Travis Beckum has become the favorite target of quarterback John Stocco since the Minnesota game. Not only has he benefited from seeing more balls thrown his way throughout the game. The Badgers are benefiting from having a dependable target on third and fourth down. Of his 43 receptions on the year, I have counted at least 18 of them which gave the Badgers a new set of downs. Of his six receptions today, two were for third down conversions. He also rushed three times for 18 yards. A six yard per carry average would probably put him right there with the nation's leaders. "We have been practicing that for about a week. It just happened to work pretty well today." With the status of Stocco in limbo for next week's game in Iowa City, perhaps this new look may be more prevalent."
MAKING A POINT EARLY
When Taylor Mehlhaff connected from 37 yards out as the clock expired in the first quarter, he helped the Badgers join a very prestigious club. Penn State's defense has only allowed 16 points in the first quarter this season. That means the Nittany Lions are giving up 1.6 points per first quarter, per game. You can be sure that statistic helps you set the tone, which is something every coach at every school at every level in America preaches before a game. Every week. JoePa's boys are doin' it, and doin' it well – early.
GIVING CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE
Shane Conlan, Andre Collins, Jack Ham. Those are some pretty good linebackers. Penn State is fondly referred to as Linebacker U by many television and print media outlets. So, when Paul Posluszny recorded his 344th career tackle in the second quarter on Saturday to break Greg Buttle's longstanding record of 343. Buttle, a consensus All-American for the Nittany Lions, once recorded 24 tackles in a game (still a PSU record.) What makes Buttle's accomplishment more meaningful is that he played only three seasons. It was not until 1978 that freshmen were allowed to compete at the NCAA level. At any rate, congrats to Posluszny.
GET WELL SOON JOE PA
What was a normal 8-yard out route from PSU QB Anthony Morelli to tight end Anthony Quarless turned out to be costly. Penn State head coach Joe Paterno was in the middle of the tackle on the sideline and was injured. His left knee looked to have buckled. It was the second time in two weeks his soon to be 80 year old body took a serious hit. I heard from a Penn State reporter that two weeks ago, Coach Paterno was discussing a play in practice with one of his players and was then run over by two gentlemen in the ongoing offensive drills. Since that day he has not run onto the field in front of his team before games since that day. No matter what happened in the game today, we certainly wish Coach Paterno a speedy recovery. His presence on the sideline would and will be missed.
A win is a win is a win, but to a man everyone cannot wait to get a shot at Iowa. There is not a single player in the Wisconsin football program that has ever notched a win against the Hawkeyes. You could hear that from senior Joe Stellmacher. "That is in the back of my mind at the beginning of the season. There is not one guy that has beaten them. They are a tremendous program. It is a tough place to play, a tough challenge. I look forward to it."
Coach Bret Bielema:
"We are going to give everyone ‘toughen up' pills. They are ready for the challenge each week because of the 1-0 mentality. Nobody in this locker has ever beaten Iowa…and we will be ready to do that next week." (Mark Zalewski responded to that by saying, "maybe they are slipping something in our food. I don't know."
"The coaches harped upon us to focus and prepare. I am happy with winning today. It is not about the other team, it is how we play."
"We played with a chip on our shoulders. We have to prove to everyone that we can go out there and play. I think we did that today."
"The crowd was awesome today for my last Big Ten home game. For the most part, we did our thing and held them to three points. You cannot be to unhappy about that."
"We are not satisfied with just going to Florida. We are hungry for more and we need to continue to show people that we are starving. That will make things happen."