It didn't go quite as planned Saturday, or this season for that matter, but UW is playing for a spot in the Big Ten championship game this Saturday. I'm sure Madison is going to be buzzing with the game against Penn State essentially being a playoff game (at least there's a playoff somewhere). Win Saturday and play for the Big Ten championship. Win that and play in the Rose Bowl.
I'll skip the game recaps this week and get to some of the news and notes.
Montee Ball, Best RB in the Country
Ben Worgull writes that Ball's UW teammates believe Ball is the best running back in the country. Ball deserves some serious Heisman consideration. Ball is 2nd in the country in rushing yards (by 2) and only three guys have ever scored more TDs in a season than Montee. One interesting nugget from the link, Barry Sanders' record 39 TDs don't include the FIVE he scored in a bowl game that season. Sick.
You can read more on Ball's assault on the record books in Dave Heller's post-game notes.
Special Teams Steps Up for a Change
After some major struggles this season – and arguably costing UW a national championship – UW's special teams were a big reason for the win over the Illini. Tom Mulhern writes that punter Brad Nortman single handedly changed field position twice on Saturday.
Frederick and Groy Switching Spots
After a couple of ugly snaps by Ryan Groy Saturday the UW coaching staff flipped flopped Groy and Travis Frederick. Jeff Potrykus notes that the change will hold for this week's game against Penn State.
Rankings & Projections
UW moved up to 16th in the BCS rankings, 15th in the AP, and 12th in the Coaches poll this week. Michigan is 15th and could sneak into a BCS bowl game despite not playing in the conference championship game.
The ESPN Big Ten blog sticks to its season-long trend of projecting the Badgers to play in the Rose Bowl. Sorry, Sparty.
Badgers Spank Wofford
UW crushed Wofford Saturday night at the Kohl Center 69-33. The Badgers seem to have more scoring options this season with Gasser, Evans, and Brust all noticeably better than last year. You can read more about the game at B5Q and Badger of Honor.
In his game story, Jim Polzin writes that one thing we've learned so far this season is UW knows how to smother inferior opponents defensively. UW held Wofford to 13 field goals and 26.5 percent shooting.
Gasser On Fire
Jesse Temple at Fox Sports WI notes that Gasser has greatly improved his 3-point game this season. Gasser is 9 of 10 beyond the after making a small change to his shot and putting in a lot of hard work during the offseason.
Evans Staring to Live Up to Potential
One pleasant surprise so far this season is the play of Ryan Evans, who had 13 points, 6 boards, 5 assists, and 3 blocks Saturday night. The Wofford coach was impressed by how much Evans has improved since his freshman season when UW played Wofford in the NCAAs.
Uthoff to Redshirt
Forward Jarrod Uthoff announced prior to the Wofford game that he's going to redshirt this season. Uthoff will join fellow freshman George Marshall and Air Force transfer Zach Bohannon at the end of the UW bench this season. All three are redshirting.
Potrykus shares his thoughts on the Illinois and Penn State games in a video interview on the JS Badgers blog. You can watch it here. (hint: he thinks UW will win Saturday)
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