November 2, 2008

Series by series: UW defense against MSU

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Wisconsin defense badgered the entire Michigan State offense for most of the contest. Stud running back Javon Ringer was never able to get going and UW had Brian Hoyer flustered. Still, when Brett Swenson's 44-yard field goal split the uprights, none of that mattered.

The following is a look back at the Badgers defensive performance against the Spartans:


First quarter

Defensive series No. 1: Started on Michigan State 23 yard line following Brad Nortman punt.
Plays: 4
Yards given up: 9
Result: 41-yard Aaron Bates punt.

Best play: Matt Shaughnessy blew up a Ringer run on first and ten for a three yard loss. Two plays later, MSU was forced to punt.

Defensive series No. 2: Started on Michigan State one yard line following Nortman punt.
Plays: 3
Yards given up: 9
Result: 41-yard Bates punt.

Best play: Both Jay Valai and DeAndre Levy brought MSU receiver Blair White down one yard shy of the maker to force the Spartans punt.

Defensive series No. 3: Started on Michigan State 20 yard line following kickoff. (7-0 Wisconsin)
Plays: 6
Yards given up: 12
Result: 48-yard Bates punt.

Best play: Shaughnessy got into the backfield again and this time brought Ashton Leggett down for a six yard loss on second and 10.

Second quarter

Defensive series No. 4: Started on Michigan State 32 yard line following Nortman punt.
Plays: 3
Yards given up: -8
Result: 45-yard Bates punt.

Best play: On second and six, Daniel Moore and O'Brien Schofield brought Ringer down for a one yard loss.

Defensive series No. 5: Started on Wisconsin 42 yard line following fumble recovery.
Plays: 8
Yards given up: 32
Result: 27-yard Swenson field goal. (7-3 Wisconsin)

Worst play: Hoyer moved the ball downfield methodically and picked up two first downs before UW's defense stiffened and forced the Spartans to settle for a field goal.

Defensive series No. 6: Started on Michigan State 25 yard line following Nortman punt.
Plays: 10
Yards given up: 72
Result: 21-yard Swenson field goal. (7-6 Wisconsin)

Best play: Mike Newkirk burst through the MSU offensive line and sacked Hoyer on the first play of the series.

Worst play: On third and 11, UW had a chance to force the three and out, but Hoyer found Keshawn Martin across the middle for 14 yards and the first down.

Third quarter

Defensive series No. 7: Started on Michigan State 29 yard line following second half kickoff.
Plays: 6
Yards given up: 14
Result: 47-yard Bates punt.

Best play: On third and six near midfield, Hoyer dumped it off to Ringer with hopes of picking up the first down. Instead, Jonathan Casillas brought him down for a one yard loss.

Defensive series No. 8: Started on Michigan State 27 yard line following missed field goal.
Plays: 4
Yards given up: 13
Result: Failed fake punt.

Best play: With his team facing a fourth and seven, MSU coach Mark Dantonio called for the fake punt. However, the upback fumbled the direct snap and UW's Prince Moody recovered the loose ball.

Defensive series No. 9: Started on Michigan State 38 yard line following kickoff. (17-6 Wisconsin)
Plays: 4
Yards given up: 62
Result: Touchdown (17-13 Wisconsin)

Worst play: On second and ten, Hoyer dropped back to pass and looked to throw over his intended target White. But, Niles Brinkley was flagged for pass interference that gave the Spartans new life. Two plays later, Ringer punched it in for the touchdown.

Defensive series No. 10: Started on Michigan State 23 yard line following Nortman punt.
Plays: 3
Yards given up: 2
Result: Bates punt.

Fourth quarter


Defensive series No. 11: Started on Michigan State 20 yard line following Nortman punt.
Plays: 7
Yards given up: 31
Result: 49-yard Bates punt.

Best play: After MSU had picked up a couple first downs and crossed midfield, the UW defense buckled down and forced three straight incomplete Hoyer passes. Thus, MSU was forced to punt.

Defensive series No. 12: Started on Wisconsin 44 yard line following kickoff. (24-13 Wisconsin)
Plays: 5
Yards given up: 64
Result: Touchdown (24-19 Wisconsin)

Worst play: Following the kickoff, UW head coach Bret Bielema was whistled for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after arguing at the referee following a sideline delay of game penalty. From that point on, the momentum of the game swung and MSU marched down the short field for the touchdown.

Defensive series No. 13: Started on Wisconsin 48 yard line following Nortman punt.
Plays: 7
Yards given up: 15
Result: 50-yard Swenson field goal. (24-22 Wisconsin)

Worst play: Back-to-back Hoyer completions to White and Charlie Gantt for 15 yards each brought the Spartans deep inside Badger territory.

Best play: After those completions, Schofield sacked Hoyer for a 16-yard loss, setting up the long field goal.

Defensive series No. 14: Started on Michigan State 17 yard line following Nortman punt.
Plays: 8
Yards given up: 56
Result: 44-yard game winning Swenson field goal. (25-24 Michigan State)

Worst play: On third and 10 from their own 37 yard line, Hoyer lobbed a touch pass to White for 32 yards. The completion put the Spartans into field goal range and set up the dramatic come from behind victory.

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