Photo by Flickr user Davey83. Used with creative commons permission.
We are basically caught up in the season now. So everything should be good, right? Wrong. Everything would be great, but it’s not. In one of the ridiculous games I have seen since Wisconsin faced Arizona State in 2013, this one was just awful. The case of Milwaukee’s Best I was downing wasn’t helping my cause either, but it was the only way I could get through this game and it helped ease the pain as I took a nap afterwards. No. 25 Wisconsin with a nice record of 8-2 is at home against No. 20 Northwestern (8-2). Wisconsin was favored to win by 12, which is a nice cushion of a score. Like Iowa, Northwestern is just one of those teams I always expect Wisconsin to beat even though it usually seems to end with a Wisconsin loss. Let’s dive into this mess of a game that caused me to lose my voice by the end of it.
I’ll talk about the game like I usually do, but I’ll warn you when my blood starts to boil when we get to the most frustrating part of the game. Lucky for the readers, is does not happen until the final moments of the game. Game starts a bit average, Northwestern is first on the board with an 8-yard touchdown run from RB Justin Jackson. Second quarter was a back-and-forth battle of attempts to score. Northwestern Kicker Jack Mitchell closed out the half with a 35-yard field goal. Northwestern is up 10-0 at the half. I was scared at this point because the Badger had failed to come up with anything, but we cannot blame them. I’ll blame the refs on this one since that is what fans do (we’ll get to the refs)
Third quarter finally saw some action from the Badgers. RB Corey Clement runs in for a 9-yard touchdown to make the score 10-7. I was so happy I decided to shotgun a Milwaukee’s Best (I’m 21 and can do this. I do not approve of anyone under the age taking part in these activities). Fourth quarter starts, and I am getting scared now. Badgers were not producing and with four minutes left, Mitchell is how able to make another field goal for Northwestern. This one is 37-yards out and puts the Wildcats up 13-7.
Four minutes left. That is plenty of time for a comeback. Badgers only need a touchdown to take the lead. Let’s go in-depth for these final minutes. Northwestern kicks off the ball, Badgers penalized with a loss of 10 yards. Fail to come up with anything in this drive and forced to punt. Northwestern with two minutes and 30 seconds left. That’s it that’s the game. But wait. Northwestern fails to do anything and punts to the ball with two minutes on the clock. Wisconsin on the 26, QB Joel Stave throws down the middle. Pass is incomplete. 2nd and 10, Stave passes down the middle to Safety Tanner McEvoy for a 18-yard completion. 1st and 10, Stave passes to RB Dare Ogunbowale for a 6-yard completion. Halfway down the field with a minute left. Stave completes a 15-yard pass to WR Jazz Peavy (Jazz Hands!!!).Stave throws an incomplete pass, but is able to find McEvoy again in the next play for a 12-yard completion. Next play Stave throw a beautiful pass down the middle to TE Troy Fumagalli. At first call, play is ruled a touchdown! Badgers tie it at 13 apiece, but after a review of the play, the refs rule against and say Fumagalli was down at the 1-yard line. My blood is now boiling. How can the refs do this, and this is not even the worst part. Next play Stave throws to Peavy on the right side. Play is called a touchdown! Badgers tie it at 13. Play is reversed again. How are you going to do this twice in 10 seconds? Next play has Stave sacked and is taken out of the game for possible injury. QB Bart Houston comes in for the final play, but throws an incomplete pass. Badgers lose 13-7 to Northwestern at home. It was a hard fought game, but the refs came out on top for this one to beat the Badgers. Badgers drop to 8-3 on the season and 5-2 in conference play. They are now in third in the Big Ten West standings behind Iowa and Northwestern. There is no chance for play in the Big Ten Championship Game, but a bowl game is still nice, right? I would’ve been more upset at this game, but Milwaukee’s Best helped me fall asleep to forget the pain I just witnessed.