Outback Bowl recap

Jan. 2, 2008
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The thing about this game that's stuck with me for two days is that we just looked so completely unprepared to even be on the field and I can't figure out why.

We had at least 5 illegal formations - 2 of them were for penalties and we were forced to take timeouts on 3 of them. We didn't have new personal. There were no coaching changes. So why did this happen? We had 6 weeks to prepare for this bowl - longer than any other conference - and we looked like we just walked onto the field for the first time.

We were abysmal on 3rd down. It seemed as though our secondary was non-existent. By the middle of the second half, Tennessee was 10 of 13 for 178 yards on 3rd down passing. That stat should haunt our team like 4th and 26 haunts the Packers.

It wasn't so much that we were out-played but that we seemed to be out-coached. It seemed as though no defensive player was ever in the correct position. Tennessee had completed passes to 8 different receivers in the first half alone.

It seemed as though every time a Vol caught a pass, there was no one within 5 yards. I guess I could understand if the game started this way and we eventually adjusted our defense. But that didn't happen. Through the end of the game, Tennessee had their way with our secondary.

Guys were trying so hard to jump routes that they were completely unable to make a tackle. This would have been understandable if it weren't obvious that they were jumping the route 2 steps too late. If that's the style you're going to play, you have to come up with some interceptions to show for it and we did not.

The announcers did have some interesting nuggets of information that I thought worth writing down:

Wisconsin had an average time of possession of 33:50 for the season, leading the FBS.

Wisconsin scored 105 points in the final 2:00 of the 1st half over 14 games.

Our 3 running back, Hill, Smith and Brown combined for 2,000 yards rushing and 22 TDs. The bulk of that was PJ Hill's of course, but it's a heartening stat for the future.


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