Wisconsin Vs. Fresno State: Badgers Survive In Double Overtime

Adam LindemerSenior Analyst ISeptember 12, 2009

The Wisconsin Badgers certainly aren't winning fans over with their play in the first two games, but the team is 2-0, with a 34-31 victory over Fresno State in double OT.

Philip Welch kicked the winning 22-yard field goal to allow Wisconsin to walk away with their heads held high.

Once again, the Wisconsin defense looked atrocious, allowing the Bulldogs to covert on 11-of-18 third down opportunities.

The defense also allowed 468 yards of total offense by the Bulldogs (289 passing), and several more big plays that gave Fresno State plenty of chances to score.

Bulldogs quarterback Ryan Colburn threw four touchdowns against the weak Badgers defense, but also threw three interceptions, including a costly one in the first OT, that allowed Wisconsin to stay in the game.

Seyi Ajirotutu caught two of the TD passes from Colburn, while Ryan Matthews ran for 107 on 19 carries for Fresno State.

Wisconsin was down 21-7 midway through the second quarter, but that's when the Badgers' passing game woke up.

The Badgers have primarily been a running team in the past, but if they want big success this year, head coach Bret Bielema needs to allow Scott Tolzien to throw the ball more.

After a David Gilreath end around for a touchdown, and a hold from the Wisconsin defense (what a shocker), Welch gave everyone something to talk about, as he nailed a 57-yard field goal as the clock ran out in the first half.

Fresno State led 21-17 at the break.

Neither side scored in the third quarter, then John Clay burst onto the scene in the fourth, as he busted out a 72-yard run for a touchdown to give Wisconsin its first lead of the game at 24-21.

Bulldogs kicker Kevin Goessling made a 41-yard game-tying field goal late in the fourth.

Wisconsin was then the first to score in overtime when Tolzien found recevier Nick Toon for the score. The Bulldogs would answer with a Colburn to Ajirotutu connection.

On Fresno State's drive in the second OT, Wisconsin senior captain Chris Maragos picked off Colburn, and now it was the Badgers' game to win.

And win they did, giving Welch good field position to split the uprights.

Wisconsin's offense looked pretty good against the bulldogs as Tolzien went 17-for-28 with 225 yards and a touchdown. Clay also ran for 143 yards on 21 touches.

The receivers of Isaac Anderson and Nick Toon might be one's to watch out for in the Big Ten. Both had four catches with Anderson getting 70 yards, and Toon claiming 49 yards and a TD.

The key for the Badgers was that they didn't have a single turnover in the game.

As long as they don't give their opponents free opportunities, the Badgers could play a key role in how the conference shapes up.

Of course that's provided their defense understands that their job is to actually stop teams from scoring.

If the Badgers can't get a big win next week against Wofford at Camp Randall, then there will be a lot of people singing a different tune about these Badgers, and I don't mean Nick.