2010 is not 2008. The games had the same feel to each other as the Wisconsin Badgers (10-1, 6-1) raced out to a 24-0 lead over the Michigan Wolverines (7-4, 3-4) in Ann Arbor. And quickly, the Wolverines scored twice in the opening minutes of the second half leaving Badgers fans saying, “Not again”. It would not be deja vu as this Wisconsin team is battle-tested and senior-laden and they had answers for the Michigan comeback this year.
The Michigan defense was as advertised as Montee Ball and James White combined for 354 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Quarterback Scott Tolzien was nearly perfect completing his first 13 passes and finished 14 of 15 for 201 yards. His only mistake was the interception he threw in the redzone to close out the first half.
The first half was all Badgers as they held the ball for over 20 minutes and racked up 371 yards of offense. But a quick touchdown out of the gates tipped the momentum meter back in Blue’s favor in the third stanza. The Badgers then committed a costly turnover when Isaac Anderson fumbled deep in their own territory. The Wolverines recovered and seconds later the lead was shrunk to ten.
After that, the Badgers did what they do best: run the football. Big Red ran the ball 33 times compared to one pass in the second half and Ball and White were once again up to the task of replacing the injured 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, John Clay. The offensive line continues to open huge holes for the tailbacks. As the Badgers look to win their first Big Ten Championship since 1999, the play of the big guys up front needs to be recognized. All year long, they have been the driving force of the three-headed monster in Clay, Ball and White.
If J.J. Watt isn’t Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year it will be an absolute joke. Watt is playing at an All-American level as the continued his dominance today harassing Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson throughout the contest. Watt added on to his 18 tackles for loss and added an interception to his resume that ended an important fourth quarter possession for the Wolverines.
Next up for the Badgers is Northwestern at Camp Randall as they can clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title. If Ohio State beats Iowa today, there will be a 3-way at the top. If Iowa wins, the Badgers will need Michigan State to lose in order to get to the Rose Bowl. If it remains the way it is, the team with the highest BCS ranking will earn the Big Ten’s trip to Pasadena. Right now, Wisconsin is that team.
About the Author
Written by Chad Seely
Hey sports fans! Welcome to my Wisconsin Badgers football blog. For any Badger scores, news or questions you may have, come check out this blog! For those who don't know me, I'm a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I graduated in May 2009 with a Broadcast Journalism degree and returned in Fall 2009 to get a Minor in Multimedia which I completed in May 2010. In the summer, you can catch me on AM1230 WSBB, splitting time as the play-by-play announcer and color commentator for the Daytona Cubs, the Advanced-A Affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.