(Editor's Note: In a continuation of my miserable sports 2008, two months ago I assented to escorting a lady to a wedding and somehow managed to nail the Saturday of the Champs Sports Bowl right on the dot. So it needs to be noted that I was unable to view the second half of the game, and only got to see a procession of terrible score updates on my phone.)
First, I must apologize to readers for not highlighting FSU's Groza award winning, footdart pub champion, Graham Gano. He lit us up in the first half. Was it back-to-back-to-back punts to our 1 yard line, or was I swallowing pills given to me by Sebastian Janikowski? Graham Gano assassinated us in the first half.
However, even with bad field position, the Badgers outplayed the Seminoles in the first half. This can not be disputed. The Badger defense held up, forcing punts, while the Badger offense was moving the ball with some effectiveness. Except for two events, the Badgers were better than the Seminoles in the first half. The big catastrophe occurred during the 3rd drive, with the game at 0-0 and some momentum building during an 80-yard drive. The Badgers attempted a quick pass to the WR with some blockers over there, but the pass was jumped by a FSU player. Since we are no good at these types of plays, our quarterback and WR managed to align themselves so that the pass was heading backwards. The FSU player picked it up and ran for a score. 7-0. (Your 2008 Wisconsin Badgers!) The game chugs along and the Badgers are containing the lawless savages. We put a couple more drives together, mostly with the run, and the score is 7-3. Notice that FSU has done nothing up until now on offense. The first half is almost over and it's 7-3, and we GAVE them their 7.
In our Q&A with Tomahawk Nation, they seemed to be pretty confident that we wouldn't be able to hold up in our base defense, and we argued otherwise. During the first half I think the Defense held up great. (One tidbit that they passed along that didn't make it in to the chat, was that Curtis Ponder runs the fastest shuttle run on the team. Read that again. The fastest on the entire team. This quickness would torture Badgers fans in the second half.)
Things are going pretty well for the Badgers until the coaching staff makes another mess of game-management. With 1:10 to go in the half, the Badgers get the ball at their own 7, (Gano punted to our 3, 1, 1, 7 in the first half!), and the coaches call two passing plays. Now I'm all for trying to get a first down however you can, but it's not like our passing game was effective up til that point. Hell, Sherer had only attempted 5 passes up til that point! So why on earth are we throwing the ball and stopping the clock? There is a minute to go and we are at our 7. In this situation there is every reason to run the ball. Run it. We ran it 20 times already, and it was actually working. Instead, we threw 2 incomplete passes, and gave the ball to FSU at our 47 with 40 seconds left to go. With nothing to lose FSU gained some swagger and lobbed two balls to really athletic wideouts. 14-3. We controlled the first half and were losing 14-3. Yeesh.
I have the game DVR'd but havent wanted to watch the second half. I know FSU got on a roll and rolled us under. Hopefully there were enough shaky calls to blame...
The score of the game showed disaster, and I think it's a fitting end for this team. Just good enough to somehow get smashed by a team that was no better than them.