Oct. 15, 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. 4 Wisconsin's 59-7 win over Indiana at Camp Randall Stadium.
Ball-to-Wilson touchdown will get some attention
When you have a Heisman Trophy candidate like Russell Wilson, you have to be creative to allow Wilson to advance his candidacy by his play on the field. That’s why I thought the pass from Montee Ball to Russell Wilson was very productive.
It was very creative, let's put it that way. What does it mean in the big picture, it’s probably going to show up on the top 10 highlights on ESPN, and that never hurts. It’s kind of a counter jab to Andrew Luck catching the pass along the sidelines last week.
Some people might think it’s unnecessary, but were talking about the human element that votes for the Heisman trophy. Anything you can do to get your candidate out in front is a positive. Plus it just shows the versatility of the offense, and it forces every defensive coordinator from this point forward to be on their toes for the possibility of that throw.
Ball continues to shine despite being overshadowed
I don’t know what else Montee Ball could do to get the attention of the national pundits than what he did today. As a part of that one clip that will be shown countless times of Wilson catching the pass, everyone will have to take notice that it was Ball throwing it.
Beyond that, the two long touchdown runs just adds to his resume. I think everyone understands why Russell Wilson has overshadowed almost everyone on this offense, but Montee Ball is also very deserving of whatever attention he gets, especially as a Doak Walker Award candidate.
Defense dominates again
Some of the defensive players said they were unhappy with the way they played against Indiana in the first half. Probably more so that big touchdown run frustrated them, giving up that much yardage on the ground.
In the second half, they stoned the Hoosiers, and that bodes well because there is going to be a very big challenge next week. The Badgers go from spread teams to more of a pro-style attack like their own in Michigan State, a team that features a veteran quarterback in Kirk Cousins, tall, experienced wide receivers and a tailback rotation. That’s the matchup everybody’s been waiting for.
A challenge awaits down the road
What will help this team hungry is returning players who were in East Lansing last year, and maybe it will be brought up by the coaches this week. Each player will have to ask himself is he ready for that game against the Spartans.
Circumstances are different, and I understand that, but I do believe that experience will help get them ready in terms of their preparation. How they play on Saturday night, well that remains to be seen, but the confidence the team is feeling certainly can’t hurt. They know what happened in East Lansing last year and how that almost affected their season and their ability to share the Big Ten championship.