HERE BE ALL THE THREE-AND-OUTS
Wisconsin @ UW 25…Power for no gain…Double snags to the middle, batted down by Gardner…Murphy blows by the LT and the pass falls incomplete…Punt. 3 plays 0 yards. 17-14 Stanford.
Stanford @ SU 21…Power for no gain, Wisconsin swarms…Inverted veer (power with an option read of the playside DE), Hogan makes the wrong read and keeps the ball instead of giving it, no gain…Penalty Stanford, false start (Fleming)…Curl (?) to Terrell, thrown too high, nearly intercepted…Punt. 3 plays -5 yards. 17-14 Stanford.
Wisconsin @ UW 43…Power for 1, Skov is shedding blockers like water…Gordon jet sweep for 4, everybody is shedding blockers like water…TO Wisconsin…Wisconsin goes back to the trips up the middle + swing pass to White that we’ve seen before, and Stanford isn’t fooled this time, loss of 1…Punt. 3 plays 4 yards. 17-14 Stanford.
Stanford @ SU 15…Power for 2…Yankey is owned off the edge and Hogan fires a desperation toss to Taylor EIGHT YARDS BEHIND THE LOS, who jump cuts, spins, and spins again for a gain of 2. One of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen Taylor do, really…Wisconsin does the psycho look again and the OL completely screws up, a subway turnstile would literally offer more resistance, Terrell alert for 1…Punt. 3 plays 5 yards. 17-14 Stanford.
Stanford doesn’t seem to be able to adjust to the psycho look. They previously succeeded by not getting into obvious passing downs, but Wisconsin is swarming and eating Power alive at this point. Pass protection has been pretty bad on PA as well, though.
Wisconsin @ UW 32…Max-protect PA and the LBs bit pretty hard, just two passing options, Phillips escapes and scrambles for 13…White OZ for 3, Gardner penetrates, occupies blockers and frees up Tarpley for the tackle…PA and the LBs bit again, post(?)-wheel and the wheel comes open against the zone coverage (safety takes the post, CB underneath, nobody has the wheel), but Richards nearly decapitates the WR, incomplete…Out, batted down by Anderson…Punt. 4 plays 16 yards. 17-14 Stanford.
THE WHEEL IS ALWAYS OPEN
Amanam clearly roughed the punter, but Wisconsin declined the penalty (not roughing, though) for field position reasons I don’t quite understand.
Stanford @ SU 9…QB draw/designed scramble off the play-action (fake Spider Y Banana from max-protect, but Hewitt actually seals the edge for Hogan’s scramble) for 13…Power for 3…Screen to Hewitt, pressured, thrown high and nearly picked off…Hogan scrambles for 6, but penalty Stanford, holding (Wilkes)…Hogan rolls out and scrambles for 4…Punt. 4 plays 10 yards. 17-14 Stanford.
Wisconsin @ UW 27…Power for 4, Ball fights for the last three yards…Weakside OZ for 3…Abbrederis slant for 11, nice fakeout of Carter…Gordon jet sweep for 8, great block on Richards and Reynolds on the backside has too far to go…Mauro runs into the backfield and crushes White, loss of 4…Phillips scrambles for 5, heroic effort by Carter to shed the WR block and deny Phillips the first down…Punt. 6 plays 27 yards. 17-14 Stanford.
Stanford @ SU 15…Taylor flare for 3…End of the third quarter…PA, Hogan scrambles for 13…PA, Hogan overthrows Montgomery’s vertical, open for six…Counter toss to Wilkerson, swallowed up, loss of 4…Taylor checkdown for 12…Punt. 5 plays 23 yards. 17-14 Stanford.
On the first play, Terrell’s snag was open right in front of Hogan for 4-5 and Hogan was looking straight at him, but Hogan was actually trying to throw to the Taylor flare. So the checkdown is actually the first read? Well I mean you gotta give Taylor the ball…
Wisconsin @ UW 14…Power for 1…Gordon jet sweep for 8…Power for no gain, Parry takes him down low…Punt, penalty Wisconsin, interference. 3 plays 9 yards. 17-14 Stanford.
