Brown, Smith carry Badgers to victory

first_imgGo-to guysQuarterbacks are often lauded for spreading the ball outamong receivers, thus making the passing game harder to defend.While he had success throwing the ball (245 yards and onetouchdown), Donovan won’t be receiving that type of praise following Saturday’sgame.Donovan completed 14 passes against Michigan, but only tothree different receivers. Moreover, 13 of those 14 completions went to eithertight end Travis Beckum or wide receiver Paul Hubbard.Consequently, both players had huge games, each registeringmore than 100 yards receiving (Hubbard, 134 yards and one touchdown; Beckum,106 yards).”Those are two guys that are playmakers, guys that takeadvantage of their opportunities,” Donovan said. “When the ball comes theirway, they are going to make the most of it.”It’s a good feeling when you have those types of receivers.” JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoP.J. Hill didn’t start the game at running back forWisconsin, and only gained 14 yards on five carries. The Badgers ground game didn’t miss him too much.Using a number of different options out of the backfield, Wisconsingrounded out 232 yards rushing in a 37-21 win over Michigan.”Zach Brown continues to make strides, Lance (Smith) isdoing some good things, P.J. … needed to get his opportunities as well,” UWhead coach Bret Bielema said of his many running backs.Brown led the way for the Badgers. A week after making hisfirst career start against top-ranked Ohio State, Brown got another startingnod against No. 13 Michigan and responded by rushing 27 times for 108 yards andtwo touchdowns.”I think I showed a statement that I can finish,” Brownsaid. “If we need a big play, I can come through.”Brown got stronger as the game wore on, and the Badgersleaned on him heavily in the second half as they tried to finish off the win.In the fourth quarter alone, Brown rushed 11 times for 55 yards, and his twolate-game scores helped ice the victory for the Badgers.”That comes with just getting a feel for the game,” Brownsaid of his late-game surge. “You run a play one time, you see a look, you comeback a second time you know what to do. … It’s all about adjusting, and that’swhat comes with getting in a rhythm in a game.”Brown was one of three Wisconsin players to finish the gamewith 49 or more yards rushing, and one of seven different Badgers to register acarry in the contest.Lance Smith ran 10 times for 52 yards and had several nicecuts and jukes, and quarterback Tyler Donovan escaped pressure in spectacularfashion on several occasions and finished with 49 yards and a touchdown. Donovan fineAll season long, Donovan stood in the pocket and absorbedbig hit after big hit while somehow staying healthy.That changed Saturday when Donovan hit his hand on Michiganlinebacker Obi Ezeh’s helmet on his follow through and lay on the fieldwrithing in pain and clutching his right hand to his chest.The senior signal caller was forced to leave the game andwas replaced by backup quarterback Allan Evridge.”It just got banged up; I’ll be ready to go on Monday,”Donovan said.Donovan left the field with ice on his right hand, and afterthe game the back of his throwing hand was swollen, bruised and scraped up.Despite that, Bielema said Donovan could have returned if itwas necessary.”Tyler took some snaps, could have finished out the game,”Bielema said, adding the quarterback was held out as a precaution.”It’sBig Ten football. You’re going to get dings and get your hits and stuff, butyou’ve just got to find a way to get up and persevere,” Donovan said.last_img

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