Wisconsin Badgers Ready For Some Redemption

By Tony Piraro

The No. 16 Wisconsin Badgers are seeking the first Leaders Division Title in B1G 10 Conference history. With a 9-2 overall record, the Badgers are 5-2 in conference play and control their own destiny.

No. 19 Penn State (9-2) has the same overall record but one more win in conference. However, Wisconsin owns the tiebreaker between the two teams. Therefore, this Saturday’s contest at Camp Randall will be for the Leaders Division Championship, with the winner advancing to Indianapolis the following week for the inaugural B1G 10 Championship Game.

It has been such an up and down season for Wisconsin. Their fanbase has definitely felt like a passenger on the biggest roller coaster ride of their lives. After the Russell Wilson transferring from NC State over the summer, Badger fans all of a sudden had BCS Title hopes.

Once Wisconsin started to win some games, the hype grew louder. Madison was silenced when the Badgers lost the lead, game and title hopes on a single Hail Mary pass at Michigan State. The following week, deja vu swept through Wisconsin football, as the Badgers lost on another Hail Mary at the end of the game, this time in Columbus against Ohio State.

However, the Badgers have regained some steam after pummeling three straight B1G 10 teams over the last month. The best rushing team in the nation has rumbled all over lesser opponents all season. Wisconsin made an example of Purdue at home, alongside Illinois and Minnesota on the road. Now, it is time to demonstrate their offensive nature on a tough Penn State defensive unit.

The Badgers are 6-0 at Camp Randall Stadium this season, while Penn State is 4-0 on the road in 2011. Someone is going to budge on Saturday. Penn State’s offense obviously can’t keep up with the Badgers high-powered offensive scheme. If Penn State wants to stay in the game, they must milk the clock for as long as possible. Wisconsin gets up and down the field quickly, and have failed only against two teams who play similar styles in the form of MSU and OSU. PSU plays a methodical game, and doesn’t score a ton of points. I can see this game getting out of hand early if Penn State doesn’t get out of the gates quickly.

Montae Ball is having a Hesiman-worthy season, rushing for 1,466 yards and 30 total touchdowns this season. Russell Wilson was once the only Heisman talk in Madison for the first half of the season. However, now Ball has stolen the show with his incredible performances. Just last week against Illinois in Champaign, the Badgers back rushed for 224 yards and three total TD’s. If Ball has any more juice left in the tank, he is just nine TD’s shy of the all-time college football record for touchdowns in a season by a running back. The last few weeks of the season don’t need anymore fuel to motivate viewership…but I just added some. Enjoy. It all begins this Saturday in Madison at 2:30 p.m. central standard time.

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