Without a doubt, this was the single worst offensive performance I may have ever seen by the Wisconsin Badgers. While the defense was stiff enough to limit the Oregon State Beavers to 10 points, an utterly inept Badger attack caused Bucky to give Bret Bielema his first ever non-conference regular season loss.
I won't bother diving deep into all the statistics. It just isn't worth it. Reliving this terrible performance will only give me more ulcers than I already have from having sat through such an embarrassing game. Turnovers? Yep. Receivers dropping balls? Yep. How about badly thrown balls? Yep. Poor decision making by O'Brien? Definitely.
What about the vaunted Wisconsin offensive line and rushing attack? Wait, what attack? Montee Ball was held without a touchdown for the first time in 21 straight games, not to mention he didn't come close to breaking 100 rushing yards. The entire game I watched the Badger line get mauled by a much smaller Beaver D. Oregon State flew to the ball, closing holes before they even opened, stifiling Montee Ball over and over. At several points, pocket protection broke down due either to missed assignments, confusion, or just straight up being beat. As a result, O'Brien was sacked multiple times and pressured throughout the game. Even when he had time, he still made several critical errors, as well as contributing to multiple turnovers.
Even when the Beavers did things to give Bucky a chance, such as the punter dropping the ball and UW getting into the redzone, it didn't matter. Wisconsin straight up came into this game without the inner fire, without the desire the win. At no point did I have the impression UW actually wanted to win the game, until the last 3 minutes of the fourth quarter when all of a sudden we drove down the field with quick passes and scored. But those 7 points should be taken away. Several penalties on that drive (or lackthereof - Duckworth offensive pass interference) could have changed the outcome.
The only good note from this game was the play of the defense, which for the most part was effective. Everything else was a complete wreck, not to mention the injury to Abbrederis which we'll know the full extent of which in due course. Badger fans should be mad, and sad, for a team which was utterly unprepared for this contest. Maybe it was overconfidence? I don't know. What I do know is, this team is bad. Straight up. After a performance like that, I don't think we deserve to be ranked, and I think some serious questions need to be asked.
This wasn't a fluke, people. Unless some serious leadership rises to the top, I would be concerned about a repeat of 2008 - big expectations, BIG letdowns. Brace yourselves, it could be a very long season.