Football breakdown: Wisconsin overcomes all odds to take Holiday Bowl

first_imgWisconsin football’s Tanner McEvoy was inexplicably ruled out of bounds on a run that would’ve resulted in a touchdown.Quarterback Joel Stave’s nose was cut when a USC lineman’s cleat stud somehow found its way through Stave’s facemask to maim the fifth-year senior. And troubled running-back Corey Clement, who experienced a dismal 2015, injured his ankle in the first half and did not come back into the remainder of the game.With all of the aforementioned hiccups looming over Wisconsin, the 2015 Holiday Bowl seemed destined to result in another agonizing loss for a team that’s endured their fair share of losses of the sort this season. A game in which the 9-3 Badgers couldn’t afford any letdowns while facing the No. 25 University of Southern California Trojans, an 8-5 program that entered as a 3.5-point favorite.After 60 minutes, however, the Badgers were the victors of a 23-21 contest that many heralded as the most entertaining bowl game thus far.Only a late-game, 29-yard field goal by UW kicker Rafael Gaglianone separated winner from loser in one of, if not, Wisconsin’s best performances all season.The Badgers’ defense held the Trojans to only 286 total yards — an offensive unit that averages 438 yards and 33.9 points per game. Sophomore Jack Cichy’s late-game heroics provided a burst of energy each time momentum seemed to be sliding USC’s way — his three downs, three sacks drive baffled the Trojans and from then on he couldn’t be stopped.When Wisconsin’s defense stepped up to the plate, so too did its offense. Stave led the Badgers time and again, even through personal injury and without Clement by his side, while racking up 394 total yards and delivering the pass to a Rob Wheelwright one-handed catch that won’t soon be forgotten.Offensive Player of the Game: Joel StaveStave went 18/27 and threw for 217 yards and a touchdown without an interception. It wasn’t a flashy performance by any means, but it was mature and exactly what the Badgers needed.Stave’s confusing legacy at Wisconsin will end with this game – as the winningest quarterback in school history with 31 wins, and a final win that may be remembered as one of his finest games.The fifth-year senior delivered an incredible pass down the sideline to Wheelwright, who made a jumping one-handed catch, in what was one of the most explosive plays the duo have combined for this season. The catch set up the first points of the game and, one could suspect, gave Stave some confidence going forward.He would continue to impress, showing athletic ability on top of his throwing skills when he shimmied around a blitzing cornerback to avoid a long sack, then ran through the pocket and down the sideline in order to keep that drive from stalling. A play that one wouldn’t have expected him to make early on in the season.Most of all, aside from scoring or making well-placed throws, was the fact that Stave was consistent. The one-and-done nature of bowl games demands consistency and that is how he made his true impact on this game — quite simply, Stave put his team in a position to succeed.Defensive Player of the Game: Jack CichyDid Cichy have fresh legs? Yes he did.After serving his one game suspension from a targeting penalty, which carried over from the second half of the Minnesota game to the first half of the Holiday Bowl, Cichy was ready to make an impact.The redshirt sophomore recorded an astonishing three sacks on three consecutive plays that made USC quarterback Cody Kessler ever so familiar with Qualcomm Stadium’s turf. Not only that, but his presence forced the Trojans to watch him and commit blockers on every down.When USC was determined to take back the lead while trailing 23-21 and under two minutes left to play, Cichy blew up their play once more.Cichy forced his blocker back five yards before throwing him to the side as Kessler stepped up in the pocket. Then, as the USC quarterback prepped to deliver a pass down the sideline, Cichy charged from behind and hit Kessler’s throwing arm, forcing a weak, bobbling pass that was picked off by UW cornerback Sojourn Shelton.You could say he made his presence felt.Turning PointRafael Gaglianone has provided Wisconsin with many memorable kicks over the past two seasons, but it seems that in bowl games especially, he is Wisconsin’s savior.The sophomore won the Badgers’ bowl game for the second consecutive year when he put his team up by two on a 29-yard kick with 2:27 left to play.That kick put Wisconsin ahead and left the game in the hands of its defense, a smart move considering how dominant they’d been all game, and not to mention one which paid off.Gaglianone’s kick was the final punch that ultimately won a long, hard-fought game.When You Knew It Was OverThe most exciting part of this game was that it was never over until the final play. USC made Badger Nation hold its breath until its final attempt with seven seconds left on the clock proved unfruitful. Not even Shelton’s late interception could shut the door, as Wisconsin’s offense went three and out and was forced to give USC one final drive with almost 40 seconds left to play.While it was nerve-racking to watch for Badgers fans, the unscripted nature of the final two or so minutes gave this matchup the praise and right to don the accolade so many viewers gave it: the most entertaining game of this bowl season.last_img read more

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BiH Olympic Delegation arrived to Rio

first_imgThe BiH Olympic team arrived to Rio de Janeiro. The best BiH athlete Amel Tuka was the first to share the news on social networks, by posting a photo from Rio.According to the head of Olympic delegation of BiH Said Fazlagić, everyone except the tennis player Mirza Bašić arrived to Rio. Bašić was expected to join the team in several hours, and some of the BiH athletes have already did their first trainings.“Everyone except Bašić arrived to Rio and I must say that our Brazilian hosts have invested great efforts in making everything top class. We had some problems with the plane transportation because of the strike of Air France, but we managed to solve that and now everything is fine. Tennis player Damir Džumhur, shooter Tatjana Đekanović and swimmer Mihajlo Čeprkalo had their first training sessions this morning already,” Fazlagić said yesterday.BiH tennis players Mirza Bašić and Damir Džumhur will be the first ones to learn the names of their opponents after a draw that will be held on August 6. First performances in the Olympics will be by the swimmer Amina Kajtaz in the discipline of 100m butterfly stroke and the shooter Tatjana Đekanović.Athletes in the BiH Olympic team are Amel Tuka, Hamza Alić, Kemal Mešić, Mesud Pezer, Lucia Kimani (athletics), Damir Džumhur, Mirza Bašić (tennis), Larisa Cerić (judo), Tatjana Đekanović (shooting), Amina Kajtaz and Mihajlo Čeprkalo (swimming).Head of the mission is Said Fazlagić and his deputy is Dejana Sadžak. The tripartite Presidency of the Olympic Committee of BiH, with Marijan Kvesić, Siniša Kisić and Izet Rađo, also arrived to Rio.(Source: faktor.ba/photo: Facebook)last_img read more

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Former Spurs and QPR boss ‘too much of a risk’ for Slovenian side

first_img1 Harry Redknapp Milan Mandaric insists Harry Redknapp will not be the new NK Olimpija Ljubljana manager.Mandaric has a close relationship with Redknapp, having worked with him during his time as Portsmouth owner.That has led to speculation he could try and tempt the Englishman to take charge of Ljubljana, the Slovenian club he now owns.Olimpija director Ranko Stojic even claimed last week that there was a real possibility Redknapp could be drafted in to replace Marijan Pusnik, who left as head coach in December.But Mandaric has now quashed talk of an approach for the former Pompey, Tottenham and QPR manager.“We cannot afford the slightest error because there is too much at stake,” Mandaric said via the club’s official website.“We need someone for whom the Slovenian football environment is not foreign. It would therefore be pointless at this stage to engage experts from Western Europe.“I know that it has recently been written and spoken about the arrival of my good friend and former colleague at Portsmouth, Harry Redknapp.“I can assure you that (it will not be him) because we cannot afford too many risks.”last_img read more

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