University of Wisconsin Badgers @ University of Iowa Hawkeyes
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa
Score: Wisconsin (17), Iowa (9)
Notable Prospects Entering the Contest
Corey Clement, RB, Senior, #6: Clement ran effectively on tough sledding vs. a very game Hawkeyes defense; but his fumble inside of the 5 yard line left a particularly poor taste in my mouth. Clement had a big fumble after a long gain just the other week against the Buckeyes and this one cost the Badgers 7 points in a closely contested game. Clement foolishly and prematurely extended the ball to break the plane in a high traffic area; allowing the ball to slip into the end zone where it was recovered by Desmond King. Clement ran physically afterwards and did redeem himself with a short touchdown to ice the game (although I don’t think he necessarily broke the plane on that run either). While it was a tough, gritty performance for Clement, it wasn’t an especially impressive one from a playmaking standpoint. Clement topped 130 rushing yards but needed 35 carriers to get there.
Dare Ogunbowale, RB, Senior, #23: A player that had not been on my radar entering the game, he was a treat to watch as a threat out of the backfield. Ogunbowale converted a number of third down plays with receptions out of the backfield and hand LBs on their toes when releasing into the flats all game. He did have a poor drop on a third down check down but his open field burst and acceleration out of his cuts against zone flow made him an easy target for his QBs. A name to circle and look for more out of in the coming weeks.
TJ Watt, EDGE, Junior, #42: Watt is a treat to watch blossom into a productive pass rusher after converting from TE. Watt was especially productive in the backfield in this contest, again showing up on interior stunts to collapse the pocket and cause chaos. Watt’s functional strength checks the necessary boxes; he certainly has the strength to stand up and play the POA as a run defender as well. What is scary is for all of his disruption he continues to just miss a handful of splash plays week in and week out. If Watt can do a better job of collecting his momentum and coming to balance before challenging the football, he’s going to have a monster second half of the season.
Vince Biegel, EDGE, Senior, #47: It was great to see Biegel back on the field after missing two weeks while receiving a screw in his foot to help repair a fracture. It was not his best performance by any means, Biegel was largely a non-factor and not able to generate much push or penetration along the LOS. I’m not going to be too harsh, however, as Biegel is fresh off a two week layoff and did look hesitant in the open field to really open up and let the motor loose. Look for solid improvement in his flow to the football and attack mentality in the coming weeks.
CJ Beathard, QB, RS Senior, #16: Beathard’s season has been a struggle. He’s not completed more than 58% of throws in 5 of 8 games, including just 51% vs. Wisconsin. He does not have much help in the way of receivers at Iowa this season but Beathard currently looks like a game manager type of QB who can’t keep the offense on schedule. He’s handcuffed by passive play and poor targets thus far this year.
Desmond King, CB, Senior, #14: King was a man possessed and easily the best player on the football field this past weekend for either team. Finishing with 12 total tackles; what stood out about King’s contributions was his willingness to drop down in line at the LOS and squeeze as a contain player in run support. Not a role you’ll see a lot of Corners readily embrace, yet there was King on rep after rep collapsing and slamming the door shut on the D-gap. King also had a heads up play to find Corey Clement’s fumble in the endzone and fall on top of the football. If King has a weakness, it is that he’s not especially strong in the turn and run elements of coverage. Yet he was consistent in his zone drops and regularly had his eyes in the correct place to challenge any throws in his area.
Best Players on the Field:
Desmond King, CB; TJ Watt, RB
Vince Biegel, EDGE