Found September 09, 2012 on
Fox Sports Wisconsin:
MADISON, Wis. Matt Canada stood in front of the firing squad Sunday night, facing questions from the media for the first time since Wisconsin's putrid 10-7 loss at Oregon State one day earlier.
Canada, Wisconsin's offensive coordinator, took sole responsibility for the offensive woes all game long.
"Nobody's any more disappointed than me," Canada said. "It's got to be much, much better. There's no reason we can ever do that again."
What Wisconsin did -- or didn't do, really -- left plenty of concern about the rest of this season.
Among the most glaring issues were:
-- Finishing 2 for 14 on third down attempts (14.2 percent). Last season, the Badgers led the country in third down conversion rate at 55 percent.
"I went back through them in my mind," Canada said. "Some of them were very manageable and I'm very disappointed that you don't get some of them. We weren't as productive on first down as we needed to be. We just had a very, very bad day."
-- Being held scoreless through three quarters for the first time since 2005.
-- Amassing 207 yards of total offense, the fewest yards for Wisconsin in five seasons.
"We weren't clicking on all cylinders," Canada said. "We just didn't make plays here and there -- over a lot of period of time. Not like, 'Oh this or that.' I'm not minimizing at all what occurred or how far off we were in the sense of what we need to do as an offensive unit and the production we need to have."
In two games this season, Wisconsin is now averaging 16.5 points. Last season under offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, the Badgers averaged 44.1 points per game.
Canada also took the blame for a poor performance from quarterback Danny O'Brien. During the third quarter, O'Brien threw an interception and fumbled the ball away in the red zone on successive drives.
"We can't turn it over when guys aren't open," said Canada, who also coaches the quarterbacks. "We've either got to get up field and get positive yards or throw it away. I take that one too. I coach him. He's my spot. We have to do a better job.
"Right there, three points would have been big. One score to two score changes the entire outcome of the plays you can call. We were down by two scores as the clock became our enemy there. It makes you one-dimensional, which is not what we want to do . . . It was a big play."
Canada also addressed the number of carries for running back Montee Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist last season. Against Oregon State, Ball carried just 15 times for 61 yards. One week earlier against Northern Iowa, he carried 32 times for 120 yards with a touchdown.
Asked if 15 carries was enough for Ball, Canada said no.
"I don't think it's enough," he said. "The game yesterday just got out of balance. We weren't productive enough trying to do it early in the first half, mixing it up. At the end of the game, then we have a lot of plays in the fourth quarter where we were trying to come back. The clock became an enemy as well."
The Badgers trailed 10-0 in the fourth quarter until O'Brien connected with tight end Jacob Pedersen for a touchdown with 1:31 remaining in the game.
Wisconsin's offense struggled, in part, because of the loss of No. 1 wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, who injured his chest attempting to make a catch in the second quarter. Canada said Abbrederis flew home with the team after the game but did not know his status moving forward.
Abbrederis tweeted on Sunday: "Appreciate all the thoughts and prayers! I will be back asap. Can't make any excuses just got to get back to work and get our offense rolling."
Defense shows improvement: Badgers defensive coordinator Chris Ash also spoke to the media on Sunday and said the defense showed drastic signs of improvement from Week 1 to Week 2.
Wisconsin's defense was on the field for 77 plays against Oregon State and kept the Badgers in the game when the offense sputtered.
"We've got to correct some things still, but the number of corrections coming out of Week 2 compared to Week 1 are a lot smaller," Ash said. "The effort was I thought pretty good for four quarters . . . I'm very happy about that and the positives that we took out of it."
Personnel-wise, Wisconsin suffered a tough loss when strong safety Shelton Johnson left the game with a broken right arm. Johnson finished second on the team with nine total tackles. He was replaced by Michael Trotter, who appears in line to be the starter for as long as Johnson is out. Trotter registered two tackles, including the only sack of the game.
"He had a good camp," Ash said of Trotter. "He's gotten better every single day he's been out there. Trotter works hard. He's Mr. Reliable. He knows his assignments inside-out. I'm excited to see where he goes with this opportunity."
Ash also addressed the defensive unit's inability to capitalize on turnovers through two games. Wisconsin is one of just seven FBS teams in the country that hasn't forced a turnover this season. For comparison's sake, even FCS school Savannah State -- which lost a combined 139-0 to Oklahoma State and Florida State -- has forced two turnovers this season.
Ash noted that Wisconsin's defense missed several tipped balls that could have resulted in interceptions and has forced fumbles but not recovered them yet.
