Sept. 24, 2011
MADISON, Wis. -- After turning off the microphone as the analyst for the Badger Radio Network, UWBadgers.com Insider Mike Lucas offers some final thoughts on No. 6 Wisconsin's 59-10 win over South Dakota on Saturday.
Toon, Wilson continue to build chemistry
What we’ve seen here is a process between receiver and quarterback, mainly Russell Wilson and Nick Toon, and it started during his recruiting trip when they hit it off.
It was the first step that they took in this journey together where they’ve become more and more comfortable as time has passed, especially on the field and you’re starting to see the results of that.
Just little things where Toon will react to Wilson or vise versa, things that make it very difficult for a defense when the receiver and quarterback are on the same page.
Pass-catching pair impresses
In addition to the development of chemistry between Toon and Wilson we’ve also seen that growth between Wilson and Jared Abbrederis. The tandem of Abbrederis and Toon now are playing at such a high level, especially what they’re doing without the ball.
We saw instances of that today when Abbrederis is blocking downfield. Even on the James White touchdown run, it was Toon who threw one of the key blocks in the middle of the field and then Abbrederis finishing it off with a shield block on the goal line. I think it has a lot to do with the confidence that these players having been collecting over the first four weeks of the season.
Borland-Taylor a great tag-team
It seems like were talking about tag teams here. We started with Wilson and Toon and then we moved over to Toon and Abbrederis and how their relationship has developed with Wilson.
On defense, you see it with Mike Taylor and Chris Borland and how they are beginning to feel more comfortable playing next to each other. Let’s face it, they haven’t had a lot of snaps together because of injuries. That really enhances your defense, when you have that type of continuity with two of your better playmakers.
Badgers stay in the moment
First of all, this program is so well grounded. When Bret Bielema took over, he started talking about the 1-0 mentality. People then probably weren’t sure of what he was talking about, but I think now they have a better understanding of how this is ingrained in Badger football.
That’s what we’ve seen throughout these non-conference games over this long streak of victories, that they take nothing for granted. Next week, with Big Ten play starting and with Nebraska coming to town, I would guess preparation for last year’s game against Ohio State would help returning players because they have gone through that type of environment before. At least in the potential atmosphere we’re going to have for that game, the hype and the hoopla leading up to kickoff.