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Wisconsin versus Washington State report card

first_imgPlayer of the game: Luke SwanWhile there is no denying the game Tyler Donovan had was exceptional, throwing for 284 yards and three touchdowns and scoring another on the ground, the Fennimore Flash, Luke Swan, gets the nod. The fifth-year senior keyed numerous drives with first-down receptions on the third down, and really exhibited his playmaking abilities with catches of 43, 30 and 38 yards. For the game, Swan not only set personal bests in touchdowns (2), receptions (8) and yards (170), he cemented his name in the UW record books. He now ranks tied 11th all-time in single-game receiving yards with Pat Richter.Overall: BThe offense put up 42 points and 486 yards against an untested secondary. Although that doesn’t negate what was accomplished, the Badgers weren’t challenged on offense like they will be in future weeks. Still, Donovan’s ability to read the defense and make checks at the line is a positive sign heading into the rest of the season. The defense didn’t play like a top-5 defense and has some chinks to sort out. A portion of special teams, especially Ken DeBauche, had a bad day. All in all, however, it wasn’t bad for the season opener.Offense: A-In his first game as the primary signal caller, Tyler Donovan could do just about no wrong (minus a few misfires). He completed 19-of-29 passes for just fewer than 300 yards and found pay dirt four times, as well as made some outstanding checks at the line to keep the WSU defense guessing. Luke Swan had a career day, as did replacement tight end Garrett Graham, who stepped in for the injured Andy Crooks and recorded his first career catch and touchdown on the same play. P.J. Hill, while not his usual dominant self, proved effective, collecting 84 yards and two touchdowns. Lance Smith chipped in with 60 yards.Defense: C+After looking a bit unsettled in the first quarter, some of it due to a terrific catch by WSU receiver Brandon Gibson and a blocked punt that was recovered for a first down, the defense composed itself and put together a strong showing. Against an offense that ranked No. 1 in the Pac-10 last season in passing yards per game and at the top in points and total yards per game, Wisconsin’s defense held its own. After allowing 160 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter, the Badger defense gave up just 168 total yards and 7 points the rest of the way.Special Teams: CSpecial teams were an enigma Saturday. At times they were brilliant, blocking a punt, disrupting a long field goal try, picking off a pass and recording four touchbacks despite kickoffs being moved back five yards. At other times, they left Bret Bielema scratching his head. Both Luke Swan and David Gilreath fumbled as punt returners, reminding fans and coaches of last year’s problems in that department. Additionally, punter Ken DeBauche booted a pooch kick an incredible 1 yard and committed a 15-yard penalty on the same play.Up next: UNLVUNLV came away with a 23-16 victory in its season opener against Utah State. Tailback Frank Summers capped a late-game drive with an 11-yard scamper to give the Rebels the come-from-behind victory and their first road win in 15 tries. Quarterback Travis Dixon ran for 108 yards and a touchdown last week and could pose a problem on the ground for the Badgers defense, which struggled to stop the Cougars’ running attack.last_img

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