Nov. 9, 2013
BY MIKE LUCAS
After turning off the microphone from his work with the Badger Sports Network, UWBadgers.com Insider Mike Lucas offers his take on the Badgers' 27-17 win over BYU.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Holding a 10-3 lead with 2:22 left in the first half, the Badgers were caught between huddling and going with a pure 2-minute drill, so they started off the series doing a little bit of both.
On a third-and-4 from the UW 41, quarterback Joel Stave completed an 8-yard pass to tight end Jacob Pedersen to really jump-start the possession.
Stave would convert on another third down -- third-and-4 from the BYU 45 -- by finding Jared Abbrederis for 10 yards, a play made possible by James White’s blitz pickup.
Another Stave-to-Pedersen connection -- this one good for 24 yards -- gave the Badgers a first down on the BYU 11. Like he had the week before at Iowa, Pedersen found a window in the deep secondary.
On second-and-4, with 22 seconds remaining, Stave dropped back to pass. His first reads were covered. Helping give him time to make his progression was White.
After looking to help on BYU’s Eathyn Manumaleuna, White instinctively headed down field and Stave picked him up almost immediately, delivering a perfect pass into his hands on the goal line.
The touchdown and extra point lifted Wisconsin to a 17-3 lead at halftime.
Given that the Cougars would get the ball to start the third quarter, it was a huge play in terms of momentum, it was the play of the game.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
White continues to make a late-season surge that is not surprising to any of his teammates who have come to value his attention to detail, his preparation and his playmaking.
Not only is White among the most difficult players to bring down in space, he has matured into a pass receiving threat that forces defenses to respect that dimension of his game, as well.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
You have to start with Chris Borland, who returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the Illinois game. He didn’t waste any time impacting the defense with his presence.
On BYU’s second offensive series, Borland lined up over left guard Solomone Kafu and used a quick spin move to blow past Kafu, which allowed him to pressure quarterback Taysom Hill.
With Borland bearing down on him, Hill was forced to get rid of the ball quicker than he wanted and the pass wound up being intercepted by Tanner McEvoy.
Borland ranged from sideline to sideline and was one of the most instrumental keys to Wisconsin taking away Hll’s running game. Michael Caputo was equally effective in this role.
At some point, you would like to think Wisconsin would get a little credit for winning from the poll voters. Whether or not anybody else knows it, the Badgers beat a very good Iowa team on the road last Saturday. But it didn’t seem to register with anybody. BYU was one of the hottest teams in the country prior to arriving at Camp Randall Stadium. The Cougars have quality wins over Texas, Houston, Georgia Tech and Boise State. Yet the Badgers were more than up for the challenged.
Will anyone notice?