Fruehauf Going Off

Story by Steve Fruehauf, Copy Editor

Anyone who still had qualms about Montee Ball and the Badgers run game this year was happily reassured after last Saturday’s 38-14 win at Purdue. Ball finished off the night with 247 yards rushing and his second game with three touchdowns. Along with Ball, fellow running back James White went for 124 yards and a touchdown while Melvin Gordon came out with 80 yards total rushing.

As for the passing game, Stave still did well with moving the offense down the field. He threw for 178 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Tight end Jacob Pedersen led in receiving against the Boilermakers catching four passes for 77 yards and the one passing touchdown in the game. Abbrederis ended up second in receiving yards with 43.

This is the second game in a row that Wisconsin (5-2) came out with a comfortable win, the first being against Illinois. Could this be the Badgers’ chance to get on a roll? Minnesota comes to Camp Randall next week for the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe and Wisconsin isn’t going to give that or their home winning streak up without a fight. Personally, I think they’re going to keep the victories rolling whether it’s with execution from their ground game or, if needed, through the air. As long as their problem with scoring doesn’t return in the upcoming games, they’ll be just fine.

With the win over the Boilermakers, Ball has 816 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. Compared to all other players in DI football, he ranks eighth in rushing and tenth in scoring with 66 points thus far. Also, after his three scores last game, he became the first Big Ten running back ever to rush for 72 touchdowns in their career.

He is currently one touchdown shy of tying the FBS record of 73 touchdowns set by Miami (Ohio) running back Travis Prentice. Given that he has five games left before the season’s end, I think it’s safe to assume he will be the sole leader in that category as well. We are watching history people!

My only fear about the Badgers’ future is their schedule after Minnesota’s game next week. They play the following in order: Michigan, Indiana, Ohio State, and Penn State. Michigan is currently ranked twenty-third in the country. They have a dangerous quarterback in Denard Robinson, who leads the team in passing and rushing. Indiana isn’t really a worry for me. They are 2-4 and having problems all around. But Ohio State is currently undefeated and ranked seventh in the country.

They have Urban Meyer, who was widely successful at Florida, as a coach this year. They won’t be easy to beat. Then to end the regular season, Wisconsin plays Penn State who isn’t bad this year. This is fairly surprising given all of the commotion on campus after the football program’s offseason issues this past year.

Regardless, Wisconsin is on a roll and hopefully they stay on it for a while. What was starting to look like a rebuilding year may just pull out to be a fairly successful season after all. Only time and the team’s production will tell. Just give the rock to Ball when we need to convert and if that’s not working, Stave has proven that he can produce. That’s how we will be successful.