Sconnie Sports Talk

Wisconsin Shuts Out Miami (OH) 58-0

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The Miami (OH) RedHawks certainly were not the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Behind the defense (forced four turnovers) and Joel Stave, the Badgers defeated the RedHawks 58-0.

The Badgers’ defense was exceptional to the say the least. In the first half, the defense forced three turnovers on a forced fumble on a punt by Sojourn Shelton, an interception by Leo Musso that was tipped by Michael Caputo, and an interception by wide receiver/safety/wildcat quarterback Tanner McEvoy. They gave up 155 total yards and forced 4 total turnovers in the shutout. Unsurprisingly, Vince Biegel and Joe Schobert really got after the quarterback, each recording a sack. The defensive line and inside linebackers and Leon Jacobs also played well against the run, giving up -5 net rushing yards. Safety Leo Musso had two interceptions, and he probably could have had four if he had not dropped two more. Miami’s quarterbacks had a completion rating of 38.24% and only 160 passing yards.

Shelton went down early in the game when he got hit in the chin after forcing a turnover on a punt. He told me that he had to go through concussion protocol based on where he was hit. He went to the locker room to be evaluated, but returned in the second quarter. He affirmed to me that he feels fine. 

The team turned to Derrick Tindal to help out, and he played most of the first half on the outside with Darius Hillary covering the slot, and Miami threw the ball his way a lot. Notably, Caputo made an impact in his return, as he has lined up at safety, in the box as a linebacker, and coverage in the slot when Shelton was injured.

Stave went 19/30, throwing for 236 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception with a passer rating of 155.7 before Bart Houston came in for relief late in the third quarter. The emergence of Rob Wheelwright helped Stave mightily, as he continued to hit him on back shoulder passes. Wheelwright finished the game with 6 catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Erickson was once again a favorite target as well, as he had 5 receptions for 73 yards. Additionally, Stave threw a touchdown to Austin Traylor, which was Traylor’s first career touchdown. Stave also moved up to 4th all-time in passing yards, passing Scott Tolzien

In the first half, the running game struggled to get anything going without starting running back Corey Clement (groin) and a poor effort by the right side of the offensive line. The Badgers took out starting right tackle Hayden Biegel in the middle of the second quarter after he gave up two hurries and had some poor run blocking, and Walker Williams moved over to right tackle from his starting right guard position. Redshirt freshman Micah Kapoi came in at the right guard position, where he played fine. Williams continued to struggle at right tackle, including a false start and countless missed blocks. Deal had 11 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown and Ogunbowale had 7 carries for 18 yards in the first half.

The original starting offensive line (including Biegel) started the second half, and they played much better. Ogunbowale started to see the holes much better, especially on his 35-yard touchdown run. On that play, center Dan Voltz pulled to the right side and Williams made a nice block as Ogunbowale made his way into the endzone. In the end, Dare Ogunbowale had 16 carries for 112 yards and that touchdown, running for his first 100-yard game. His backup, Taiwan Deal, had 14 carries for 45 yards and 2 touchdowns (including his first career TD).

Tanner McEvoy had probably one of the most interesting games you will see from a Badger. He started at both wide receiver and safety, which translated into 3 receptions for 29 receiving yards, 1 rush for 2 yards out of the wild cat formation, 1 tackle, 1 interceptions, and broke up 2 passes. He played almost every snap on both sides of the ball, and he might need an extra Gatorade and a long ice bath after the game even though he only played three quarters. He was the first player since Brandon Williams in 2003 to have a reception and an interception in the same game.

The team’s special teams also had a great day. Shelton forced a fumble on the hit he was injured that led to a Badgers’ field goal. The punt return team blocked very well for Erickson as well, as he returned multiple punts for big yardage despite muffing a punt in the first half. Badgers’ Rafael Gaglianone kicked three field goals, from 29, 25, and 38 yards. The RedHawks also missed a 37-yard field goal. 

The Badgers will take on Troy next Saturday, September 19, at home at 2:30 PM CT.

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