The Milwaukee Penguins

The Milwaukee Penguins is the Division 1A collegiate football team for Milwaukee College. We're a school "known for its academics." This is a record of our accomplishments, on the field and off.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Coach Of the Year

Coach Of the Year
Originally uploaded by RumAli.
It's been awhile, but we've still been at it. Oh, lord, have we still been at it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Tangerine Bowl

The Tangerine Bowl

Milwaukee College Penguins (10-2, #27) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-4, #26)

The Tangerine Bowl, aka the Florida Citrus Bowl, usually features teams from the SEC and the Big 10. Well, here we are, a league-less team, hoping to complete a Cinderella season with an upset of the George Tech Yellow Jackets. Never have we played in front of a such a big crowd: over 70,000 in paid attendance.

And Root (QB #5), my starting quarterback, felt it. She played nervous, completing only one out of her first seven passes. It's a good thing that our defense stepped up their play. After Louisiana Tech showed what can be done against our secondary, I ran extra drills in preparation for this game. It looks like the Tigers did the same, as the score remained nil-nil until a long touch down drive capped by a short run by, who else, Wetzel (HB #47) gave us the first lead.

8 seconds left in the half. The Tigers get a good kick return. Their QB chucks it deep and connects on the 19 yard line. Time runs out. The officials, though, call one of us - I won't name who - for a face-mask penalty. The rules says that the game and the half can't end on a penalty, so out trots the Tigers' field goal unit and they escape with three points.

I was furious! I gave it to my team in the spacious locker room.

The third quarter featured more defensive mastery from each team. Then, the Tigers put together the most incredible touchdown drive. They did what no other team against us: milk the clock. And they went 3-for-3 on fourth downs! I couldn't believe their luck. Or skill. Everybody was getting antsy on the sidelines. There was a lot of pent up energy from the offensive unit, especially from Koch (QB #22).

With about 4 minutes left to play, I stuck with my game plan and sent Root (QB #5) to try to guide us back to the lead. And then, again following my game plan, I inserted Koch in on third down plays. Koch has proven to be an effective scrambler. And then I departed from my game plan and ran a bunch of no huddle offenses, with Koch still at quarterback. We kept the Tigers off balance and actually had an easy time down the field, with Koch taking the ball in himself, running it in from about eleven yards out. Will my opponents ever learn? 14-10 with 2:43 left to play.

Plenty of time. We should've taken longer to give our defense a longer rest.

Just like their last drive, the Tigers converted on fourth down; however, a holding penalty was called against them, setting up a fourth-and-16. AND AGAIN THEY CONVERTED! But senior cornerback Bennett (CB #10), out of desperation and frustration, whacks at the ball and actually strips it from the receiver, causing a fumble. K Anderson (SS #26) picks it up.

I run down the clock and then, with a second left, let Chi (K #40) kick a short field goal. There it is, our first bowl victory. Holy moly.


score: 17-10
first downs: 15-12
total offense: 245-264
rushes - yards: 28-100 --- 28-63
comp-att-TD: 14-24-0 --- 15-27-0
passing yards: 145-201
sacked: 1-1
turnovers: 0-3
fumbles - lost: 1-0 --- 2-1
intercepted: 0-2
top: 15:10 -- 16:50


Root (QB #5) 96.0 rating, 8-17 for 99 yards
Koch (QB #22) 140.9 rating, 6-7 for 46 yards; 6-48 rush (8.0 avg), 1 TD
Wetzel (HB #47) 20-42 rush (2.0 avg), 1 TD
Franklin (WR #81) 9-86 rec (9.5 avg)
Finner (WR #83) 3-37 (12.3 avg)


Umali (CB #3) 6 tackles (1 for loss), 1 forced fumble
Conti (MLB #72) 5 tackles (2 for loss)
Straka (CB #1) 5 tackles (1 for loss)
Anderson (SS #26) 1 int, 2 pass deflects, 1 fumble recovery
Bennett (CB #10) 3 tackles (1 for loss), 1 forced fumbe

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


The reason why the Milwaukee College Penguins have been on hiatus ... especially on the cusp of greatness ... is this:

I got recruited to coach the New York Giants (yes, Eli Manning, Amani Toomer, Tiki Barber ... those guys). Things went better than expected, and in this business, that gave me the chance to helm a "better" team, the Indianapolis Colts.

All, well, most, of the Penguins think it is a good idea to take this break from my collegiate duties and to concentrate on, gulp, actually playing with the big boys. And these are big boys.

Take care!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Season 3, Game 12:vs Louisiana Tech

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (6-4, #53) at Milwaukee College Penguins (9-2, #33)

Bowl position is foremost on our minds, but there's also the crazy race for the Offensive Lineman of the year award! For the last two years our left guard Buccheri (LG #59) has won the award. This year, the Penguins sport the three finalists: Buccheri, of course, but also her counterpart Leplae (RG #69) and Bogner (LT #52). Some might be surprised at Bogner making the top cut, but nobody this side of Lake Michigan should be. Third down quarterback Koch (QB #22) always runs to the left side of the field; I think that leads to Bogner getting more opportunities for pancake blocks. It's a great rivalry in the trenches.

