Grading out

The report card from Wisconsin's 17-10 victory over Ohio State

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Jim Sorgi could not have started any better—completing his first five passes for 54 yards. His best play was a 22-yard completion to Jonathan Orr. Sorgi stepped up in the pocket and was decked immediately after delivering a well-thrown pass. Sorgi, though, did throw an ill-advised pass into double coverage, resulting in an early third quarter interception. 


Matt Schabert came on in relief and played very well, connecting on a 79-yard, game-winning touchdown pass with Lee Evans. Schabert also delivered a 25-yard pass to Brandon Williams and ran for two first downs.


Ohio State game grade: AB


Season-to-date GPA: 2.71


Running backs


Running for 125 yards against Ohio State is very, very impressive. Booker Stanley had some two-to-four yard runs that were simply fantastic. The Buckeyes blitzed constantly Saturday, typically filling gaps at the point of attack, but Stanley did an excellent job reading the play and cutting to open lanes. He made some nifty and aggressive moves into and out of cuts and showed very good power—all against what is one of the best, if not the best rushing defense in the nation.


Fullback Matt Bernstein may have had his best game, taking on all comers and dishing out punishing blocks. On Wisconsin's second drive the Badgers continuously pounded Stanley at the Buckeyes defense and Bernstein consistently drove his man off the play. On Stanley's longest run, a 29-yard jaunt on the second play of the second half, Bernstein decleated one Buckeye, then went downfield and made another block.


Ohio State game grade: A


Season-to-date GPA: 3.43




They were not called upon often, but the receivers certainly produced. Brandon Williams had five of Wisconsin's seven catches and appeared to have his way with a solid Ohio State secondary. Jonathan Orr had a nice first down catch and Lee Evans, well, burned the much-lauded Chris Gamble for a 79-yard score.


Ohio State game grade: A


Season-to-date GPA: 3.43


Offensive line


Facing perhaps the best defensive line in the country, Wisconsin's offensive line and tight ends won the battles more often than not. The Buckeyes front four is going to make plays, as they did at times Saturday, but it was startling how often the Badgers controlled the line of scrimmage. Wisconsin did an excellent job picking up the Buckeyes run blitzes, keeping disruptions in the backfield to a minimum. Most importantly, the group did a very good job of maintaining blocks, particularly on the backside, which allowed Stanley the opportunity to dart to cutback lanes. This group entered the season as a question mark in a lot of eyes and now has a rightful claim as one of the most intimidating offensive lines in the country.


Ohio State game grade: A


Season-to-date GPA: 3.36


Defensive line


Far and away this group's best game of the year. Against a veteran offensive line they consistently won the battles, never allowing Ohio State's running game to gain traction or quarterback Craig Krenzel to get into a rhythm. This was about as dominating a performance as one can imagine. The line came away with three sacks, two from Anttaj Hawthorne, but the statistics undervalue how well this group played. Krenzel was under constant duress and rarely had a lane to step up and run. The Buckeye signal-caller is as gritty and resourceful as they come and the Badgers had him frustrated nearly from start to finish.


Ohio State game grade: A


Season-to-date GPA: 3.21




Jeff Mack and Alex Lewis filled nicely against the run and did a solid job in pass coverage. Drop linebacker Kareem Timbers had a decent game, including a quarterback hurry in the early going.


Ohio State game grade: A


Season-to-date GPA: 2.93




The secondary was fantastic with the exception of Ohio State's fourth quarter touchdown drive. The Badgers pressed the Buckeyes receivers and succeeded in knocking them off course. When Krenzel did have time to throw he often could not find an open receiver. Levonne Rowan was tested often and for the most part made plays. He was, however, in coverage on Drew Carter's sensational 46-yard reception. Jim Leonhard contributed his fourth interception of the season. The Badgers secondary continues to play better and better, but the team still needs to work on limiting big plays. 


Ohio State game grade: AB


Season-to-date GPA: 2.64


Special teams


For the second week in a row a good all-around showing. Mike Allen hit a field goal, R.J. Morse had a very good game punting and the coverage units had their best day of the season, including a key fumble recovery. Jim Leonhard did muff a punt, but also had a dandy 26-yard return.


Ohio State game grade: AB


Season-to-date GPA: 2.43



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