FOX Sports Wisconsin Midweek Stock Report for Oct. 21
Every Wednesday, FOX Sports Wisconsin takes a look at which athletes’ stock is trending up and whose is trending down.
In other words, who is making a meteoric rise, and who is quickly plummeting.
With that in mind, let’s "take stock" of the current sports scene in Wisconsin, shall we?
Joel Stave, Badgers QB
Wisconsin’s senior signal-caller was calm under fire in Lincoln, Neb., on Oct. 10, as the Badgers clawed past the host Cornhuskers, 23-21, passing for 322 yards. Then, last Saturday, Stave played with similar poise, passing for 322 yards as Wisconsin defeated Purdue, 24-7. While he didn’t have a TD pass (and did have one interception), Stave completed 30 of 39 passes (76.9 percent) to slowly but surely overwhelm Purdue. The senior from Greenfield is averaging 244 passing yards per outing this season, third-best in the Big Ten.
James Starks, Packers RB
Starks did an admirable job silencing his critics (ahem, including this author, who was less than complimentary last week), with a productive day Sunday, in Green Bay’s seven-point win over San Diego. Starks made the most of his 10 rushing attempts against the Chargers, turning those limited opportunities into a 112-yard day on the ground. He also had a pair of touchdowns. It was his first game with over 100 rushing yards in more than two seasons.
The Platteville Pioneers mauled host River Falls on Saturday, 56-19, with their aerial attack doing much of the damage. Receivers Dan Arnold and Quinn Buschbacher paced No. 12-ranked Platteville, combining for 15 receptions and 281 yards. Arnold pulled down both of quarterback Tom Kelly’s scoring strikes on the day, as Kelly rang up 314 passing yards. The Pioneers (5-1 overall, 2-1 WIAC) ran out to a commanding, 49-6 lead after three quarters.
The Packers’ secondary
Philip Rivers, 33, sliced and diced Green Bay’s secondary like a Ronco Veg-O-Matic last Sunday, rolling up an astonishing 503 yards. He was efficient, too, completing 43 of 65 pass attempts (66.2 percent). Rivers ended the day with a 99.7 passer rating. Rivers’ 43 completions were the most in NFL history in a loss. He set San Diego single-game franchise records for completions, attempts and passing yardage. With Rivers leading the way, the Chargers recorded 32 first downs.
The Badgers’ running game
Wisconsin’s rushing attack has been under siege from critics recently, and it’s understandable. Last Saturday, against a rebuilding Purdue squad, the Badgers mustered just 96 yards on the ground, averaging a paltry 2.59 yards per carry, despite three combined scores from Alec Ingold and Dare Ogunbowale. Wisconsin currently ranks 12th in the Big Ten in rushing, averaging 154.6 yards per game and 4.2 yards per attempt — that’s just not Badgers football.
Badgers men’s hockey
Wisconsin endured a rough trip to Boston last weekend, losing 6-0 and 4-1, at Boston College and Boston University, respectively. The Badgers (0-2-2 overall) faced a constant onslaught of shots on goal, surrendering 71 over two games, including 44 on Saturday night against BU. Head coach Mike Eaves’ squad, which won four total games during the 2014-15 regular season, will have to get on the offensive ASAP, starting with this weekend’s visit to Ferris State.
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