Stanford @ SU 44…Power for 9, Taylor breaks a tackle…Power for 2…Ertz stick for 9…Montgomery in for 6, penalty Stanford, block in the back (Danser)…Inverted veer keeper, Hogan makes the right read this time and goes for 12…Power (or possibly IZ with pin-and-pull – went up the A gap) for 8, Taylor is throwing haymakers at the LBs...A-gap Power for 1…Wilkerson toss sweep for 8, Wisconsin completely sold out inside in response to the A-gap Powers up the middle…Power, loss of 1, hit in the backfield…Counter for 7…High-low (think Spider Y Banana) with Ertz and Toilolo split, Hogan tries to hit Toilolo deep and throws it too high, Ertz was underneath and open for the TD…22 yd FG. 11 plays 51 yards. 20-14 Stanford.
Wisconsin @ UW 25…Gordon jet sweep for 11, Carter has him but gets steamrollered…Iso for 4…Gordon jet sweep for 5…White Power for 1, LBs play hesitant because of the jet sweep…Trips left, two verticals clear the way for the arrow underneath, but Phillips telegraphs it, tackled immediately, gain of 5…Levels concept (high-low on the MLB), Phillips locks on and forces the high (low can’t get enough yardage), Mauro tips the ball and Amanam jumps the route, INTERCEPTION. 6 plays 26 yards. 20-14 Stanford.
Now Stanford is using the spy technique with its pass rush. Hey, a three-man rush is getting plenty of pressure already…
Stanford @ SU 42…Power for 2…Power for 7, nice stutter step, nicer broken tackle…TO Wisconsin…Power for 5…Hogan takes a knee.
Shaw and Hamilton stuck to their guns all day and eventually all the Powers began to really erode Wisconsin’s defense. Love the adjustments and creativity on the last full drive, and maybe we’d have seen that earlier if miscues hadn’t sunk so many previous drives. This isn’t to say that Wisconsin played badly, since their linebackers especially kicked ass, and their pass coverage was lovely. The psycho look in particular is something I’d be interested in Stanford doing, as it badly messed up Stanford’s pass protection. Bad pass protection made Kevin Hogan look like a freshman – hurrying plays, too eager to scramble, missing reads – but his line at the end of the day was a respectable 12/19, 123 yards, 7 for 54 on the ground, and some lovely – and more importantly, critical – runs late in the game. He horribly botched a read on the inverted veer, and Shaw used to automatically yank him for that; that just shows how far things have come; Stanford’s hitched its wagon to Hogan now. Well, actually, they did that five unthinkably wonderful games ago.
I hate how the highlight system only shows plays that "succeed," as some of the best plays are the ones that fail, or at least don’t really work. Watch Taylor’s spinning, twisting, 2-yard checkdown a few more times. It deserves your appreciation. Stanford did the little things well that night. The linebackers would simply not stay blocked. Apart from one scramble from Phillips, there were no big plays against the defense. When the offense sputtered, the defense forced three-and-outs again and again and again. And Stanford didn’t turn over the ball.
The defensive backs took themselves out of the play more often than I’d be comfortable with, but it’s a young secondary, and they have the entire offseason to work on it. The play-action and passing game in general was not particularly effective. But the entire team is young. There will be a lot of players that we’ll all miss, of course, but let’s just step back for a second and congratulate the coaching staff – the program’s at the point where we aren’t freaking out about personnel losses anymore.
That was an exhausting game – and as exhilarating as it was exhausting. Everybody on the team can give themselves a hand. Each and every player and coach on that team, whether on the field, the sideline, or in the press box, busted their ass day in and day out to achieve this. They were asked for nothing less than their full devotion and they delivered. Congratulations.