It practically took all our attention so that when the game started, we were caught unawares by the Bulldogs. They've won five straight and, while bowl eligible with six wins, needs that seventh one to make their case more loudly. One can argue that they needed this game more than us.

They certainly played that way. We traded touchdown after touchdown until the middle of the second quarter. We then fumbled the ball two straight times and they scored 21 unanswered points to go into the half leading 42-21.

I gave the harangue of my life. I wanted the win. I wanted to be undefeated at home. I wanted the momentum going into the post-season. I wanted the nice balance of finishing 10-2 when just two seasons ago we were 2-10. Then the seniors of the team took over. For many of my players - Wetzel, Root (QB #5), Bennett (CB #10), Buccheri, Bogner, Love (RT #70) among them - this was going to be their last game playing at Rolling Mills, in front of the partisan crowd. Over a third of the team is going to graduate! Love said it best, in his squeaky voice, "We ain't going out like that."

We put on a clinic in the second half. On the first drive, Wetzel (HB #47) punched it in to make it 42-28. Then the defenses took over; they made the proper adjustments and kept us scoreless for the rest of the quarter, but we did the same to them.

At the beginning of the fourth, Foldy (FB #29) scores his second TD of the day to make it 42-35. Even though they responded on the next drive with a field goal, the outcome seemed inevitable. Foldy would score again to make it 45-42. Our defense, spearheaded by my brother Umali (CB #73) with eight tackles and two sacks, forced another three-and-out and on our next drive Wetzel finishes the improbably comeback victory with his second TD of the half.

Jubilation on the field. A near riot. Root nearly in tears.

FIre up the vegan grill.


score: 45-49
first downs: 17-33
total offense: 504-627
rushes - yards: 19-42 --- 35-197
comp-att-TD: 21-37-3 --- 31-51-2
passing yards: 462-430
sacked: 3-2
turnovers: 1-2
fumbles - lost: 3-1 --- 3-2
intercepted: 0-0
top: 13:28 - 18:32


Koch (QB #22) 199.7 rating, 12-16 for 159 yards, 2 TD; 7-79 (11.2 avg) rush
Root (QB #5) 119.3 rating, 19-35 for 271
Wetzel (HB #47) 17-110 (6.4 avg), 2 TD
Foldy (FB #29) 6-17 (2.8 avg), 3 TD
Franklin (WR #81) 15-231 rec (15.3 avg), 2 TD


Umali (CB #73) 8 tackles (2 for loss), 2 sacks
Conti (MLB #72) 7 tackles
Miller (RE #62) 4 tackles, 2 forced fumbles
Division (ROLB #39) 3 tackle (1 for loss)
Germain (DT #91) 2 tackles (2 for loss), 1 sack

Note: While I did make mention of the fight for Best Offensive Lineman, I should acknowledge the accolades I've received as a coach. As the person calling the plays as well as recruiting in the off season, I'm proud to take full responsibility for the stunning turn around this team has undergone in just three short seasons. My efforts have not gone unnoticed. Not only is the Milwaukee College Athletic Department going to reward me with a "lengthy" contract, the NCAA is also pegging me to win Coach of the Year honors. I hate to jinx like I just did, but damn, that would be great for recruiting.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Boobirds no more

Before this season, we were 1-5 in close contests, games in which the margin of victory was 7 or under. This year, we are 2-0 in such contests.

Also, and more importantly for building our fan base, before this season we were an appalling 2-10 when playing in our field in Milwaukee. This year, following our last home victories, we are 5-0 at home. That sure makes walking the streets of my fair city easier.

No more boobirds!

[Incidentally, boobirds is "going to be good" in Scrabble competition, once the 4th edition of the Official Word List starts getting used in NSA sanctioned Scrabble tourneys.]

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Season 3, Game 11:vs U of Southern Florida

U of Southern Florida Bulls (6-3, #55) at Milwaukee College Penguins (8-2, #34)

We returned to Milwaukee, WI to finish out the season before our now certain bowl bid. "Who's going to invite the mighty Penguins?" The pundits have us playing at the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho. It's admittedly exciting to speculate, especially for our huge graduating class, but these pre-bowl announcement speculations hardly ever prove true. I told my kids to just concentrate on the game. Admittedly, that's a hard thing to do, especially with the Milwaukee College athletic directors pestering me all the time about a contract extension.

But at least the return of starting senior cornerback Bennett (CB #10) served to focus our game. It also served to focus the legions of fans - boys and girls, men and woman alike - that flock to our games. Nothing like a Bennett in uniform.