"Usually it happens in streaks," Ash said. "Similar to last year. We didn't really get much going in the first part of the season and once we started going later in the season, it just became contagious. That's really what we need to get. We just need someone to get that first one and hopefully it gets contagious."
Follow Jesse Temple on Twitter.
BEST OF MAXIM
I often hear people say that the Heisman Trophy is irrelevant. I understand the sentiment. After all, it’s a team sport and the Heisman honors individual achievement. On Saturday night I tweeted out a link to my analysis of Montee Ball’s fading Heisman hopes and a Wisconsin fan responded “I think team is in more [...]
Common sense suggests a returning Heisman Trophy finalist at running back ought to touch the ball with his team trailing in the fourth quarter, badly needing one yard on fourth down.Then again, plenty of what Wisconsin's football team presented on the field Saturday afternoon defied logic. So instead, Badgers running back Montee Ball watched from the backfield as quarterback...
College football raged forward this past weekend as upsets and blow-outs topped story-lines around the country. On nearly every channel, exciting and meaningful action consumed the tube as I was reminded in week 1 that each and every squad deserves my partial attention especially this early in 2012. In what was a weekend full of sloppy play, penalties and squads trying...
Upsets are a big part of college football. You know what I’m talking about here; the games in which a lesser team knocks off a talented team that’s usually nationally ranked. It isn’t always pretty but, hey, it doesn’t have to be. That’s why they’re called upsets. In this article, I’ll be giving Week Two’s three biggest upsets.
Louisiana Monroe over #8 Arkansas...
Every now and then, a week pops up that makes very little sense in the world of college fantasy football. We usually are privy to two or three of these bastardly weeks during the course of a season.It happened this weekend. And it burned many college fantasy owners.We feel your plight. We were burned as well. Luckily, we survived the carnage in most of our leagues, but it...
Without a doubt, this was the single worst offensive performance I may have ever seen by the Wisconsin Badgers. While the defense was stiff enough to limit the Oregon State Beavers to 10 points, an utterly inept Badger attack caused Bucky to give Bret Bielema his first ever non-conference regular season loss.
I won't bother diving deep into all the statistics. It...
(Ed. note: each Sunday morning the rest of the year I will present this column as a way to breakdown the game without the blinders of fresh emotion or the view from the press box)
There's no two ways about this, that loss still stings. It's hard to point a single good thing to take away from the game. The offense looked completely inept and a better offense puts...
Arguing that a team coming off a loss has jumped to the forefront as the favorite to play for a conference championship isn’t too common.
Well, it isn’t common unless the team plays in the Big Ten Leaders Division.
A strong defense, a favorable schedule, and a weaker-than-expected rest of the division (plus Ohio State’s ineligibility) has Purdue looking like the team to beat...
As Clemson was wrapping up their victory Saturday over Ball State, I texted K.M Venne to let him know I was going to trash his Hurricanes in the intro this week due to their pathetic performance. However, a few teams stepped up and politely asked to take their spot. One of those teams I’ll get to in a little bit, but one team in particular gets the honor this week as they fall...
The Wisconsin Badgers clearly needed something to change after an embarrassing 10-7 loss to Oregon State on Saturday. Well, a change has been made.
Head coach Bret Bielema fired offensive line coach Mike Markuson after just two games, but he swears it’s not a knee-jerk reaction to his team’s slow start offensively.
Bielema claimed there were personal matters involving Markuson’s...
A shot at the National Championship Game is off the table, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Wisconsin Badgers season is over.
Yes, they were outplayed in every facet of the game in a 10-7 loss to the Oregon State Beavers.
Bad play on the road is nothing new for the Badgers. Even Russell Wilson couldn’t save them from going 2-2 in true road games last season, including a...
(Eds: Corrects to Week 2 in first paragraph. Incorporates FBC--T25-College FB Poll. With AP Photos.) By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer Breaking down the AP college football poll after Week 2 of the regular season.
MAKING A STATEMENT
Arkansas took the plunge. The Razorbacks went from eighth to out of the rankings after a 34-31 overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe on...
Wisconsin played its worst game in years, and the Badgers paid the price in the form of a 10-7 loss at Oregon State on Saturday afternoon. UW dropped to 1-1 this season and fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time in three seasons.
The offense in particular sputtered in ways Wisconsin fans have not seen for quite some time. Was it an anomaly or the beginning...
While we're still enjoying many of the great games this evening, let's take a quick look back at some the games from this afternoon. Not too many surprises, but we're definitely beginning to learn more about the 2012 college football landscape.
#9 South Carolina 48, East Carolina 10
No Connor Shaw? No problem. Shaw was unable to go today due to a bruised shoulder...