The Action Jackson Diaries–Early Games

Posted by: Avinash on Saturday, October 6th, 2007

illinoisupsetSo I’m starting up this blog with Illinois up 17-0 on Wisconsin, KSU taking the lead on Kansas 14-7, and UNC pulverizing Miami 27-0 (I probably won’t touch this game). Almost immediately the Badgers move it down the field two times, in position in the red zone to score and make it 17-10. Bleh. This upset could go to the dodo.

–The defense holds. Apparently the Badgers have some trouble running the ball. And this is supposed to be the the #5 team in the country. Illinois leading 17-6 at halftime (although Wisconsin got a last second field goal), Kansas and KSU deadlocked at 14 with thirty minutes done, and Miami getting destroyed by UNC (this game I will probably not touch). Perfect time to cook breakfast, be back in a bit.

–Wisconsin drives the field in about three minutes to cut the lead to 4, seemingly curbing the upset special. Unfortunately for the Badgers, they still haven’t figured out how to stop the run, and the running back Mendenhall takes it down for his third score. 24-13. Kansas meanwhile has been halting the KSU blitzes and manage to get the big play. 21-14 Jayhawks.

–Wisconsin though has been unstoppable in this 2nd half, controlling the clock despite being grinded into the ground, and they come back to cut the lead to 5, 24-19. Meanwhile North Carolina might be on the verge of blowing a 27 point halftime lead (down to 7), which goes to show you how much the ACC blows. On the other side, Kansas has slowly wore down KSU with strong offensive line play, but only nursing a 4 point lead.

–Random sidenotes: Kansas’s head coach is massive. He has probably been deep-frying his food since he started coaching this team…Illinois also relies on a “bend not break” defense and is renovating their Memorial Stadium; oh, how we all are really the same.

–One theory why Wisconsin controls the clock; they run that ball all the way down to 2-3 seconds on the play clock. It would explain the delay of game penalties. None of this matters because Illinois can’t help but give up their 700th 3rd down conversion. Unfortunately for Badger Nation, Tyler Donovan makes his first huge error and overthrows into an INT.

–Kansas’s defense has been very impressive against a Wildcat team that’s put 41 on Texas last week. Maybe this says more about Texas than Kansas, but whatever. They still need to keep holding on, with Kansas up by 4 and not able to get a 4th and 1 deep in KSU territory.

–Rashard Mendenhall might give the Badgers nightmares if Wisconsin loses this (175 yards up to this point); however the Illini seem perfectly fine to play short dump and catch rather than stick the dagger in. Two short passes forces another punt and a worn out Illinois defense to take the field.

–Donovan gets picked off again thanks to great coverage by Vontae Davis (an NFL type pick). Now Illinois needs to grind clock and run up the field.

–Kansas throws an awful interception in their own red zone by bouncing the ball up in the air, leading to an excellent halfback pass to give KSU the lead right back.

–Illinois’s option offense has worked pretty well, thanks to good running by Juice Williams (92 yards) at QB and Mendenhall. Dufrene and the backup McGee stick the dagger deeper. 31-19 Illinois.

–Kansas’s O has continued to click; great throws (especially on slants and posts), excellent blocking and pickup of about a thousand blitzes. I haven’t been terribly impressed by KSU, especially considering they’re in Manhattan. If not for a few mistakes they’d be up big…as it is, another blitz picked up, a great post read, touchdown Kansas.

–Wisconsin’s running game has been eh. A great rushing team, only 114 yards or so today. I’ll know in these next five minutes whether they’re overrated or great escape artists. Probably both.

–Kansas gets the huge pick close to the red zone. A great chance to ice the game here…and they blow an open catch in the back of the end zone by dropping the ball. Field goal puts the Jayhawks up by 6.

–Wisconsin gets a garbage time TD, all Illinois needs to do is FALL ON THE BALL to win. Which they do. Badgers do have three timeouts though.

–K-State drives to midfield, but they’re running out of time. 4th down and it’s picked off. Josh Freeman has been pretty bad in this 2nd half.

–Illinois now has a 4th and short. Because they’re ballsy, they have to go for it. They have to. Their running game has been stellar (although they do fumble the first down attempt).

–First downs by Illinois and Kansas. Upset city! Afternoon games on the next post.

Topics: Sports

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