Wisconsin Football: Grading the Badgers' Win over Indiana

Sean LansingContributor IOctober 16, 2011

Wisconsin Football: Grading the Badgers' Win over Indiana

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    After a sluggish start, the Badgers turned into the Badgers again on their way to a 59-7 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers at Camp Randall. 

    Running back Montee Ball made his case for the Heisman Trophy, and Russell Wilson added a receiving touchdown to his resume. 

    Overall, a nice win for the Badgers, who avoided looking ahead to next week's matchup under the lights with Michigan State. 

Quarterbacks: B+

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    As far as Russell Wilson performances go, this one was rather pedestrian. 

    With just 166 yards passing and one TD, it was far and away Wilson's most statistically insignificant game as a Badger. 

    That being said, Wilson did an excellent job of managing the game after his best receiver was lost to a foot injury before kickoff, and the Heisman hopeful did add a touchdown reception to his resume. 

Running Backs: A+

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    Montee Ball and James White were unstoppable. 

    The two combined for 229 yards and four TD's, and Ball threw for a score to Wilson on a perfectly executed trick play. 

    On a day where the Badgers relied more on their running game than usual because of Toon's absence, Wisconsin's two-headed monster delivered. 

Wide Receivers: B

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    Absent star receiver Nick Toon, the Badgers went to Russell Wilson at receiver—albeit for just one play. 

    The Ball to White touchdown toss was the highlight of the day for a unit that didn't need to do much since Indiana couldn't stop the Badgers on the ground. 

     

Offensive Line: A

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    The guys up front got off to a sluggish start, but once they got going, they paved the way for 332 yards of rushing offense. 

    Indiana's undersized line never stood a chance against the Badgers' NFL-caliber front five. 

Defensive Line: B-

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    It's hard to be too critical when you only give up seven points, but Indiana was actually able to move the ball with relative ease during parts of this game. 

    Somehow, the Hoosiers only managed one touchdown on 223 yards rushing. 

    The D-line deserves credit for helping to hold the Hoosiers to just one score, but allowing over 200 yards on the ground isn't going to cut it against better teams. 

Linebackers: B+

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    The linebacking corps deserves some of the blame for Indiana's big day on the ground, but how can you argue with the play of Borland and Taylor? 

    Wisconsin's dynamic defensive duo combined to make 28 stops with 3.5 TFL's, half a sack and a pass break up. 

Secondary: A

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    Wisconsin's pass defense was stellar, holding the Hoosiers to just 64 yards through the air. 

    Aaron Henry and Antonio Fenelus added a pair of INT's for the Badgers' back line. 

Special Teams: A

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    Philip Welch was perfect, Brad Nortman was solid and Jared Abbrederis returned a punt for a touchdown.

    Despite some lapses in kick coverage that led to a few decent Indiana returns, a very successful day for this unit overall. 

Coaching: A

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    After the Badgers offense sputtered out of the gate, some were wondering if this was going to turn into a trap game for Bret Bielema's squad. 

    Unfortunately for Indiana, no such luck. 

    Bielema's team kicked it into gear, and the Badgers avoided looking ahead to Michigan State. 

Intangibles: A+

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    The Badgers are officially halfway through their season, and they're rolling. 

    All eyes will be on ESPN tonight to see where Wisconsin falls in the first round of BCS rankings.