The Wisconsin Badgers opened up their 2008 campaign with a 38-17 win over the Akron Zips at Camp Randall.
The Badgers used a steady ground attack against Akron to the tune of 404 yards on the ground, compared to the Zips' 70 yards.
Wisconsin's go to guy and Heisman hopeful, running back P.J. Hill, was the star again. He had 210 yards off 26 carries, and added two touchdowns. Hill had over 100 yards through the first quarter, and Akron's 3-3-5 defense was no match for Wisconsin's ground game.
Backups Zach Brown and John Clay also got into the mix, with both of them getting into the end-zone once. Brown had 87 yards and Clay 71.
The Badgers ran more than normal (if that's possible) because they were without All-American tight end Travis Beckum, due to him resting an injury.
That didn't stop Wisconsin from passing the ball, as Allan Evridge, making his first start, hit wide open backup tight end Garrett Graham for the game's first score.
Evridge finished the game going 7-10 for 75 yards with a touchdown and interception thrown. I think Badger fans will take that from him every week, minus the pick, and assuming that the ground attack remains consistent with each passing week.
Overall, the Badgers outgained the Zips 479 yards to 297. Wisconsin did it on the ground and Akron through the air.
Even with the runaway victory, there still is one lingering problem for the Badgers. The defense tends to 'fall asleep' near the end of both halves in a game.
Coming to the end of the first half, and after the interception from Evridge, the Zips had possession with just under four minutes left. They proceeded to march down the field and kick a field goal with :02 on the clock and pull the score to 17-10 in favor of Wisconsin at the half.
Then to end the game, all Wisconsin had to do was run down the clock with ocassionally gaining a first down. But the Badgers coughed it up and turned it over to Akron with just under four minutes left again.
Akron went 42 yards and scored a touchdown to make it 38-17, but that last Zip drive looked way too easy against a normally stingy Badger defense.
Wisconsin walked away with the all important 'W', and satisfied head coach Brett Bielema's "1-0" motto to begin their 2008 BCS chase with a 1-0 start.
The Badgers play host to the Marshall Thundering Herd next week, and Wisconsin fans hope they will continue to stay "1-0".
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