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.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Recruiting, Part One

With the pundits measuring our Football program's prestige level at a paltry "1 star" (some Division II schools are higher than us), I have to do all I can to scout out the new talent. I've been spending the week on campus at Marquette University. There are some kids here that would look good in a Milwaukee College Penguins uniform.

I've also gone on an all-out media blitz, going so far as to stretch out of the cozy confines of the Midwest. That one well-placed sentence in The Boston Globe may have repercussions that could lead to more media coverage, snag that blue chip prospect, perhaps even garner some Bowl interest.

Who I am I kidding? We're light years away from that. I write as if we're on the verge.

But, really, as far as recruting - which is a year-round endeavor - I'm not worried too much. I have only five seniors graduating this year: Ross (QB #1), Gerber (FB #21), Nordstrom (LT #68), Wood (DE #96), and D. Leplae (CB #16). I'd like to give Nordstrom some playing time but she sometimes flat out refuses to get on the field. Oh well, I know some of the kids are in it for the scholarship and that's fine with me. That's the thing with college football, future middle managers routinely line up against future NFLers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Game 2: @ Rutgers 35-24 L

Rutgers University Scarlet Knights (0-0) vs. Milwaukee College Penguins (0-1)

Well the Run and Gun really worked. Ross (QB #1) doubled her completed passes from last game, successfully connecting with 22 of her 45 passes. What's more, she shared the wealth, passing to 7 different receivers. Sure, the defense we faced was much weaker than California's - for instance, their pass rush was pathetic; Ross had time enough to make a grilled cheese sandwich out there - but I like to think that by implementing the Run and Gun, I'm giving Ross the green light to do what quarterbacks love to do: toss that pigskin. And toss she did, to the tune of 298 yards. "You go, girl!"

So how did we end up losing by 11?

There's a weirdness I can't shake when I use the term "hubris" that is related to the nagging feeling that I am displaying "hubris" by using a term that speaks of my having read Greek tragedies.

But I think it was hubris when, down only one touchdown, and still in the 1st quarter, I went for it on 4th and 2. To do this when you're, say, 24-28 yards away from your end-zone is okay, but we were on the wrong side of the 50 yard line. 18 yards away from it, in fact. I run the HB Lead, Wetzel doesn't follow his lead (which in this case was actually Montgomery (WR #15) since I had Ross call this play as an audible) and he did what he is wont to do: jump to the outside. He was gobbled up by their strong safety.

Hubris often results in retribution, so I wasn't surprised when Rutgers goes on to score a TD seconds later to make it 21-7 in the first quarter.

So, as these things often turn out, gifting Rutgers seven points would haunt me for the rest of the game. For we rallied. Our defense woke up. Our offense scored on our first two possessions of the second half, a touchdown and then a field-goal. The latter should've been a touchdown had Sieczek (TE #86), who lines up as the fifth wide-receiver in my five-wide set, not dropped the ball in the end-zone. That, plus Goodman's (K #30) missed 45-yard field goal attempt, on top of gifting Rutgers a TD, represents the points that would've won me the game.

A Miller (RE #62) interception sets up another TD run by Wetzel and we take our first lead of our young history. Go Penguins. The lead would last about two minutes.


score: 35 - 24
first downs: 23 - 14
total offense: 433 - 460
rushes - yards: 26-135 --- 23-82
comp-att-TD: 22-45-1 --- 16-33-4
passing yards: 298 - 378
sacked: 0 - 2
turnovers: 2 - 2
fumbles - lost: 2-0 --- 3-0
intercepted: 2 - 2
t.o.p: 18:30 - 13:30


Ross (QB #1) 103.0 rating 22-45 for 298 yards 1 TD, 2 INT
Wetzel (HB #47) 20-118 rush, 2 TD; 8-69 yards rec
Beaumont (WR #81) 5-69 yards rec
Buccheri (RG #59) 4 pancakes
X. Leplae (LG #69) 4 pancakes


Melchior (SS #24) 7 tackles (1 for loss), 1 forced fumble
McClone (CB #46) 5 tackles (3 for loss), 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 deflect
Bushell (MLB #42) 3 tackles (2 for loss), 1 sack
Ziegeweid (FS #34) 2 tackles, 1 INT, 2 deflects
Miller (RE #62) 1 tackle, 1 INT

Notes: K. Anderson (SS #26) injured her pectoral muscle in the 1st quarter, putting her out for the rest of the game. The back-up strong safety, Melchior (SS #24) filled in remarkably for her, leading the team in tackles made with seven.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Run and Gun Playbook

