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Week 13 Preview: Northwestern @ Wisconsin

Posted By Chad Seely On Nov 26 2010 @ 7:10 pm In Wisconsin | No Comments

Senior Day at Camp Randall with a possible trip to the Rose Bowl on the line.  Does it get any better then that for the Wisconsin Badgers?  At 2:30 p.m Saturday, the Northwestern Wildcats (7-4, 3-4) go to battle with the Badgers (10-1, 6-1) with the Big Ten title on the line for Bucky. 

This was a game I was worried about a few weeks ago but that was before Wildcat quarterback Dan Persa went down with a season-ending ruptured Achilles.  Northwestern has given Wisconsin trouble in recent years, mainly because of the spread offense they run.  Taking over for Persa is 6’6″, 245 pound freshman Evan Watkins.  With Persa in the lineup, the Wildcats averaged 410 yards of total offense and in the first game without him gained just 318. 

The Badgers are about as healthy as they’ve been all year as they look to get running back John Clay back in the lineup after missing the previous two with a knee injury.  The three-headed monster of Clay, James White and Montee Ball has rushed for over 2,000 yards and 39 touchdowns.  Those are high-school running back numbers, except this is the Big Ten.  A lot of the credit needs to go to the offensive line, one of the best in the country.  Anchoring the crew is the left-side tandem of Gabe Carimi and John Moffitt.  Both seniors look to go out with a bang, earning Wisconsin’s first Big Ten title since 1999.

Here’s the scenario’s for the Rose Bowl situation.  Both Michigan State and Ohio State play at 11:00 a.m., so the Badgers will have an idea of what’s going on as they are taking the field at Camp Randall for the last time this year.  If all three teams win, the Badgers will most likely earn the trip to Pasadena because they have the highest BCS ranking in the conference.  If Ohio State loses to Michigan and MSU beats Penn State, then the Badgers will have to hope for an at-large bid to another BCS bowl as the Spartans have the head-to-head advantage over the Badgers.  If Michigan State loses, the Badgers hold the head-to-head advantage over Ohio State.

The Badgers should, and will take care of business against the Wildcats.  Their run game will once again pave the way and wear down Northwestern as this tilt rolls on.  Big Red should be able to produce some turnovers if they harass Watkins and quicken up the speed of the game.  The Badgers should have the game well in hand by the fourth quarter and will walk out of Camp Randall with a ticket punched for Pasadena.

My Prediction:  Wisconsin 41  Northwestern 17

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