Mere moments ago, Uncle Skip asked in the previous thread whether I had anything to say about the Beavers. I haven't been real motivated to post any blogjunk lately, so I hadn't really planned on it. But Skip asked nicely, so, here goes...
For those unfortunates who haven't been paying attention, we were supposed to play [cough] Nicholls State on opening day. But Hurricane Isaac kept the [insert Nicholls State mascot here, as I have no idea who/what the Nicholls State people call themselves] plane on the ground. Last I heard, the game was tentatively rescheduled for December. The day before that game was supposed to be played, I was at Reser Stadium installing some last-minute signs and banners and I chanced upon some Nicholls State boosters wandering around the stadium. They said they'd flown out a few days prior and now were kinda stuck out here until things dried out enough back home for them to fly back. They seemed like pretty decent guys, even if I almost needed a translator to make the Southern Loozyanna--->English conversion for me.
Which brings us to Wisconsin. Never been there, but I've developed a fondness for the place. What with Paul Ryan and Scott Walker in and Kohl and Feingold out, that's a lot of Happy for me. Except for football. They whupped on us last year 35-0. Zip, zero, nada, or even nil, if you prefer.
But, we didn't have that tune-up game against Nicholls State. Would we be ready for a ranked team? The answer to that was yes, yes and more yes. Offensively we moved the ball quite well. Our placekicker is OK. Just OK. So on at least 3 drives we got into 4th-and-3 kind of situations where the FG attempt would have been sketchy, and opted to go for it on 4th down. Failed a couple times, which explains much of our low scoring output despite having a generally good day on offense.
Our D was the best I've seen it in about 3 years. For a while our secondary has been kind of thin, but we're finally back to having top-tier talent there and can do more man-to-man. In the previous couple years, the DBs were getting burned too often to do that regularly. Now man defense isn't so risky, which allows more versatility in what the Large Men in the front 7 can do.
Well, what did they do?
They harassed the heck out of the Wisconsin QB, forcing a fumble and an INT. They held Wisconsin to about 35 yards of rushing, which pretty much kicks Ball's Heisman hopes right in the Montee. And their receiver Jared Abbrederis got hit so hard, it knocked his ribcage right out of his body. Thankfully he's expected to make a full recovery. Linebacker D.J. Welch was named Pac12 Player of the Week.
Like Coach Riley said late last season: "Go ahead and pick on us now, because next year's gonna be a different story." So far, so good. This week we have a regularly scheduled bye. Which means that going into week 4, we'll have only played one game. Weird. That next one'll be against "now-u-c-l-a-now-you-don't" at the Rose Bowl. UCLA just beat Nebraska, so it should be pretty interesting.
As for my other Orange-n-Black team, the Giants continue to lead the Detestable Dodgers, who, even with a decent guy like Don Mattingly at the helm, are still detestable. I particularly enjoyed the Giants' recent victory over Josh "My Face Looks Like a Moon Pie, Only Rounder" Beckett.