If there's one thing I absolutely hate in the whole wide world it's Steve Spurrier's term "Run and Fun". It's gotten so that I've actually become to hate the man himself. Which is OC. I guess the reason why I so dislike the term "Run and Fun" has something to do with Spurrier's success as a coach. It's one thing to have a dominant team and have "fun" running over your opponent's defense, and it's another thing to have a crappy team and implement "Run and Fun" while you are just a bottom feeder in your division. I guess he experienced a bit of that during his stint in the Pros. It is this idea of "having fun" while "dominating" that grates me in a way that probably shouldn't. Isn't being a winner supposed to take hard work? Isn't winning the National Championship an exhaustive (an, okay, exhilirating) task? One can easily argue: Winning IS fun. During Spurrier's stint in the National Football League, I wonder if his "Run and Fun" was actually still fun to run.

After our first loss, I did something drastic and threw out the Option Offense. It's drastic because we had used it for all our pre-season games. I liked the Maryland-I formation; I liked having Wetzel (HB) line up behind Barber (HB) line up behind Ciraldo (FB). But I realized that to really get the most out of the Option Offense, you need a quick-footed Quarterback. Ross (QB #1) is a gem of a quarterback with good field vision, a classic pocket quarterback. We were fooling both of ourselves thinking that she had the feet to go upfield.

So I pulled out the old Run and Gun offense. Ah ... 5-wide sets, with one of my tight-ends lining up as the fifth wide-receiver. I still had the triple option available to me so that my Fullback would get some opportunities up the middle. We tried some Ace sets, both trips and straight. I decided on my audibles, two of them, L1 and R1, screen plays for Wetzel (HB #47) and Montgomery (WR). I turned on the ancient air-conditioner in my apartment. Got ready to go to New Brunswick, NJ, the "birthday place of college football."


UPDATE on yesterday's incident. I was talking to my freshman defensive tackle, telling her about the incident in the alley - the one with the kids stealing bikes out of my friends' backyard. When I got to the point when one of the toughies threatened us with "go get Fat Tuesday", she stopped me and said, "I KNOW FAT TUESDAY!"

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Columbus (Sophomore, WR #81)

Columbus was held to one catch in the Penguins' maiden game. That's the tough part about being the go-to guy: the opponent's best corner backs are always on you. Years of coaching and I've always had better results calling plays for my number two wide-receiver. Anyway, that didn't dampen her spirits as she and her roommates, CB Bennett (#10) and FS Ziegeweid (#34) hosted a variety show in their off-campus housing. Always willing to show my support to my players, I attended and enjoyed myself immensely. Kids!

I wasn't surprised to see Left Guard X. Leplae (#69) in a couple of acts. He's always hamming it up during practice. Nor was I surprised to see our Kicker taking money at the door. In fact, a LOT of my players were there. My second-string halfback was even tending bar. I'm proud to report that their behavior didn't change none when I entered the hall.


Today was hot and humid, the best it's been. I reviewed tape. I edited. I finished some assigned reading (Jeffrey Brown's "Unlikely"). I went to work to enjoy the library's air-conditioned environs. I went to a fast-food noodle place for dinner, as much for their thai peanut noodle as for their air-conditioning.

Yesterday, I dined at the Co-op with my star Right Guard. While we were waiting for our meal (vegan biscuits and gravy and french toast), she noticed two boys stealing bikes from behind the house across the street. That's Sativa and Patrick's place! As she's telling me this, we actually see one of the burglars heave a bike over the back side fence. I went out and luckily, Patrick drove up at the same time. I told him what was going on and he raced through the alley, while I took the long way around. I got there first anyway. My mere presence, though, caused one of the punks to ignore the bike that had been thrown away. But then the other punk comes down the alley, toting two bikes. "Are those your bikes?" I ask, and he says that he found them in the alley.

Patrick's head appears over the wooden fence and he confirms that those bikes were indeed in the yard. He climbs over, mad. "If you'd'a just knocked on the door and asked for them I would've given them to you."

