September 27, 2009

Series by series: UW's defense against MSU

MADISON, Wis. - In the end, the offensive numbers Michigan State was able to accumulate were a little deceiving. For the most part, the Wisconsin defense was able to keep the Spartans offense under check.

After the win, BadgerBlitz.com takes a look back at every defensive possession for the Badgers. The following is a series by series recap of UW's defensive plays.

First Quarter:

Defensive series No. 1: Started on Michigan State 30 following opening kickoff.
Plays: 3
Yards given up: 1
Result: 37-yard Aaron Bates punt.

Key play: On the first play from scrimmage, Culmer St. Jean stuffed Caulton Ray for a one-yard gain. The play forced Kirk Cousins to throw on both second and third down. Fortunately for UW, those passes were incomplete.

Defensive series No. 2: Started on own three yard line following 37-yard Brad Nortman punt.
Plays: 3
Yards given up: 3
Result: 46-yard Bates punt.

Key play: On third and one, Patrick Butrym led the defensive charge that kept Larry Caper from picking up the first down.

Defensive series No. 3: Started on MSU 20 yard line following 43-yard Nortman punt.
Plays: 7
Yards given up: 22
Result: Mike Taylor interception.

Key play: To start the drive, Cousins connected with Blair White for an eight-yard gain. That was the only reception White had during the game.

Defensive series No. 4: Started on MSU 36 yard line following Garrett Graham touchdown. (7-0 Wisconsin)
Plays: 9
Yards given up: 64
Result: 14-yard Mark Dell touchdown reception

Key play: Facing a third and 10 from UW's 14 yard line, Cousins threw a fade in the direction of Dell. UW cornerback Aaron Henry, who was in single coverage, tried valiantly to dislodge the ball in the back corner, but Dell was able to hang on for the touchdown.

Second Quarter:

Defensive series No. 5: Started on MSU 23 yard line following Graham touchdown. (14-7 Wisconsin)
Plays: 3
Yards given up: 12
Result: Chris Maragos interception

Key play: For some reason, Keith Nichol threw to Dell, but he was smothered within double coverage. All Maragos had to do was play center field and that's what he did.

Defensive series No. 6: Started on MSU 21 yard line following John Clay[/db[ touchdown (21-7 Wisconsin).
Plays: 4
Yards given up: 19
Result: 41-yard Bates punt

Key play: [db]Chris Borland pressured Cousins into forcing a pass to Dell. The play resulted in an incomplete pass and MSU was forced to punt.

Third Quarter:

Defensive series No. 7: Started on Wisconsin 30 yard line following Zach Brown fumble.
Plays: 6
Yards given up: 19
Result: 28-yard Brett Swenson field goal (21-10 Wisconsin)

Key play: UW brought a blitz on third down that forced Cousins to throw quicker than he wanted to. Therefore, his pass intended for Glen Winston sailed out the back of the end zone.

Defensive series No. 8: Started at Michigan State 30 yard line following 41-yard Philip Welch field goal. (24-10 Wisconsin)
Plays: 5
Yards given up: 70
Result: B.J. Cunningham touchdown reception. (24-17 Wisconsin)

Key play: Near midfield, Cousins found Brian Linthicum for a 27-yard completion on first down that set up the touchdown pass two plays later.

Fourth Quarter:

Defensive series No. 9: Started on MSU seven yard line following kickoff. (31-17 Wisconsin)
Plays: 4
Yards given up: 25
Result: J.J. Watt fumble recovery.

Key play: O'Brien Schofield came off edge, beat his man and then forced the fullback into running back Glen Winston. Because of the unexpected contact, Winston fumbled the ball and Watt recovered.

Defensive series No. 10: Started on MSU 20 yard line following kickoff. (38-17 Wisconsin)
Plays: 11
Yards given up: 43
Result: Turnover on downs

Key play: What a time for Borland to get his first sack. With MSU facing a fourth and 10 situation, Borland was able to get to Cousins and bring him down to force the turnover on downs.

Defensive series No. 11: Started on MSU 20 yard line following turnover on downs.
Plays: 6
Yards given up: 50
Result: Maragos interception.

Key play: Inside the Badger 30 yard line, both Jaevery McFadden and Schofield were able to pressure Nichol into making a bad decision. The play then resulted in Maragos' second interception of the day.

Defensive series No. 12: Started on MSU 38 yard line following 35-yard Nortman punt.
Plays: 4
Yards given up: 62
Result: 15-yard touchdown reception by Keshawn Martin (38-23)

Key play: Martin made his first of back-to-back catches on UW's 43 yard line where he caught Nichol's pass and turned it into a 28-yard gain.

Defensive series No. 13: Started on MSU nine yard line following 34-yard Nortman punt.
Plays: 1
Yards given up: 91
Result: 91-yard Martin touchdown reception (38-30 Wisconsin)

Key play: Maragos was in for the onside kick and did not realize the correct coverage during MSU's first play of the drive. So, due to the miscommunication, Martin ran right past Maragos, caught the bomb, and scored from 91-yards out.

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