When the University of Wisconsin finished up their 20-7 beating of the University of Minnesota it was clear that the Badgers were the better team. The win brings the team to 9-2 in 2013, with six consecutive wins bringing them up to 19th in the previously released BCS standings and making a BCS bowl appearance look not only possible, but deserved.
Throughout the game on Saturday, Wisconsin has based their case around rushing the football and playing a physically imposing defensive style. No matter who is lining up on the opposite side of the ball, they are willing to line up toe-to-toe and get involved in a slug fest. Given their quality players on both sides of the football it would be difficult to find a team that is a good matchup.
In terms of the offensive side of the ball, there is no doubt that running duo Melvin Gordon and James White have what it takes to stack up with any backfield in the country, and will pick up yards against any defense they encounter. On Saturday, the two combined to rush for 194 yards, which accounted for 59.9 percent of the team’s total yards. Furthermore, on the season they have rushed for a combined 2,656 yards – good for 241.5 yards per game – and have undoubtedly been the engine that makes Wisconsin’s offense run.
On the defensive side of the ball, Wisconsin has been led by linebackers Chris Borland, Conor O’Neill and Derek Landisch, who have made a habit of getting into the backfield and torturing opposing offensive players. This strategy translated into two fumble recoveries for Borland on Saturday and limited Minnesota to a total of 183 yards for the game. For the whole season this strategy has proved to be effective against nearly every team on the Badgers’ schedule, as they have allowed the fifth least points per game in all of college football.
With offensive and defensive units that have shown the ability to perform against any team in college football in 2013, there is little doubting that Wisconsin has the talent necessary to reach a BCS bowl. After recording yet another win on Saturday, it appears that they also have the necessary resume to back up this candidacy, and will not be stopped from reaching one of college football’s premiere bowl games this season.