Things happen: the punks trying to somehow say that they weren't trespassing because they didn't actually go inside the house; one of the punks - the tough guy - saying that he wishes he had his "nine" with him; a random twentyish woman walking obliviously through the alley with her groceries temporarily halting the tense proceedings. Things started to escalate and my mind raced to the many simulair situations I've lived through. Lord knows that in my capacity as a coach of a full-contact sport I've had to deal with my share of scuffles. I knew that if either Patrick or the tough guy jsut as so much as touch each other, the fight is on. Even though I coach collegiate football, I'm as pacifist as they get. So I got in front of Patrick, holding him back. The guy being held back always looks tougher than the other guy. This I thought as I tried to calm Patrick down, his compact, muscular body, barely contained in a white tee-shirt, tense and heaving. He kept saying that if he had found them actually in the backyard, he would "pound" them.

What he wanted was for the punks to admit that what they did was wrong. Yet even this was unclear to me until Patrick actually voiced his wish. And then the two kids - late teenagers, really - promptly apologized. Whether sincere or not, it did the trick. Patrick gave them the bikes, saying that he was going to donate them to the Bike Collective anyway.

I gotta recruit Patrick for the team.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Game 1: vs. Cal 38-17 L

California Golden Bears (0-0) @ Milwaukee College Penguins (0-0)

The first game of the season - hell, the first game of the 2004 Milwaukee College Penguins - and we're broadcast on National Television. Is that fair? The nervousness showed as California built up a 31-3 half-time lead.

Some of the low-lights: Bennett (CB #10) returning a punt for 55 yards, which is good sure, but she fumbled it away at the end of the play. Two of the stars in my secondary, Ziegeweid (FS #34) and D. Leplae (CB #16), missed open-field tackles that led to touchdown scores.

CAL threw for 382 yards, which is strange considering that we put some good pressure on their quarterback. We had six sacks! One each from Mikulay (LE #45), Hayden (LOLB #56), Loeb (DT #60), and R. Umali (ROLB #50)). My freshman defensive tackle, Germain (DT #91), picked up two! Hayden was the defensive star of the game for making a key interception that led to the Penguin's first touchdown, a 3-yard rumble by Wetzel (HB #47).

Offensively, I ran Wetzel 15 times; he gave me 45 yards, each one as difficult to attain as the holy grail. His longest one was for 16 years. Ross (QB #1) gave me 121 yards in the air, with Beaumont (WR #81) catching 5 of her 11 completions, the last for a bullet of a TD that finished the scoring at 38-17. Goodman (K #30) scored the Penguin's first points this season with a 35-yard field goal at the end of the first half of play.

We actually outscored California in the second half of play, two touchdowns to their one. I'm hoping we can continue this momentum when we go to Rutgers to face the Scarlet Knights. It's a home-coming of sorts; I grew up in New Jersey.


score: 38 - 17
first downs: 13 - 11
total offense: 415 - 154
rushes - yards: 21-33 --- 31-33
comp-att-TD: 14-25-4 ---11-27-1
passing yards: 382 ---121
sacked: 6 - 4
turnovers: 1 - 1
fumbles - lost: 0-0 --- 3-1
intercepted: 1 - 0
t.o.p: 14:34 - 17:26


Ross (QB #1) 90.6 rating 11-27 for 121 yards 1 TD
Wetzel (HB #47) 15-45 run, 1 TD; 2-26 yards rec
Ciraldo (FB #25) 6-16 run; 1-13 yards rec
Beaumont (WR #81) 5-38 yards rec, 1 TD
Vee (C #63) 4 pancakes


Loeb (DT #60) 5 tackles, 1 sack
R. Umali (ROLB #50) 5 tackles, 1 sack
D. Leplae (CB #16) 4 tackles
Hayden (LOLB #56) 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT
Germain (DT #91) 2 tackles, 2 sacks

Season One Schedule

The pre-season pundits have ranked my Milwaukee College Penguins at 95 out of 117. Despite that, I scheduled a relatively difficult season, including rivals Notre Dame and Wisconsin, two pre-season Top 25 teams. The usual Ivy League teams vied to be in our schedule, but I opted to "put them on the waiting list." Missing from the list is my alma mater, Northwestern University, which stinks because they beat us in a "friendly", pre-season game. I was looking forward for a re-match.


Game 1: vs. California (preseason rank: #71)
Game 2: @ Rutgers (#96)
Game 3: @ Minnesota (#37)
Game 4: @ UAB (#97)
Game 5: vs. Wisconsin (#25)
Game 6: vs. Marshall (#93)
Game 7: vs. Navy (#108)
Game 8: @ Mid Tennessee State (#99)
Game 9: @ Notre Dame (#20)
Game 10: @ BYU
Game 11: vs. UL Monroe (#107)