December 26, 2008

Inside the numbers: Florida State

MADISON, Wis. - Midway through the Wisconsin football season UW looked like it was in danger of missing a bowl and ending its streak of consecutive postseason play. However, with wins in its last three games and four of its final five, the Badgers secured a spot in Saturday's Champs Sports Bowl against Florida State. A win will salvage a season that seemed lost and give the Badgers eight wins on the year.

Before it takes the field at the Citrus Bowl in Florida, takes a closer look inside the numbers:

1: Saturday afternoon's meeting between the two schools will be the first in school history.

32.7: The Seminoles scored an average of 32.7 points per game during the course of regular season play. Its opponents averaged just less than 12 points fewer than them with 20.8 points per game.

183 and 186: Florida State has featured a very balanced offense as it averaged approximately 183 yards rushing per game and approximately 186 yards through air. In total, the Seminoles 368.7 total yards per game has out gained opponents by more than 75 yards per game.

90% When FSU gets into the opponents red zone, it scores 90 percent of the time. On the season, Florida State has scored 28 of its 45 total touchdowns within the red zone.

24: For UW, the fact that Florida State has given up 24 sacks on the season is promising. That equates to two sacks per game. If UW has any hopes of beating the Seminoles, it will need to get to quarterback Christian Ponder and force him into difficult decisions.

132 and 103: FSU has done a great job of closing out the half and the fourth quarter of games by outscoring its opponents by 77 and 38 in the two frames respectively. UW has been outscored by its opponents in the second quarter by 12 points on the season, but has also outscored its opponents by 17 in the final quarter of games.

7.2: Florida State freshman running back Jermaine Thomas has rushed for 478 yards on the season, but has done so on only 66 carries. Even as a youngster he possesses sure fire big play potential as his 7.2 yard per carry average suggests.

404: The Badgers have struggled in past seasons in guarding a dual threat quarterback. Though this season showed improvement in containing the spread, UW still has one final test in trying to contain Ponder. On the season, the Seminole quarterback has rushed for more than 400 yards.

10: Number of Wisconsin players on the current roster that are originally from the state of Florida.

155: Should UW redshirt freshman John Clay rush for 155 yards against the Seminoles, he would top the 1,000-yard mark for the season. While it seems to be a long shot, he would then join P.J. Hill as 1,000-yard rushers for the season. Entering the Champs Sports Bowl, Hill has 1,021 yards rushing.

79: Florida native Jaevery McFadden leads the Badgers with 79 tackles on the season. He will move to one of the outside linebacker spots to fill in for the injured Jonathan Casillas who underwent recent knee surgery. Then, sliding into the Mike spot will be another Florida native in Culmer St. Jean.

40: At 79 years of age, Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden has approximately 40 years of experience on UW head coach Bret Bielema. The third-year Badger headman will celebrate his 39th birthday in early January.

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