Wisconsin Performance Evaluations

OSU FootballLet’s do this


Defense – 3 Sweatervests

I struggled with this one. On one hand Vernon Gholston and James Laurinaitis had huge games. Almost 20 tackles for the Little Animal and four sacks for the Python Tamer. Laurinaitis was free to roam thanks to the D-line keeping blockers off him and Gholston and the rest of the DE’s (we are so deep at the ends, it’s almost unfair) got pressure all game long. On the other hand, you have the to two sustained touchdown drives, missed tackles on crucial 3rd-and-long plays and again, TWO TOUCHDOWNS. I’ll give Jenkins a little slack for his missed tackle on Beckum, as Travis has NFL talent and size. He is a big dude (6-4, 224) and Jenkins (6-1, 208), not as much. Nevertheless, that was one of many missed tackles that drove me crazy.

I’m taking all this under consideration without giving any weight to the luck Wisconsin had on more than one occasion. It can’t be ignored. The second touchdown was a desperation heave by Donovan, off his back foot, into the most improbable and almost uncatchable location possible. Kudos to him. There’s no defense for going up against Lady Luck.

This has nothing to do with the Defense’s performance, but I was really hoping PJ Hill could have played in this game. Zach Brown was a competent runner, but the defense could have used Hill as preparation for Mendenhall this week and Hart next week. They need confidence they can shut down a great running back, not just a decent one. Still, how can you be worried about opposing offenses when you see this:

Ohio State’s Defense


Opponent – 1 Sweatervest

Wisconsin came close to getting the dreaded no-sweatervest score not because of how they played (which wasn’t bad and would have earned them at least 3.5 SV’s) but how they acted after the whistle. I mentioned it in my semi-live update, but it bears repeating — hooting and hollering and getting in people’s faces after you make a tackle, no matter how impressive it was, has no place when you are losing by 14 points. Get pumped, high-five your buddy and get your sorry, no good, yella, losing-the-game-by-14-points keester back to the huddle. You made a great play. Good work. Now do it again on the next play.

Ooops, did Beanie just ran over your FACE?!

I listened to some of Bielema’s press conference after the game. He mentioned that he didn’t want his team to back down, not to be intimidated. That’s fine. Do it with your arms and legs, not your mouth. One of my favorite aspects about Tressel-coached teams is that you never see this. It’s never “look at what I did,” it’s all about “what we did.” Cue up Beanie’s score and run straight to the bench if you want to see how to do it. Make a great play? Great. Get ready to line up and run another.


The Running Game – 4 Sweatervests

Like most of you, I was wondering where the running game went during most of the second and third quarters. I thought we had good success running Beanie on the first couple of drives, when Wisconsin was obviously playing to stop the pass. Getting away from the run was a mistake and it showed. Going back to the run paid dividends very quickly. Twenty eight straight points prove that point.

I love how Beanie is running. Even when it looks like he’s in pain after every run, he gets back there and does it again. Wisconsin defenders were lucky they never really got close to tackling him. They were spared punishment via the Stiff Arm of Justice™


Officiating – 0.5 Sweatervests

Garbage. Absolute garbage. While I can’t point to any particular play, I had the pervading feeling the whole game that we were getting jobbed. A missed holding call here, a questionable call there. Maybe I’m not remembering correctly. Something just didn’t feel right. But worse than the missed calls were the fact that they never flagged Wisconsin for obvious taunting on more than one occassion. They had the power to take control of the game, but the never did.


Vernon Gholston – figure it out

What more can be said about our collective man-crush? Wisconsin’s offense, Donovan in particular, was absolutely abused by Gholston. We’re talking pull-the-pants-down, spanked-on-the-bare-bottom-with-a-wooden-paddle-with-holes-cut-out abused. The defense is starting to call him “The Animal.” I don’t think that’s quite right. I prefer Manimal. Dude is just sick.


Overall Performance – 4 Sweatervests

Baseline: 3 Sweatervests; +1 for each of Beanie’s TD runs, -1 for each of Wisco’s; +1 for each time Donovan was sacked, -1 each time a Wisconsin player whooped it up after a non-play.


  1. are infinite sweatervests allowed?

  2. @darren – If your number is 50 and you get 4 sacks in one game. And I have a platonic man-crush on you.

  3. I was expecting more of infinity sweatervests rather than indefinite.

    I always hated the indefinite problems.

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