Notes: Penalties Prove Costly

Needing to play near perfect to have a chance to beat No.4 Ohio State on the road, No.23 Wisconsin was whistled for eight penalties Saturday night, including one that took away the Badgers' chances to change to momentum of the game.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Inexcusable.

That's the word Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen used to describe the Badgers' first half Saturday night; a half marred by penalties, fundamental gaffes and missed opportunities that eventually cost No.23 Wisconsin in a 31-24 defeat to No.4 Ohio State.

"At the end of the day we gave them too many layups," said Andersen. "(We) didn't make them shoot enough jump shots and 3-pointers. Can't do it. They took advantage of it … We have to be able to make it difficult. That's what a great team will do."

Entering the game averaging 4.25 penalties per game and 40.5 penalty yards per game, Wisconsin was whistled for eight penalties (nine if counting a declined holding call) for 54 yards.

The biggest penalty came when senior linebacker Chris Borland lined up as a gunner on punt coverage, but was flagged for illegal procedure. Had he not been penalized, Wisconsin would have taken advantage of a muffed punt by Ohio State returner Corey Brown and had the ball in the red zone. Instead, Wisconsin's rekick only landed on its own 47, a short field that Ohio State capitalized on with a 45-yard field goal.

Borland said after the game that he didn't get an explanation after the game, believing he was on the line of scrimmage and set before the snap, and Andersen didn't get much more.

"Apparently we weren't close enough on the line of scrimmage," said Andersen. "Another huge play in the football game. That's inexcusable. I think we jumped too on the play. You could have thrown either flag in my opinion. That's poor execution (and) bad coaching by me."

Left guard Ryan Groy and tight end Sam Arneson was whistled for two false starts each while Kyle Costigan was whistled for one. Conor O'Neill also received a 15-yard facemask penalty, but replays appeared to show O'Neill grabbing the collar. When asked the reason why Wisconsin had so many administrative penalties, Andersen said there were 105,826 reasons, referring to the attendance.

"It's a hard place to play," said Andersen. "They're vocal. They're loud. We worked on it as good as you can. I don't know what else we would do to be cleaner in that area. They're loud. It's not acceptable, but it's loud."

French Up and Down

Hitting his last three field goals entering Saturday night's game, Kyle French felt he found his groove and had been hitting the ball well all week of practice. Imagine the disgust he had with himself when he twisted his hips and pulled a 32-yard kick in the second quarter from the left hash.

French bounced back with a 42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to cut the Ohio State lead to seven, but still was bothered by the misfire.

"Obviously I wish I could have made that 30-yarder at the start," said French.

Andersen Quotable

"This is definitely a frustrating loss. We're sitting at however you want to look at it. In my mind we're 3-1-1, but everybody else's mind we're 3-2. That's what I think we are. We'll move on … We'll be frustrated. We'll be irritated."

Extra Points: With his first quarterback touchdown reception, Jared Abbrederis joined Lee Evans (27) and Tony Simmons (23) as the only Badgers with at least 20 touchdown receptions in a career … Sophomore safety Tanner McEvoy recorded his first four tackles of his career … Junior nose guard Warren Herring recorded a career-high two sacks. Wisconsin lost two night games in the same season for only the third time since 1986 (2008, 2011).

Badger Nation Top Stories