Monday, April 23, 2007

Spring Game Breakdown

(Thanks to Chuckie Hacks Badger Apologist/correspondent A-Train Sale for his efforts)

I would guess there were upwards of 20K in attendance. Not sure how the likes of Nebraska and Oklahoma pull off the 60K plus for their spring games but it was a decent crowd at the Camp none the less. We stayed thru the 3rd quarter but I spent most of the 3rd pounding down my nachos...here are my thoughts.

Saturday was St. Patty's Day?

QB

Tyler Donavan started the game as the 1a QB- made a couple nice throws- had a little zip on the ball. Seemed to throw with confidence and handled the huddle as you'd expect. Scott Tolzein and Dustin Sherer split duties with the 2nd team. Both played OK with having to face the 1st team D. Tolzien has a nice throwing motion and moved pretty well for a big guy. Sherer is much of the same- to be honest, it's hard to tell these two apart from each other...throwing motion and body type are identical. One thing that stuck out with these two is that the 3rd and 4th string guys from this squad are light years ahead of reserve QBs from past squads. You would have seen a circus out there going against this #1 defense 4-5 years ago. Oh, and then there's this guy that wears #4- This was my first time seeing Allen Evridge in person- he's chubbier than expected- He's listed at 6'2" 225. I'll give him the 225 but no way he's 6-2. AE split time with TD with the 1s. His first throw was 30 yards of frozen rope to Swanny. A few "ahhhs" from the crowd. There is one other QB in the state of WI that could make that throw and he also wears #4. It was difficult to get a sense of his mobility with no contact on the QB- He has a solid arm but seems to struggle with the shorter throws and throws into the flat. He almost put one thru Lance Smith's chest from 5 yards and missed on what could have been a nice little touch pass to the corner of the end zone. From AE's body language you could tell he was out to prove something. He's kind of rah rah guy- I like him. If the opening kick off was next week I think TD would start?? By next fall? Who knows. Neither TD or AE did anything to decrease their stock nor did they set themselves above and beyond.

O-line
The only big question going into next season was the LT. Who's going to replace a future hall-of famer? I can tell one thing- It's not going to be Gabe Carimi. Jake Bscherer started with the 1s and held up pretty good. The word out of spring ball was that they both struggled with pass protection. JB held up alright but GC got used a few times by Shag-nasty and co. He came over to sideline after whiffing on Kurt Ware and O-Line coach Bob Palcic gave him a good 1 minute stare down. To GC's credit he came in with the 1s in the 2nd quarter and held up pretty well against the 2nd team D.

RB

Lance Smith looked OK at TB- he likes to get to the hole and square up and dance to the corner. He had a couple nice runs but most likely would have been modest gains against stellar units. He showed his durability- getting the majority of carries for the 1s thru 3 quarters. Tyler Holland was the 2s TB- he was a body- that's about it. The 'Rent (Bill Rentmeester) took the majority of the snaps at FB for the 1s in the first half. Chris Pressley took some quality snaps which included at TD catch. Hill, Smith and Johnny Clay…it'll be a good problem to have.

WR

One guy I made special attention of looking out for was Maurice Moore. He's vying for the 3 WR spot and didn't do himself many favors today. Dropped a pass over the middle and muffed a punt return. Luke “The Fennimore Flash” Swan and Paul Hubbard were solid. Both came up with nice catches- it was good to see Hubbard come up with a TD grab in traffic. All Hubb needs is confidence. I'm looking for one of the young receivers to step up. Who's this Toon guy coming in? Ha.

Defense
This brings me to a bright spot for an already very bright defensive unit. Jamal Cooper was a beast with the 2nd team D. If this kid can keep his head above water with the coaching staff he'll have terrific senior year. He seemed to have his pre-injury burst back and played with some good energy. The 2nd team D that started the game may be better than 2-3 teams the Badgers will face this year (as I remove my rose glasses). The 1st team D was solid, as expected. Ike will make one side of the field disappear and the rest of the unit will go to work. Shag-nasty looks to be returning to his freshman year form and Elijah Hodge (Abdul’s brother) seemed to hold up pretty well in the middle. The D wasn't really tested at all the first half and they didn't need to, nor could they, stunt against a undermanned 2nd O. Shane Carter at safety was a nice surprise. He seems to have a nose for the ball and looks the part. He's kind of a Bobby Myers clone. There is certainly one thing all these kids have in common. They can all flat out RUN. This has to be the fastest D we've ever seen for the Cardinal and White.

Other quick notes:
-Bielema wasn't real 'coachy'- kind of took it all in. His assistants were all over the place.
-DE Kirk DeCremer didn't dress? Dinged up?
-TE Travis Beckum played about 1 full quarter. Spent most of the rest of the first half fielding questions from the media- another good year and he's NFL bound.
-Kicking game is solid (as expected)
-Jonathan Casillas and DeAndre Levy are two cocky mo'fos…I hope they play like it come fall.
-You may not here Ike's name getting called more than 10 times this year. Who's going to throw at him?
-With the warm weather came some major tail all over campus…God Bless College Coeds…

Prediction: 10-2 regular season- loss at Penn St and vs Michigan…I hope I'm wrong

That's all I got.

3 comments:

Lee Corso said...

10-2? Whoa, not so fast my friend. At OSU is no picnic and The Zooker is stockpiling talent at Illinois. And don't sleep on Joe Novak's Northern Illinois Huskies...who else remembers them sacking Brooks Bollinger like 23 times in their win at Madison a few years ago?

train said...

I'm not so sure the Huskies pulled out the win that year? I'll give you the win in '88 vs Morton's fine squad.
I thought 10-2 was safe- I'd could go 11-1 if I had to.

Goldy said...

The basketball team l0st at Northern in the late '90's but the football team hasn' los to Northern since the late 80's. I was at that game. I also think i saw the Badgers lose to Hawaii at home in the same time frame.