The addition of transfer quarterback Russell Wilson and blossoming of running back Montee Ball has transformed what was a very good Wisconsin Badgers offense into the most prolific unit in school history.
This season, the Badgers have scored touchdowns on 61 of their 70 trips to the redzone (.871), including a perfect 5-of-5 in the Big Ten Championship win over the Spartans.
What makes UW’s accomplishments even crazier is the fact that they’ve played five of their games against defenses ranked in the top 20 in the nation (two against third ranked Michigan State).
It all starts with the Badgers’ beastly offensive line, particularly Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler, who were each named to the 2011 AFCA Coaches’ All-American Team on Monday. Konz has started ten games at center while Zeitler has played in each of Wisconsin’s thirteen games at the right guard position. Their stout play has helped pave the way for Ball’s record-setting season and a school-record 44.6 points per game.
Ball was also named to the All-American Team, making the Badgers three offensive selections the most of any team in the country. The junior back’s 38 total touchdowns is one shy of Barry Sanders’ all-time record and tops in the nation. Ball’s also getting it done on the ground with 135.2 yards per game, good for fourth in the nation.
Similar to Sanders in 1988, Ball was declared a Heisman finalist and will join four other outstanding players in New York City in order to determine the best player in college football.
It was a special birthday for Ball who also turned 21 and had this to say, “This is the best birthday ever. It’s an honor just to make it (to New York). That’s enough for me, just to make it and have the chance to sit next to all the other great players in the country.”
From one play-maker to another, UW’s signal caller is on pace to have the most efficient season in NCAA history. Wilson is on pace to shatter the pass efficiency record held by Colt Brennan of Hawaii in 2006 and has thrown a touchdown pass in a NCAA-record 37 consecutive games. This season, Wilson has 31 touchdowns, becoming only the fourth QB in Big Ten history to do so.
In the Big Ten Championship, Wilson proved to be the difference in a dramatic come-back win, earning him the first-ever Grange-Griffin award as the game’s MVP.
Talk of awards and records won’t stop anytime soon as the Badgers prepare to play in it’s eighth Rose Bowl against an equally prolific offense in Oregon. The Ducks rank a spot above the Badgers in scoring offense and have scored 82 total touchdowns to Wisconsin’s 80.
Does your mouth salivate when you think about an offensive explosion between the Badgers and Ducks? What do you think of the Badgers offensive line, Ball’s Heisman hopes and Wilson’s impact on this year’s team? Let me know by commenting below!
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks