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.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Season 2, Game 12: vs University of Akron Zips

Milwaukee College Penguins (5-6, #95) vs. University of Akron Zips (3-8, #107)

Ohio comes to the Rolling Mills, our home stadium here in the great city of Milwaukee, WI. Rolling Mills is a the cite of a major labor "incident" the predates Haymarket. You can read about it on the internet. Do a search.

I got to thinking about ghosts and when people think about ghosts they often think about them haunting someplace or someone. Does our 1-4 home record this year (as well as our 1-5 record at home last year) mean something about our stadium? Should we move? I know our unusual "stadium" arrangement seats only about 20,000 but lately we've only been getting about 3,700 fans to show up for the games.

At any rate, the majority of the faithful showed up to watch what could possibly the last game for about a fifth of the team! Win or loss, the fans were here to salute the kids that provided the City with Division 1A football at a time when the City really needed it.

The Penguins did not disappoint. Our senior kicker, Goodman (K #30) booted three field goals to finish the season perfect, not missing any of the 14 field goals he attempted. Our defense overpowered the Zips. Our junior left outside line backer, Hayden (LOLB #56), scored our team's first safety, tackling the Zips' halfback in their own end zone. Hayden really stepped up her fantastic play this year; I'm glad she's returning. Our secondary made a bid to lead the league in interceptions. Junior corner back, Bennett (CB #10), tied a team record with three interceptions to finish the season with 7. She'll be back next year, too.

The final score was 25-3. It's the first time we prevented our opponents from scoring a touchdown.

Our two touchdowns were scored by freshman quarterback Koch (QB #22), not through the air, but on quarterback keepers. He finished with 65 yards rushing, compared to 85 yards passing. Junior running back, Wetzel (HB #47) rushed again for over 100 yards and Buccheri (RG #59) and Leplae (LG #69) had 7 pancakes each, affirming their selections as first team All-Americans. For Buccheri, she's gunning for her second Offensive Lineman of the Year Award. I hope she gets it.

We finish the season 6-6. Some teams get invited to bowls with a 6-6 record. I know we are a long-shot for any kind of invitation but "stranger things have happened." I'll keep you posted.


score: 3 - 25
first downs: 7 - 16
total offense: 245 - 298
rushes - yards: 26 - 130 --- 46 - 213
comp-att-TD: 6-18-0 --- 8-25-0
passing yards: 115 - 85
sacked: 2 - 3
turnovers: 3 - 1
fumbles - lost: 0 - 0 --- 1 - 0
intercepted: 3 - 1
top: 12:27 -- 19:33


Koch (QB #22) 52.6 rating, 8-25 for 85 yards, 1 INT; 14-65 rush (4.6 avg), 2 TD
Wetzel (HB #47) 27-130 rush (4.8 avg); 1-20 rec
Finner (WR #83) 3-28 (9.3 avg)
X Leplae (LG #69) 7 pancakes
Buccheri (RG #59) 7 pancakes


McClone (CB #46) 4 tackles (3 for loss), 2 sacks
Bennett (CB #10) 1 tackle, 3 INT
Straka (CB #1) 4 tackles
Hayden (LOLB #56) 1 tackle (1 for loss), safety
Mikulay (LE #45) 4 tackles

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Academic Ineligibility

I am not just the coach over at Milwaukee College, I also teach an arts class.

This may come as a surprise to those of you who know other Division 1A football coaches. Coaching is a full-time job, what with recruiting, reviewing tape, preparing for next week's game, fending off the corporate sponsorship. But here in Milwaukee, I devote a significant amount of my time teaching the arts.

And today I had to hand out several failing grades. I emerged from class feeling strange. I ran into a fellow instructor and I said that I couldn't help feel like their failing grades was a reflection of my own instruction. This is much the same way when I hear comments about how my team's 5-6 record is a reflection of my coaching, one assumption being that another coach could extract perhaps several more wins (or losses) from the same team.

My colleague said that it was a natural response, to question one's abilities as an instructor when a student comes up incredibly wanting.


We return to the friendly but unlucky confines of Rolling Mills to face The University of Akron Zips of the Mid-American Conference. We have a chance to finish the season at 6-6. That's step two in building a national championship.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Season 2, Game 11: at Youngstown State

Youngstown State Penguins (0-0, --) @ Milwaukee College Penguins (4-6, #105)

Battle of the Penguins. The Milwaukee College Penguins (2004 edition) have a short history. We've only been around for two seasons. Prior to us, Youngstown State University used to be the only Division I University in the country with a Penguin for a mascot. (Yes, I know that ours is a dog dressed up as a penguin.) They've been around as the Penguins since as far back as 1933.

And since 1982 they've played in the Arnold D. Stambaugh Stadium, otherwise known as the "Ice Castle." It's called the "Ice Castle" not so much because they house the Penguins, but because the stadium has not been a welcome place for opponents. They've won well over 75% of their home games in the last twenty or so seasons.

Meanwhile, my Penguins have only one once at home in my two year tenure. So I guess it is a good thing this was a road game. We enter the Ice Castle with a 4-1 away record.

And I enter the Ice Castle with a bit of a cold.

Players persist on the field, injuries and all. Coaches do the same thing. I had met up with a bunch of recruits earlier in the week and one of them, a swimmer - I could still smell the faint chemical scent of chlorine on her - was sniffling throughout the whole meeting. I bet I got some kind of bug from her.

So with me hacking up gobs of mucus and unable to properly yell, the rallying cry was the typical and hated: "Win one for the gipper." But in the first half, it was as if every member of the Milwaukee College Penguins was also sick and tired. That's the only reason we went into the half tied at 28 a piece. This was supposed to be a "gimme game." The Youngstown Penguins play in the freakin' Gateway Football Conference. In the locker room, I gave them as much as my poor throat could handle. I threatened to move Straka (CB #1) to the top of the depth chart, because Bennett (CB #10) was getting consistently burned.

It was a good thing I didn't make that move because the Youngstown Penguins started throwing in Straka's direction. The young freshman had a monster third quarter - hell, a monster five minutes! In that span, he had two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. He also recovered a fumble and returned THAT for a touchdown. The close game at the half turned into a rout a bare five minutes after the half.

I got out my folding chair and coached by hand signals. I took it easy. When we were over 60 points I put in the B squad and fired up the vegan grill. I have the best vegans on my team (Germain (DT #91), McClone (CB #46), and Straka (CB #10)) and they are all starters. Vegan pesto anybody?


score: 77-42
first downs: 32-17
total offense: 610-647
rushes - yards: 50-345 --- 16-110
comp-att-TD: 16-32-2 --- 21-38-5
passing yards: 265-537
sacked: 0 - 2
turnovers: 1 - 6
fumbles - lost: 1 - 0 --- 2 - 2
intercepted: 1 - 4
top: 19:40 - 12:20


Koch (QB #22) 151.7 rating, 14-26 for 248 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 14-103 rush (7.3 avg), 2 TD
Wetzel (HB #47) 26-160 rush (6.1 avg), 2 TD
Barber (HB #11) 5-53 (10.5 avg), 1 TD
Montgomery (WR #15) 6-106 rec (17.6 avg), 1 TD
Finner (WR #83) 4-76 avg (19.0 avg)


Straka (CB #1) 2 tackles, 3 INT, 1 pass deflect, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 defensive TD
Geigel (FS #23) 4 tackles
Ziegeweid (FS #34) 4 tackles, 2 pass deflect
Cruz (LE #98) 3 tackles, 1 for loss
Bennett (CB #10) 3 tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass deflect, 1 forced fumble

NOTES: We literally ran over the opposition. Foldy (FB #29) and Ciraldo (FB #25) both scored rushing TDs. Koch has really kept the mistakes to a minimum. He's really learned how to hold onto the ball and for that I publicly applaud him. I want my pocket quarterbacks to run and cause havoc. There's nothing like sending five receivers down the field, taking the defense with them, and then having your front line pancake the pass rush and then seeing Koch run for the first down.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Season 2, Game 10: vs Notre Dame

Notre Dame Fightin' Irish (3-5, #50) @ Milwaukee College Penguins (4-5, #93)

The Fightin' Irish are having a difficult season under coach Ty. I feel bad for the guy. He tries to recruit what he calls the "Notre Dame Gentleman" and a losing record is what he gets. I'm sure he's getting an earful of it back in Indiana.

I wanted to give them more fodder but Notre Dame was just too fast. I felt that we were too cowed by their presence. Yes, this is an annual rivalry. We measure ourselves against the best Division 1A Independent College. Last year we lost by a whopping 42 points. This year, after falling behind by 21 at the half, we limited our losses to 18 points.

We limited them to only 14 yards rushing in 19 attempts, while we had almost 200 yards on the ground. Our defense leads the league against the run. Alternatively, they had 409 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air while we just managed 127 yards passing. As I look to recruiting next year, I'm thinking: speed up our secondary, get some quicker outside line backers.


score: 38-20
first downs: 13-21
total offense: 423-319
rushes - yards: 19-14 --- 46-192
comp-att-TD: 16-27-5 --- 13--30-0
passing yards: 409 - 127
sacked: 3-2
turnovers: 1-1
fumbles - lost: 0 - 0 --- 2 - 1
intercepted: 1 - 0
top: 11:24 - 20:36


Koch (QB #22) 78.9 rating, 13-30 for 127 yards; 12-66 rushing (5.5 avg)
Wetzel (HB #47) 25-78 rush (3.1 avg), 2 TD; 4-17 rec (4.2 avg)
Ciraldo (FB #25) 5-38 rush (7.5 avg)
Khalafian (TE #80) 3-30 rec (10.0 avg)
Love (#70 RT) 8 pancakes


Valiant (LOLB #54) 7 tackles, 1 pass deflect
Mikulay (LE #45) 4 tackles (1 for loss), 1 sack
Hayden (LOLB #56) 4 tackles (1 for loss)
Bennett (CB #10) 3 tackles, 1 INT
Gerber (FB #21) 3 tackles

Monday, September 19, 2005

Season 2, Game 9: vs University of Houston

University of Houston Cougars (3-4, #87) @ Milwaukee College Penguins (4-4, #73)

As a courtesy to one of my best friends in college that I just recently started speaking to again thanks to instant messenging, I put Houston on the schedule. Houston's a weird city, one I remember for the beautiful young girls and boys at weddings. It's also a city with a whole slew of Taco Cabanas, kind of like a Taco Bell but actually good.

As for their college football team, the Cougars: Who knew that they had recruited one of the fastest wide receivers in the draft? Now their very capable quarterback has an excellent target. I fought this kind of game before, throwing a double-man coverage on the star receiver.

It didn't work entirely this time. They scored touchdowns in their first FOUR possessions. A slugfest.
Luckily, Koch (QB #22) and company took up the gauntlet so that by half-time, we were only down by eleven. Each quarterback was on his way to over 300 yards passing.

Second-half adjustments. Throw more dime coverage, lull them into trying to run against us. We exchange stalled drives before we scored on Koch's third touchdown pass. This time it was to senior tight end Khalafian (TE #81), making the score 35-31 in their favor.

Our defense scored another a three-and-out and Koch was leading the Penguins to their first lead, to their first time over .500. Gunning for Sieczek (TE #86), he forces the throw and gets intercepted. This was in the fourth quarter. Will we ever win another game at our beloved Rolling Mills playing field?

My mom (MLB #43) did everything she could to achieve that end, forcing a fumble on the Cougars' next possession. The newly-dyed Germain (DT #91) flops on the ball and here we go again. Some long throws and poof ...

But we couldn't do it. I mis-managed the clock. I made some dumb play calls. The buck stops here. It's my fault.


score: 35-31
first downs: 17-23
total offense: 451-439
rushes - yards: 20-84 --- 33-119
comp-att-TD: 18-30-4 --- 20-38-3
passing yards: 367-315
sacked: 2 - 4
turnovers: 2 - 1
fumbles - lost: 1 - 1 --- 0 - 0
intercepted: 1 - 1
top: 13:46 - 18:14


Koch (QB #22) 143.1 rating, 20-38 for 315 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Wetzel (HB #47) 24-124 rush (5.1 avg), 1 TD; 5-34 rec (10.7 avg), 2 TD
Khalafian (TE #80) 8-136 rec (17.0 avg), 1 TD
Columbus (WR #82) 3-49 rec (16.3 avg)
Bogner (LT #52) 9 pancakes


McClone (CB #46) 5 tackles (1 for loss), 1 sack
Ziegeweid (FS #34) 4 tackles, 1 pass deflect
Bennett (CB #10) 4 tackles (1 for loss)
K Anderson (SS #26) 3 tackles, 1 INT

Note: I lost my dad (LOLB #50) to an injury. They say he's out for three weeks. Yikes. I remember a time a couple of years ago. Dad had just driven me, my brother (the red-shirted corner back - how I wish I hadn't red-shirted him this year), and my mom from my oldest brother's place near Boston. It was Thanksgiving weekend. The 5-hour drive seemed to take its toll on him and when we got home, he felt unusually cold. On top of that, except for my mom we all got food poisoning. It was such that somewhere around 3 AM, mom wanted to take dad to the hospital. Mom doesn't drive so she had to get me or my brother to do it. My brother felt quesy so he couldn't do it. I got myself out of bed, feeling sick as well, and staggered out into the dark upstairs hallway. Then I passed out. When I woke up soon after, I decided to give up the ghost and puke. "Get rid of the poisons." (I hate it when my players exert themselves such that they have to puke.) Anyway, my mom decided to call the ambulance. Everything's alright now. Dad plays his heart out. So does mom. And next year, I'm betting my brother will, too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Season 2, Game 8: @ University of Connecticut

Milwaukee College Penguins (3-4, #93) vs University of Connecticut Huskies (5-2, #47)

University of Connecticut. My first girlfriend was from Connecticut. Even though college football wasn't her "thing", this one's for you! Maybe she does a google search on her old beau? Maybe she found out that I "made it." That I "got the call." That I'm the head coach of a NCAA Division 1 College Football Team, one of only two in the great state of Wisconsin.

That I, and my team, stuck to the game plan never led in our game against the over-achieving Huskies. That I, perhaps unlike how I was in my youth, was able to make half-time adjustments that actually worked to perfection, almost shutting out our opponents while we scored three unanswered touchdowns and our defense caused four fumbles, and recovered them all.

Kind of reminds me of all the times we broke up with each other.

What about that beautiful touchdown pass from Koch (QB #22) to Columbus (WR #82) in the waning seconds of a game already decided? That was me directing them to run up the score, in honor, and in spite, of us.



score: 38-17
first downs: 15-15
total offense: 334-467
rushes - yards: 31-101 --- 21-60
comp-att-TD: 18-28-3 --- 20-37-1
passing yards: 233-407
sacked: 2 - 3
turnovers: 2 - 6
fumbles - lost: 2 - 1 --- 4 - 4
intercepted: 1 - 2
top: 17:02 - 14:58


Koch (QB #22)162.14 rating, 18-28 for 233 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Wetzel (HB #47) 25-93 rushing (3.7 avg), 2 TD; 1-9 rec
Finner (WR #83) 5-85 rec (17.0 avg)
Columbus (WR #82) 3-47 rec (15.6 avg), 1 TD
Buccheri (LG #59) 4 pancakes


Bennett (CB #10) 9 tackles, 1 pass deflect, 2 forced fumbles
Straka (CB #1) 7 tackles, 1 pass deflect, 1 forced fumble
Ziegeweid (FS #34) 6 tackles, 1 pass deflect
Hayden (LOLB #56) 6 tackles (3 for loss), 3 sacks, 1 pass deflect, 1 fumble recover
Gerber (FB #21) 5 tackles

Note: Hayden's incredible defensive performance - 3 sacks, pure havoc - earned her Player of the Week Honors amongst the independent Division 1 schools. Also, Gerber, playing out his Senior year, makes the "Key Players" for the first time for his excellent work on special teams. That kid rocks.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Season 2, Game 7: @ University of Wyoming

Milwaukee College Penguins (2-4, #97) vs University of Wyoming Cowboys (0-5, #106)

Finally. Tired of their reliance on our defense for scoring points, our offense came alive. Koch (QB #22) played it safe and had a solid - if unremarkable - game. He went 16-31 for 243 yards with 3 touchdown passes and, "what's more importantly", no interceptions.

Our defense only made off with one turnover, an interception by free safety Zieigeweid (FS #34) in the waning moments of the game.

A wholly ho-hum notch in the victory column. No big deal. I mean, damn.


score: 38-21
first downs: 22-14
total offense: 462-407
rushes - yards: 37 - 219 --- 19 - 59
comp-att-TD: 16-31-3--- 15-33-2
passing yards: 243-348
sacked: 1 - 1
turnovers: 1 - 1
fumbles - lost: 1 - 1 --- 2 - 0
intercepted: 0 - 1


Koch (QB #22)149.4 rating 16-31 for 243 yards, 3 TD
Wetzel (HB #47) 35-148 rush (5.9 avg), 2 TD
Montgomery (WR #15) 4-107 yards rec (26.7 avg), 2 TD
X. Leplae (RG #69) 7 pancakes


Straka (CB #1) 5 tackles
K Anderson (SS #26) 4 tackles (2 for loss)
Bushell (MLB #42) 3 tackles (1 for loss), 1 sack
Ziegeweid (FS #34) 2 tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass deflect

Note: No notes. Who wants notes? You got the facts. Koch posted his best game since the season opener. But yeah, it's no biggie. And Wetzel rushed for nearly 150 yards. When was the last time he did that? Gosh, I don't know. And X Leplae packing in 7 pancakes puts him and Buccheri atop the NCAA in pancakes. First team All-American. Indeed. Just don't get freakin' injured.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Season 2, Game 6: vs University of New Mexico

Loeb (DT #60)
Defensive Tackle returns a fumble for a touchdown.
University of New Mexico (0-5, #115) vs. Milwaukee College Penguins (2-3, #69)

As Milli Vanilla said, "Blame it on the rain." Blame it on the expected let-down after a remarkable upset, blame it on underestimating our previously winless opponents, the University of New Mexico Lobos. (Lobos is the Spanish word for wolf.)

You can blame our incredible loss on our offense's continued reliance on our defensive squad's ability to score touchdowns. It's really quite remarkable. For the third straight game, our defense squad scored a touchdown. This time, it was defensive tackle Loeb (DT #60) picking up a loose football - jarred loose by a Hayden (LOLB #56) sack - and rumbling 50-some yards for the score.

Our defense caused five turnovers, but our offense could only muster seven points from one of them. Meanwhile, the turnover bug, and the wet conditions and slippery field, finally caught up to us. Or rather, it caught up to our starting quarterback, Koch (QB #22). Five turnovers weigh on his head tonight; four through the air and one from one of his three fumbles. I like how Koch, essentially a passer in the pocket QB, scrambles ... I'm still going to give him the green light - a few of his scrambles extended drives - I'm just not going to do it in the rain.


score: 49-20
first downs: 17-17
total offense: 484-297
rushes - yards: 18-130 --- 33-107
comp-att-TD: 18-30-5--- 16-43-0
passing yards: 354-190
sacked: 3 - 2
turnovers: 5 - 5
fumbles - lost: 4-3 --- 3-1
intercepted: 2 - 4
t.o.p: 10:54 - 21:06


Koch (QB #22) 55.7 rating 16-43 for 190 yards, 4 INT; 10-28 rush (2.7 avg), 3 fumbles
Wetzel (HB #47)20-59 rush (2.9 avg), 1 TD; 4-31 yards rec (7.7 avg)
Montgomery (WR #15) 4-80 yards rec (20.0 avg)
Buccheri (LG #59) 10 pancakes
X. Leplae (RG #69) 9 pancakes, 1 sack


Loeb (DT #60) 3 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 TD
Ziegeweid (FS #34) 5 tackles, 1 pass deflect
Straka (CB #1) 4 tackles, 2 INT; 5-85 kick return yards (17.0 avg); 2-27 punt return yards (13.5 avg)
R. Umali (ROLB #50) 3 tackles, 1 forced fumble
Hayden (LOLB #56) 2 tackles (2 for loss), 2 sacks, 2 pass deflects

Notes: Buccheri (LG #59) is in full-stride and now leads the league with 41 pancakes.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Season 2, Game 5: @ U of Louisville

Milwaukee College Penguins (1-3, #96) vs University of Louisville Cardinals (3-0, #24)

We came into Papa John's Cardinal Stadium - don't you just hate corporate sponsorship? - to face a team that has won it's first three games of the season. They just broke the AP Top 25.

We, standing at 1-3, were tremendous underdogs, and the stadium was filled with ravenous - and loud - football freaks. In states where there is no pro football team, all the attention goes to their college programs. Having a team in the Top 25 is no small feat.

Staying up there - and maybe eventually winning a conference or even national championship - requires a bit of luck, no matter how good you are. They're first TD came off a lucky break. K. Anderson (SS #26) tipped a thrown ball ... right into the hands of the intended receiver, who then ran it in for the touchdown.

After a couple of 3-and-outs on our offense's part - our first quarter performance this season is truly pathetic - and soon it became 14-0. What was disturbing was that the Cardinals actually called the run against us. Remarkably, our defense leads the league against the run, but that's largely because offensive coordinators know that throwing down field against us is actually a high-percentage play.

In the 2nd quarter, I started calling a lot of double tight-end sets. In our first touch-down drive, we coverted a fourth-and-1 and Koch (QB #22) ran to convert a third-and-5. It was capped by a pass to Wetzel (HB #47).

But the play of the half came courtesy of our secondary. The Cardinals were driving and with less than a minute left to go in the half, on the 14 yard-line and facing fourth-and-inches, instead of going for the sure field goal to make it 17-7, they decide to go for it. Something in me decides to call a nickel defense to stack up against their goal-line offense. When their tight end springs to the sidelines, Bennett shifts over and lo! the pass was in her hands. Interception. She deked their quarterback with a nifty spin move and then raced 91 yards for our second interception returned for a TD in as many games.

14-14 going into the half.

They struck first in the second half, capitalizing on our second turnover of the game (a Wetzel fumble). After a Goodman (K #30) field goal to make it 21-17, it was our turn to get a turnover. K. Anderson (SS #26) recovered a fumble deep in their territory, setting up a short touchdown drive - featuring what I think is Foldy's (FB #29) first reception of the year - to take a lead at the beginning of the 4th quarter.

They score on their next drive - 5 consecutive running plays and then a long touchdown pass. 28-24.

Then came the critical drive of the game. 14 yard-line, fourth-and-3. Well within Goodman's field goal range. But a field goal would still leave us down one point, with less than four minutes left to play. Koch tried to draw them off-sides, but they didn't bite. From my new favorite formation (Shotgun - Ace), Wetzel ran a route to the end zone and drew their middle line-backer on defense ... and Koch threw it to him. An over-the-should catch by Wetzel gives us back the lead!

It was a lead our defense wouldn't relinquish. A critical three-and-out, then several first downs by our offense and we became Louisville's first blemish of the season. Incredible.


score: 34-28
first downs: 16-12
total offense: 252-314
rushes - yards: 27-85 --- 26-106
comp-att-TD: 18-35-3 --- 10-20-4
passing yards: 167-208
sacked: 1 - 1
turnovers: 2 - 2
fumbles - lost: 1 - 1--- 3 - 1
intercepted: 1 - 1
t.o.p: 18:37 -- 13:23


Koch (QB #22) 114.1 rating 18-35 for 167 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT; 5-11 rush (2.1 avg)
Wetzel (HB #47)19-63 rush (3.3 avg), 1 fumble; 7-68 yards rec (9.7 avg), 2 TD
Montgomery (WR #82) 3-22 yards rec (7.3 avg)
Sieczek (TE #86) 2-13 yards rec (6.5 avg), 1 TD
X. Leplae (LG #69) 2 pancakes


Straka (CB #1) 6 tackles, 2 INT; 3-74 kick return yards (24.6 avg); 3-67 punt return yards (22.3 avg)
Bennett (CB #10) 2 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD; 2-36 kick return yards (18 avg)
S. Umali (MLB #43) 5 tackles
K. Anderson (SS #26) 4 tackles (1 for loss), 1 pass deflect, 1 fumble recovery
Miller (RE #62) 3 tackles (3 for loss), 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Notes: Ciraldo (FB) left the game in the 3rd quarter with a strained pectoral. He is questionable for the next game.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Season 2, Game 4: @ Vanderbilt

Milwaukee College Penguins (#116) vs Vanderbilt Commodores (#63)

Nashville, TN. It's good to get away from the oven that is Milwaukee, WI. I had a feeling that here in the near South, we'd play more relaxed. I was hoping this especially for Koch (QB #22), who would start this game. His great start three games ago was also an away game.

But when something's wrong with your head - and that's where the quarterback game is played - a change of venue isn't going to solve the problem. Our offense only managed 100 yards, and a field goal, in the first half.

It was our defense which showed us the way. Junior strong safety, K. Anderson (SS #26) continued her marvelous play to start the season. With less than 40 seconds to go in the half, she makes a shoe-string interception on their 36 yard line and then rushes it back for the touchdown to cut their deficit to 4 points at
the half.

