Week after week we here at TCR try our hardest to ensure that the lineups are exact, the weather is matching the gametime temperature, and the wind is dialed in to the nearest mile per hour. Once all the lineups are announced, we plug them into the system and set the difficulty to Heisman and set the clock for 15 minutes. Once all the necessary preparations are made, we hit play and watch.
Another week has passed and our simulation of tomorrow's game between the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Wisconsin Badgers has once again provided a quality prediction with some twists and turns along the way.
Let's get started!
Wisconsin won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball. Once David Reisner booted the ball through the back of the endzone, it was the Melvin Gordon show. He took his first carry 28 yards and didn't stop there. Four carries later, he found the endzone and the Badgers took an early 7-0.
three-and-out for the Illini offense. Justin DuVernois punt of 44 yards with no return--not too shabby.
Gordon again got the ball and took his first carry of the possession 12 yards. The Badgers then mixed up a run-pass balance offense and found the endzone again after Joel Stave hit Alex Erickson for a 4 yard touchdown pass. 14-0 Badgers.
three-and out for the Illini offense (again). Justin DuVernois punts the ball 50 yards with a 4 yard return--also not too bad.
End of the first quarter with Wisconsin leading 14-0.
THAT'S WHEN THINGS WENT CRAZY.
Melvin Gordon's first carry of the second quarter was a delayed hand-off up the middle. The ball was snapped, and Stave put the ball in Gordon's chest. After a few steps forward and a cut to the left, he found a hole at the line of scrimmage. He turned towards the gap and tried to break free, but Austin Teitsma timed his block perfectly ala Mike Singletary and stood up Melvin for only a one yard gain. Both Teitsma and Gordon hit the turf. Austin got up, and Melvin didn't.
Melvin Gordon left the game in the second quarter with a broken ankle and would not return in the second half.
Now, we here at TCR hold the utmost respect to all of the players and coaches playing in our conference (except Michigan) and we in no way support or endorse a player, coach, official, cheerleader, or fan getting injured. For those of you who can't quite grasp what happened on our TV last night (and any Wisconsin fans that might be reading this it would be best if you skip a paragraph or two), MELVIN GORDON LEFT THE GAME IN THE SECOND QUARTER WITH A BROKEN ANKLE AND WOULD NOT RETURN IN THE SECOND HALF!!!
In one play, it went from the Melvin Gordon show, to the Joel Stave show. We now had Stave ball vs Reilly ball.
The Badgers would go three-and-out and punt to the Illini; V'Angelo Bentley would take this kick 38 yards to the Badger 22-yard line. After two well timed slants to Mike Dudek and Geronimo Allison, Reilly O'Toole would hand the ball off to Josh Ferguson and he would find the endzone from 11 yards out. 14-7 Badgers midway through the 2nd quarter.
Wisconsin would go three-and-out (again) and proceeded to punt the ball out of bounds at midfield.
Ferguson and the Illini would rush the ball inside the 20 yard-line and David Reisner would kick a 37-yard FG to cut the Badger lead to 14-10. Wisconsin would answer with a late field goal of their own, and that would take us into halftime.
Halftime Score: ILLINI ~ 10 Wisco ~ 17
The Illini opened up the second half with the ball and tried to tie the game up in the first possession of the second half. O'Toole threw a pick in the red zone and, just like that, the Badgers were back in business. Joel Stave and the Badger offense made some adjustments at half to accommodate for the loss of Gordon and Wisco used the passing offense to generate another field goal making it 20-10 Badgers.
O'Toole would get back on track on his next possession finding Malik Turner, Dude-K, and Matt LaCosse on a few quick slants over the middle of the field as the Illini drove deep into Badger territory. A few run plays later from Josh Ferguson and the Illini had cut the lead to 20-17 with a few minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
Stave would trot onto the field looking to give the Badgers a double digit lead once again; he found Sam Arneson and Kenzel Doe to move the Badgers across midfield. However, a poorly timed go route was picked off by Taylor Barton who returned it for a 72-yard pick six (!!!). The Illini were heading into the 4th quarter with a 24-20 lead!
The lead was short lived, however, as the Badgers would go back to the run game and sophomore Corey Clement would find the endzone twice in the first two possessions of the 4th quarter--Wisconsin regained the lead 34-24. David Reisner would add two more field goals late to cut the lead down to 34-30, but the Badgers were able to run out the clock and end the game.
Overall, Reilly was 22-44 (50%) with no touchdowns and an interception. Josh Ferguson would run 64 times for 253 yards and two touchdowns (no Donovonn Young or Aaron Bailey for some reason) giving the offense a total of 475 yards.
The defense would allow 44 carries for 149 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns, while Stave would throw for 383 yards and a touchdown with an interception.