Wisconsin Football: 5 Things To Watch When the Badgers and Ducks Meet

Sean LansingContributor IJanuary 1, 2012

Wisconsin Football: 5 Things To Watch When the Badgers and Ducks Meet

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    Potent offenses, star players, new uniforms and more will be on display Monday afternoon when the 10th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers face off against No. 5 Oregon in the Rose Bowl. 

    While it's been billed as West Coast speed versus Midwest toughness, the Badgers and Ducks are pretty evenly matched.

    Here are five things to watch for in what should be one of the season's best bowl games. 

Rust

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    It's been 30 days since Oregon finished their regular season and 29 days since the Badgers last took the field. 

    Sloppy play because of long layoffs is a worry for any team that makes it to a January bowl game, and the Rose Bowl is no different. 

    The team that's able to shake off the dust the quickest should have an early advantage. 

Russell Wilson in the National Spotlight

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    No player faced more scrutiny at the start of this season than first-year Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson. 

    He handled the hype perfectly, leading the Badgers to the Big Ten title and a return trip to Pasadena. 

    Now, Wilson has to perform in the spotlight one more time when he takes the field for his last collegiate game in the sport's most iconic bowl game. 

Montee Ball's Last Hurrah?

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    Does Montee Ball have anything left to accomplish on the college field?

    When the clock hits triple zeroes in Pasadena, Ball will likely hold the record for the most touchdowns scored during a single season in FBS history, and he already led the nation in rushing yards this year. 

    It's going to be difficult for Ball to pass up a shot at the NFL at a time when his pro stock is as high as it might ever be. 

Redemption?

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    A season ago, the Badgers were big-time Rose Bowl favorites before falling to BCS-buster TCU in the "Granddaddy of Them All."

    This time around, Wisconsin is the underdog. 

    With less pressure and an all-around better team, can Bucky avenge last year's crushing defeat? 

The Uniforms

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    When the Badgers and the Ducks face off Monday, both teams will be wearing new uniforms designed specifically for the Rose Bowl. 

    Wisconsin is going for a subtle, rose-themed approach while Oregon is suiting up in flashy, futuristic attire.