Mike Markuson surprised by dismissal: You got to be able to throw it
Posted by: Pete Roussel on September 10, 2012
Mike Markuson says he was surprised by Bret Bielema's decision to dismiss Markuson just two games into the season.
Markuson discussed the situation on Monday with Dave Childers and Houston Nutt on SiriusXM's College Sports Nation.
The Badgers rushed 20 times for 35 yards on Saturday in the 10-7 loss in Corvallis. Markuson believes the lack of production from the running game was related to much more than offensive line issues.
Markuson calmly explained, "The mainstay of that program has been the running game and the offensive line, but you still got to be able to throw it. That box was loaded up on us last week at Oregon State. They were fired up. There weren't many creases in there. You have to play-action pass. You've got to be able to spread the field, you got to get the ball out quick, and get first downs.
"I think they've got to continue to do what they do well. There's a great back there in Montee Ball and those other kids are good backs, but you've got to be able to throw it."
As most coaches know, a vertical threat in the passing game loosens up the safeties. Markuson, however, didn't think the Badgers' receivers drew much respect from the Oregon State secondary. Wisconsin ended the day 20 of 38 passing for 172 yards.
He said, "Not any blazers. And the one kid, Jared Abbrederis, got hurt during the game."
So how did it go down?
Markuson said, "He (Bielema) brought me into his office yesterday afternoon after the staff meeting and basically told me he was making the change.
"It was a surprise for me, but in this business, you've got to anticipate anything. It can happen; it's just like the real world out there. People get hired and fired; coaches get hired and fired."
Pete Roussel is a valuable resource for coaches, athletic directors, NFL front-office personnel, and college football enthusiasts. A former college football coach, Roussel shares insight on coaches 365 days a year and is recognized as the most trusted expert on coaching transactions. Follow @CoachingSearch on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org