Wisconsin vs. Michigan State: Montee Ball and 5 Players Who Will Lead Badgers
Montee Ball is one of several players who will be key in ensuring a Wisconsin victory over Michigan State in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game.
The two teams met this season in East Lansing in what was the most exciting game of 2011. Tied at 31, the Michigan State Spartans scored on a Hail Mary with no time remaining and ended any hope of Wisconsin playing for a national championship.
Here are five players on the Badgers who will do anything to make sure that loss on Oct. 22 isn't duplicated...
Russell Wilson, a North Carolina State transfer, has been absolutely brilliant for the Badgers this season.
Wilson has completed 72.7 percent of his passes en route to 28 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
One of the blemishes on Wilson's resume was two interceptions and a key safety in Wisconsin's loss to Michigan State.
Wilson was called for an intentional grounding in the end zone that gave Michigan State two points. On top of that, he and Nick Toon had a miscommunication on a route that led to a Wisconsin turnover.
These are mental mistakes that can and will be corrected.
Though he is just a walk-on, Jared Abbrederis has made a tremendous impact for the Badgers. As a receiver, Abbrederis has 48 catches for 749 yards to go along with six receiving touchdowns.
Playing opposite of Nick Toon, Abbrederis has been about as good as one can ask for.
Abbrederis' impact will be most felt as a punt returner on Saturday evening. He currently leads the country in yards per punt return (16.35) and has taken one back for a score.
In his first meeting with Michigan State, Montee Ball ran for 115 yards on just 18 carries. However, he was sidelined for the better part of 10 minutes in the second quarter after an injury. The Badgers offense gained just six total yards in Ball's absence.
The Badgers offense goes as Ball goes.
Ball currently ranks second in the country in rush yards (1,622) and first in rushing touchdowns (29). Behind a massive offense line that weighs more than the Green Bay Packers, Ball will be an integral part to the Wisconsin attack.
Chris Borland and Mike Taylor
Chris Borland and Mike Taylor are among the best at their position not only in the Big Ten, but nationally as well.
Taylor ranks first in the Big Ten in tackles with 128 and Borland ranks second with 124 tackles.
They are very competitive players with nonstop motors. Expect them to make an impact on a Wisconsin defense that ranks fourth nationally in scoring defense.
At 6'3" 220 pounds, Nick Toon is a physical receiver who is producing in his senior season in an otherwise disappointing career.
In Wisconsin's Oct. 22 meeting with Michigan State, Toon had just two receptions for 58 yards after missing the previous week with a foot injury.
He was a disappearing act on the field in East Lansing.
Toon is now healthy and has averaged over six receptions over his past three games.
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