The 55-ranked Bulls played a tight game against us, going into the half down by only 10 points. But then we poured it on, Bennett got an interception and Root (QB #5) finished with 287 yards through the air, connecting with Morgan (WR #88) for each of her three touchdown throws, two of which came in the fourth quarter. Undeniably good stuff.

Now, how many seasons does Milwaukee College want me for?


score: 21-44
first downs: 11-22
total offense: 313-408
rushes - yards: 20-(-6) --- 30-82
comp-att-TD: 14-27-3 --- 23-43-3
passing yards: 319-326
sacked: 4-2
turnovers: 3-1
fumbles - lost: 2-1 --- 1-0
intercepted: 2-1
top: 13:20 - 18:40


Root (QB #5) 147.2 rating, 21-36 for 287 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Wetzel (HB #47) 14-41 (2.9 avg), 1 TD; 6-62 rec (10.3 avg)
Morgan (WR #88) 6-100 rec (16.6 avg), 3 TD
Franklin (WR #81) 4-78 rec (19.5 avg)
Huggett (C #73) 7 pancakes


Stewart (FS #27) 5 tackles, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble
Bennett (CB #10) 4 tackles, 1 INT
Straka (CB #1) 5 tackles, 1 pass deflect
Conti (MLB #72) 4 tackles (2 for loss), 1 sack
Price (LE #90) 3 tackles (1 for loss), 1 sack

Note: This is the second time this season when we've held an opponent to negative yards rushing!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Season 3, Game 10:at Air Force Academy

Milwaukee College Penguins (7-2, #34) at Air Force Academy Falcons (7-2, #37)

I'm recruiting someone right now who really wants to go the Air Force. He really believes that he's going to get something like fifty or sixty thousand dollars a year during his service. I invited him to the game, flying him out to Colorado, on Milwaukee College's dime, but he declined.

His loss.

Two 7-2 teams. Regional broadcast. Lee "Scooter" Corso has changed his tune since a couple of games ago, when he derided my squad before the first thriller in Colorado, against Colorado State. Well, here we are again, a regionally broadcasted game, and Lee Corso praises our defense: "The best thing about this defense is that they play for the good of the team. There are no egos on this unit, no sir." They gave the slight edge to us and I guess Air Force heard, because after the Falcons took a 7-3 lead, they played frightened for the rest of the game.

Freakin' Air Force and their crazy coach, who once made the excuse for a loss by saying that the other team had "more African Americans." I mean, what?! Not only did I want to win, but I wanted to run up the score.

So it was more than a good thing that senior Root (QB #5) had a great game, going 20-33 for 331 yards and 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Morgan (WR #88) followed up her stellar 200+ yard game with a 124 yard effort and 1 touchdown grab.

As for our ego-less defense: With number one cornerback Bennett (CB #10) still sitting on the bench, our secondary stepped up. I put all three of our safeties on the field at once: freshman Stewart (FS #27) join stalwart seniors Geigel (FS #27) and K Anderson (SS #26) in the secondary. While they didn't net any interceptions, they did limit Air Force's passing yards to only 99 yards. Did you read that right? Read it again: we limited Air Force to 99 passing yards. They had only 7 successful passing attempts.

It's clear they wanted to beat us on the run but once it doesn't work, you have to have the flexibility to abandon the initial plan. I know that the Air Force and our military in general are stubborn and have an unhealthy inability to admit its mistakes, but c'mon! We lead 31-7 at the half. They had the ball for only four possessions in the entire second half. And in the last quarter, they never got a first down. Pathetic.

When the plan doesn't work, don't keep doing what doesn't work. So like, fire that coach, don't give the guy a contract extension. Geez!


score: 48-7
first downs: 24-7
total offense: 509-163
rushes - yards: 35-137 --- 25-64
comp-att-TD: 25-39-3 --- 7-20-1
passing yards: 372-99
sacked: 1-1
turnovers: 1-2
fumbles - lost: 1-1 --- 3-2
intercepted: 0-0
top: 19:19 -- 12:41


Root (QB #5) 174.9 rating, 20-33 for 331 yards, 3 TD
Koch (QB #22) 140.7 rating, 5-6 for 41 yards; 3-30 rush (10.0 avg)
Wetzel (HB #47) 25-101 (4.0 avg), 3 TD; 5-39 rec (7.7 avg)
Morgan (WR #88) 4-124 rec (31 avg), 1 TD
Columbus (WR #82) 4-59 rec (14.7 avg), 2 TD


Umali (CB #3) 5 tackles, 1 pass deflect
Conti (MLB #72) 5 tackles (2 for loss)
K Anderson (SS #26) 4 tackles (1 for loss)
Price (LE #90) 4 tackles (1 for loss) 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
Miller (RE #62) 3 tackles, 1 forced fumbled