Another big win for the Badgers. Three big points time…
1. Joel Stave has a ways to go.
Joel Stave will be a decent quarterback before he’s done. But right now? He’s in over his head a little bit. He’s lucky he’s in a situation where he’s not asked to do a whole lot. Just hand off. Hit a deep playaction pass now and then. Not turn the ball over. Mission accomplished against the Gophers, but not without some bumps along the way. Most of the bad stuff came in the face of the rush. The Gophers came after him hard and he took some bad sacks. Kid needs to learn to eat the ball and not lose yardage. He also needs work on throwing the ball away so it doesn’t almost get picked. Thankfully, the level of competition yesterday wasn’t exactly high, so the mistakes didn’t hurt. The experience will no doubt help him as we proceed.
2. Matt Canada has his groove on. Mostly.
Not a lot to hate on playcalling wise. There was one third down play that was incomplete to Derek Watt where you have to wonder what was going on. But outside of that, Canada pushed all the right buttons. He dialed up the deep stuff early, taking advantage of one-on-one coverage against Jared Abbrederis. That’s what you have to do if teams are going to bring their safeties up to stop the run. And of course the whole key was the way he mixed up James White and Montee Ball. They have a really nice thing going with the misdirection plays. It seems like White is better running those for whatever reason, while Ball is more of the straight-ahead guy who gets yardage after first contact. That one-two combination was more than the Gophers could handle. Their linebackers were totally wiped out of the picture. The Gophers just had no shot of stopping that once it got rolling.
3. The Badgers will be sorry they missed out on Philip Nelson.
Nelson’s going to be a good quarterback for the Gophers. If they can get him some receivers. Right now they’re sort of limited in what they can do with him. They ran a lot of zone read stuff yesterday, I guess trying to take advantage of his mobility. If you want to call that mobility. Most of that stuff looked like it was happening in slow motion, which explains why the Badgers had such an easy time stopping it. Nelson was actually good on those occasions when they let him line up and throw it. If you give the kid time he can make some things happen. He did have two picks but one of those was just a great reaction play by Devin Smith. So, the Gophers look like they have a quarterback. Now they just need some receivers and a defense.
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