This kind of lit a fire, albeit slight, under our offense. After a three-and-out by our defense, and another good punt return by Straka which placed us on our 42 yard line, Koch and company came out drove the ball 58 yards for the score. 42 of those yards came on a long catch and run by Columbus (WR #82).

K. Anderson (SS #25) leaps
up for her second INT of the game.

Us taking the lead in the middle of the game? Was this just another setup for a last-minute loss?

I recognized the success of our gambling secondary and called plenty of dime coverage for the rest of the game. Straka finished with two interceptions for the game, as did Anderson. Her second interception was a leaping grab in their endzone, snuffing out their strongest drive of the half.

Koch ices it with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Montgomery.


score: 24-14
first downs: 17-16
total offense: 263-304
rushes - yards: 32-81 --- 19-34
comp-att-TD: 15-37-1 --- 15-40-2
passing yards: 182-270
sacked: 2 - 4
turnovers: 2 - 5
fumbles - lost: 1-1 --- 0-0
intercepted: 1 - 5
t.o.p: 18:39 -- 13:21


Koch (QB #22) 87.7 rating 15-36 for 182 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Wetzel (HB #47) 23-87 rush (3.7 avg) 1 TD; 4-25 yards rec
Columbus (WR #82) 3-62 yards rec
Khalafian (TE #81) 4-58 yards rec
S. Buccheri (RG #59) 6 pancakes


K. Anderson (SS #26) 3 tackles, 2 INT,1 TD, 1 pass deflect
Straka (CB #1) 3 tackles, 2 INT, 1 pass deflect
Miller (RE #62) 4 tackles (1 for loss), 1 sack
Loeb (DT #60) 4 tackles (1 for loss), 1 sack
Mikulay (LE #45) 3 tackles (1 for loss), 1 sack

Notes: Next up is Louisville, who just broke the AP Top #25.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Season 2, Game 3: vs U North Carolina

University of North Carolina Tar Heels (#67) vs. Milwaukee College Penguins (#115)

Ugly. Everybody and their mother got on Koch (QB #22) during the time between games: is the real Koch the person with the 162 quarterback rating and three touchdown passes that we all saw in the season opener? Or is the real Koch the quarterback with the 62 rating and only 121 total yards that we saw at homecoming?

To be sure, I was curious myself, so there was no doubt who will be starting the game against the University of North Carolina.

And to be honest - and I don't use that term lightly - it wouldn't have mattered. We played like fools out there. Buoyed by the 3 interceptions last game, our secondary tried to intercept every thrown ball. As you know, that usually puts the defender out of position if they miss. And so we continually got burned down the field.

Koch was ineffective. It's tough when you have the expectations of a football-crazed city on your shoulders. In almost two quarters of work, he was 3 for 10 with a net 0 (yes, zero) yards in the air. His one interception got run back for a TD.

The Tar Heels put tremendous pressure on Koch; he got sacked five times and he rushed his throws too many times to count. In sum, we turned the ball over six times! Two on fumbles and four on passes. Root (QB #5) came in but as I said, it didn't matter. The score was 21-0 at the half, and it ballooned up to 56-7 by the game's end. It's not like we're playing the Ohio State Buckeyes here!


score: 56-7
first downs: 17-17
total offense: 407-334
rushes - yards: 18-69 --- 32-89
comp-att-TD: 19-33-5 --- 24-44-1
passing yards: 338-245
sacked: 0 - 5
turnovers: 3-6
fumbles - lost: 1 -1 --- 3 - 2
intercepted: 2 - 4
t.o.p: 13:25 -- 18:35


Root (QB #5) 114.4 rating 21-34 for 245 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT
Wetzel (HB #47) 18-84 rush (4.6 avg) 1 TD; 7-67 yards rec
Montgomery (WR #15) 6-93 yards rec, 1 TD
S. Buccheri (RG #59) 16 pancakes
Bogner (LT #52) 7 pancakes


Straka (CB #1) 6 tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass deflect
R. Umali (LOLB #50) 4 tackles
S. Umali (MLB #43) 3 tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass deflect
Miller (RE #62) 3 tackles (1 for loss)
K. Anderson (SS #26) 3 tackles, 1 INT, 1 pass deflect

Notes: Columbus (WR #82) came out of the game with a pinched nerve. She's questionable for our next game. The one bright spot of the game was that Buccheri (RG #59) finally got into form: 16 pancakes. That's a new record.