Snap Reactions: Badgers survive, Hoosiers fall

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watched every single Big Ten football game on Saturday and churned out his usual Snap Reactions after every set of games. Read his take on the early games here, then his take on the afternoon games here, and his final take in the post below.

Ball State 41, Indiana 39
1. The defense still has a ways to go, as the Hoosiers lost to Ball State for the third time in a row. Indiana gave up 440 yards. But, worst of all, the Hoosiers allowed Ball State to drive for a game-winning 42-yard field-goal with one second to play after taking a late lead.

2. Indiana may have found a quarterback in true freshman Nathan Sudfeld. He came on for Cameron Coffman and hit 13-of-20 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns for an attack that notched 558 yards. No doubt, 11 penalties for 127 hurt. And, no doubt, Indiana should have won this game.

3. Indiana has fight and moxie, showing some growth as a program in the second year under Kevin Wilson. Entering the fourth quarter, the Hoosiers trailed 38-25. And IU could have folded its tent. But the Hoosiers battled back to scored 14 points and to take a 39-38 lead—only to see Ball State win it on the late kick.

Wisconsin 16, Utah State 14
1. Wisconsin shouldn’t have beaten Utah State. But, it did. And that’s all that matters, as the Aggies missed a game-winning 37-yard field-goal attempt in the waning seconds. Specials almost lost this game (botched extra point); but it also basically won this game, as Kenzel Doe’s 82-yard punt return for a touchdown proved to be the difference.

2. The Badger defense continues to play well, shutting out the Aggies in the second half to keep Wisconsin in the game while the offense struggled. The Badgers allowed 309 yards, which was a nice effort.

3. The offense still has issues, gaining just 236 yards against a WAC defense playing on its own field. The Badgers ran 45 times for 158 yards, which comes out to 3.5 yards per carry. And quarterbacks Danny O’Brien and Joel Stave combined to hit just 7-of-16 passes for 78 yards. Work still needs to be done. Lots of work.

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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Sam on 9/16/2012 @ 1:21pm EDT Said:

Cardinals have IU’s number!

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