Columnist Tom Oates assesses the University of Wisconsin football team's performance against Michigan State on Saturday at Spartan Stadium.
Establishing the run early was smart against a blitzing defense, but Montee Ball's injury hurt for awhile. Russell Wilson's safety and two interceptions were costly, but he didn't quit and got UW back into the game.
The Badgers stuffed the Spartans' inside running game, but had trouble with their speed on the outside, especially their wide receivers. Allowing a Hail Mary for the game-winning touchdown should never happen.
Special teams: D
A poor snap contributed to the blocked field goal. Michigan State's blocked punt for a touchdown was the game's biggest play. Jared Abbrederis had a timely 33-yard punt return late in the game.
This was a tough test for UW and it failed. Generally an error-free team, the Badgers made enough mistakes -- safety, interceptions, blocked kicks, penalties, missed tackles, allowing a Hail Mary -- to cost themselves the game.