Wisconsin Football: 5 Reasons Why the Badgers Will Compete for the Big Ten Title

Scott Pauley@scott.pauleyAnalyst ISeptember 2, 2011

Wisconsin Football: 5 Reasons Why the Badgers Will Compete for the Big Ten Title

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    The Big Ten has gone through some changes in the last year. 

    We have Legends. We have Leaders. 

    We have Nebraska. We have 12 teams. 

    One thing that has not changed is the competition found among the teams of the Big Ten. 

    Wisconsin stands alongside Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan as one of the most competitive teams. 

    Here are five reasons we believe the Badgers will be near the top of the Big Ten all season long.

Russell Wilson’s Legs

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    Not all quarterbacks are a dual threat as is Russell Wilson. 

    Wilson had the longest run of his career during the second quarter of Thursday night’s opening game. 

    Wilson broke loose for a 46-yard running touchdown with less than two minutes to go in the first half. 

    Wilson has a new home in Madison, WI. 

    Coach Bret Bielema will have no problem winning ball games as long as Wilson stays healthy.

Special Teams

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    Though special teams never get the praise they deserve, it’s hard to miss the fantastic usage of ability as that of Wisconsin. 

    The blockers blocked, the holders held, the runners ran and the kickers kicked. 

    The fact is point-after attempts, kick-offs and punt returns may be all the special teams needed this year in Madison.

The Offensive Line

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    The offensive line of Wisconsin was quite impressive Thursday night when it came to protecting Russell Wilson and opening holes for the ball carriers. 

    If the line stays healthy and focused, there is only room for growth. 

    Look for the Badgers to have several “players to watch” on the O-line.

Montee Ball

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    Not to be mistaken for a certain former game show host, Montee Ball exclaimed his desire to win football games during the Thursday night contest against the Rebels. 

    Ball rushed 10 times for 63 yards and three touchdowns. 

    Not only can Ball rush with protection from the line—he can catch the ball as well and rack up yards after the catch.

    No matter what door is chosen, Ball will win the deal. 

Russell Wilson's Arm

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    In his first game as the Badgers’ quarterback, NC State transfer Russell Wilson, showed us why he easily won the starting job in Madison. 

    Wilson looked as if he had played every one of his college games at Camp Randall Stadium. 

    Wilson completed 10-of-13 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns before being replaced by second-string quarterback Joe Brennen in the third quarter of Thursday night’s game against UNLV. 

    Wilson can throw the ball where he needs to, when he needs to and as far as he needs to.