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Football: Wisconsin gameday grades in Big Ten Championship loss

first_imgINDIANAPOLIS- The No. 6 University of Wisconsin football team fell in disappointing fashion to the No. 7 Penn State University Nittany Lions in the Big Ten Championship Saturday night. With finals right around the corner, the Badger Herald gave out grades to a Badger squad that fell short of a third conference championship for the first time in six years.Football: Wisconsin blows three-touchdown lead, falls to Penn State 38-31 in Big Ten title gameINDIANAPOLIS — It seemed too easy. The bounces, the calls, the everything, really, tilted in the favor of the University Read…Wisconsin Defense- DWhile Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley has been delivering similar dominant performances to Big Ten teams all season, the Wisconsin defense earned a D for their second-half breakdown that cost the Badgers the game. The pass rush and solid secondary that had terrorized opposing offenses for an entire year was nowhere to be seen in the second half, allowing a total of 384 yards and four touchdowns through the air.Wisconsin Offense- BThe Badger offense posted one of their best performances of the year Saturday, but was unable to finish off drives when it really counted and make up for the blunders of the defense. That being said, senior Bart Houston started his first game since the third week of the season and played as anyone could’ve expected, going 16-for-21 and 174 yards. The run game also saw much needed improvements, posting 241 yards against a Penn State defense that was known for its stout run defense.Wisconsin Special Teams- CWhile the Badger special teams didn’t win or lose them the championship game, they certainly didn’t do the overall team any favors. Andrew Endicott has struggled all season after starter Raphael Gaglianone suffered a season ending back injury early in the year. Those struggles manifested themselves in a missed 48-yard field goal on Saturday and, while it didn’t affect the outcome of the game, could’ve been costly had the Badgers punched in their final drive to tie the game.Wisconsin Coaching- CPaul Chryst has proven himself to be the right man for the Wisconsin job in his second year at the position and an overall record of 20-6. The defeat in the Big Ten Championship was certainly not on Chryst, the offensive playcaller for the Badgers, but the attitude of the team coming out of the locker room was not where it needed to be. While Chryst has never been known for his inspirational speeches, he needed to get his team ready for a Penn State surge in the second half and he didn’t.While it’s tough for Wisconsin fans to look back at the 38-31 loss with any glimpse of a positive attitude, Cs get degrees and the Badgers posted a composite C against an undisputed top ten opponent on the rise. The season felt as though it could’ve ended in at least a conference championship for UW, but the performance Saturday was just not enough to get the job done against an inspired Penn State community and team.last_img

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