Joel Stave

Badgers QB Stave clears concussion protocol

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A win against Illinois came with a price for Wisconsin this past weekend. Center Dan Voltz was lost for the season and it is unknown when wide receiver Robert Wheelwright (leg injury) will return. There is some positive injury-related news though. Starting quarterback Joel Stave has been cleared to practice with the Badgers this week and will be expected to retain the starting job. Stave was forced to leave last weekend’s game against Illinois with a concussion.

“I talked to him [Monday],” wide receiver Alex Erickson said, per a report from Journal Sentinel. “It seemed like he was doing good. Obviously he is going through the protocol and taking that step by step. So we’ll see how that progresses. But he is feeling better.”

On Tuesday during a Big Ten conference call, Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst announced the latest information regarding Stave. Chryst confirmed the quarterback was allowed to practice after completing the concussion protocols. Stave is fifth in the Big Ten in passing with 1,757 passing yards, although he has thrown just eight touchdowns to five interceptions. Having Stave leading the offense at least provides some level of comfort for Chryst, but having to replace the injured Voltz at center is a concern. Voltz injured his knee in the third quarter against the Illini, which will force Wisconsin to move on with redshirt freshman Michael Deiter handling the snapping duties. Deiter has already started six games for Wisconsin, doing so at left guard and once at center, so he is not completely lacking in starting experience.

Wisconsin hosts Rutgers this Saturday. At 6-2, the Badgers are still very much in the hunt for the Big Ten West Division championship, although the Iowa Hawkeyes will have to lose twice in order for that to be a possibility. Iowa defeated Wisconsin, 10-6, back in Week 5 to claim a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Badgers.

Huskers score late touchdown to take halftime lead on Wisconsin

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The circumstances surrounding this afternoon’s clash between Wisconsin and Nebraska in Lincoln may have taken a step back from some preseason expectations, but the importance of a win today is not really all that much different. A win and Wisconsin or Nebraska will stay in a decent spot in the Big Ten West division moving forward. After one half of play, Nebraska leads Wisconsin, 14-7.

Wisconsin’s touchdown drive was made possible thanks to a fourth down conversion from the Nebraska 29-yard line. Joel Stave completed a short pass to Troy Fumagalli to keep the drive going. A big third-down pass for 16 yards on 3rd and 15 a few plays later helped set the Badgers up for a Stave-to-Fumagalli touchdown to cap the 13-play drive.

Nebraska later followed up with a nice drive of its own a few minutes before the half. Tommy Armstrong may not be having a great day throwing the football, but he was effective in leading the Huskers down the field for a score. Armstrong completed five of seven attempts on the scoring drive, then let his feet cap it off by improvising and finding enough room to sneak into the corner of the end zone after his targets through the air were shut down.

Nebraska’s defense then came up with a three-and-out to force Wisconsin to punt, and the offense went right back to work before the end of the half. Armstrong hooked up with Alonzo Moore for a 41-yard touchdown play to give Nebraska its first lead of the game with 21 seconds until halftime.

Neither team may be ranked but the two preseason favorites in the Big Ten West can still figure into the division race with a win. A loss by either would dig a big hole on a day that saw Iowa remain undefeated in the Big Ten West.

Iowa undefeated after No. 19 Wisconsin fumbles away chance to win


For the first time in five years, Iowa (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) won a game on the road against  ranked opponent, and now the Hawkeyes are ready to make some things happen in the wide-open Big Ten West. Iowa held on for a 10-6 win against No. 19 Wisconsin (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) in Madison.

This one was far from pretty, especially for the Badgers. Wisconsin turned the football over four times, none more crucial than a fourth quarter fumble just yards away from a potential go-ahead touchdown. Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave lost his footing and botched a handoff to the running back as Wisconsin was on the two-yard line. Iowa recovered and used the possession to run some clock.

Iowa managed to win the game despite gaining just 221 yards of offense and giving up nearly 100 more yards on defense. Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard completed just nine of his 21 pass attempts for 77 yards, but one of those passes was for a touchdown in the first half. Naturally, that touchdown was made possible in part to a late  Wisconsin turnover before halftime.

Iowa’s recipe for success thrive son the running game. Against Wisconsin, Jordan Canzeri rushed for 125 yards and an average of 4.8 yards per rushing attempt. Wisconsin’s bread and butter for years has also been the running game, but the loss of Corey Clement took a toll. Wisconsin rushed for just 86 yards on 34 rushing attempts.

Wisconsin should now drop out of the polls on Sunday, making room for an undefeated Iowa squad. It seems Kirk Ferentz puts together a solid season every few years. Could 2015 turn out to be a good season for Iowa in the Big Ten West (a division that already sees Northwestern doing some good things too)?

Badgers miscue helps put Iowa on top at halftime

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Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave was picked off by Iowa’s Desmond King in the second quarter, and the Hawkeyes cashed in. C.J. Beathard‘s short touchdown pass to George Kittle gave undefeated Iowa a 10-3 halftime lead on the No. 19 Badgers in Madison.

Wisconsin’s running game is moving forward without Corey Clement, and the struggles on the ground have been evident. Wisconsin has just 14 rushing yards on Iowa’s defense, with Dare Ogunbowale leading the way with 10 yards so far. Iowa has been much more effective on the ground with Jordan Canzeri on his way to a 100-yard afternoon.

Marshall Koehn added a field goal in the final minute of the half to extend Iowa’s lead to seven.

This is the Big Ten opener for both schools, so an early first place standing in the seemingly up-for-grabs Big ten West is on the line on this first Saturday of October.

Coker solid as Tide takes TD lead on Badgers at the half


So far so good for Alabama’s first-time quarterback starter.  Still, we still very much have us a football game.

Revealed publicly as the starter shortly before kickoff, Jake Coker looked as if he’d assumed the position for many years prior in helping to push Alabama to a 14-7 halftime lead.  Coker completed 10-of-13 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown, a 17-yarder to Robert Foster in the second quarter that gave the Tide their lead back.

Head coach Nick Saban had indicated leading into the game that two quarterbacks, Coker and Cooper Bateman, would see action; thus far, and likely because of how well Coker has played and how in rhythm he is, Bateman hasn’t seen the field.

Of course, Coker had some help in the form of a running game that accounted for 87 non-sack yards.  Not surprisingly, Derrick Henry led the way with 75 yards — on eight carries — and a 37-yard touchdown run that accounted for UA’s first score of the day.

Perhaps surprisingly, Coker’s counterpart, Joel Stave, was quite effective in his own right as well.  Stave, who suffered through a crisis of confidence last season, completed 14-of-16 passes for 149 yards against a very good Tide secondary.  He accounted for the Badgers’ lone touchdown, a six-yarder to Alex Erickson to temporarily tie the score at 7-all.

UW had the chance to go into the locker room down 14-10 but couldn’t capitalize on a shanked 20-yard punt by UA’s JK Scott with less than 10 seconds left.  With the ball at the Tide 39-yard line, Stave completed a 23-yard pass to Erickson to set up a 34-yard field goal attempt with four seconds left. Rafael Gaglianone, though, clanked it off the upright to keep the deficit at seven.

The Badgers, one of the top rushing teams in college football over the past several years, could manage just 22 on 13 carries against a very stout Tide front seven.

Wisconsin will get the ball on offense to start the second half.