

Game 2: Marshall at Wisconsin
Date: Sept. 6, 2008
Result: 51-14 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: Did not play due to hamstring injury.

Game 3: Wisconsin at Fresno State
Date: Sept. 13, 2008
Result: 13-10 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: In his first action of the season, Beckum logged four catches for 51 yards.

Game 4: Wisconsin at Michigan
Date: Sept. 27, 2008
Result: 27-25 Wolverine win

Beckum's statistics: It seemed UW had this game in control when they were up 19-0 at the break. Beckum had yet to play and the Michigan offense was horrendous. However, everything changed in a short matter of time and Beckum found himself on the field in the clutch. He finished with two catches and 17 receiving yards. However, his mental miscue on the game-tying two-point conversion prevented UW from tying the game.

Game 5: Ohio State at Wisconsin
Date: Oct. 4, 2008
Result: 20-17 Buckeye win

Beckum's statistics: Terrelle Pryor led the Buckeyes on a late, game-winning touchdown drive and OSU stunned the Badgers. Beckum finished the game with six receptions for 60 yards.

Game 6: Penn State at Wisconsin
Date: Oct. 11, 2008
Result: 48-7 Nittany Lion win

Beckum's statistics: Though the Badgers were blown out, Beckum finished with five catches for 79 yards.

Game 7: Wisconsin at Iowa
Date: Oct. 18, 2008
Result: 38-16 Hawkeye win

Beckum's statistics: UW kept it close for a while, but Shonn Greene had a career day and led his team to an easy win. Beckum completed the contest with four catches for 41 yards.

Game 8: Illinois at Wisconsin
Date: Oct. 25, 2008
Result: 27-17 Badger win

Beckum's statistics: And one of the better careers in a Badger uniform came to an end when John Clay rolled up on a blocking Beckum in the third quarter. Before leaving the game, Beckum had two catches for 16 yards.

Final career numbers:
-Catches: 159
-Yards: 2,149
-Touchdowns: 11
-Average yards per catch: 13.5

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