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December 6, 2011

Hot 11: Michigan State

MADISON - Wisconsin won its second consecutive Big Ten championship with a thrilling 42-39 win over Michigan State during the inaugural Big Ten championship game. In doing so UW clinched a spot in the 2012 Rose Bowl. It's time for our popular weekly feature: The Hot 11.

The 12th installment of the 2011 regular season is based on momentum and individual play this season. One bad game won't necessarily move a player off, but it could cause a player to slide down the board as new players start to emerge.

By no means is the list perfect, that is why BadgerBlitz.com encourages everyone to head over to The Badgers' Den to offer their own opinions.

BadgerBlitz.com Hot 11
Rank Player The Word Last Game
1A Montee Ball, RB Ball was named the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year a week ago. He was just recently tabbed a Heisman finalist. There aren't any Badgers as hot as him except for.... 1
1B Russell Wilson, QB He doesn't have quite the accolades that Ball has. But it's readily apparent the Badgers wouldn't be heading back to Pasadena without him. Some of the plays he made when it counted the most were simply ridiculous. 1
3 Chris Borland, MLB With Michigan State threatening inside the Badgers red zone, Borland's pass break up on third down gave UW new life. Had the Spartans scored a touchdown on that fourth quarter drive they would have likely gone up nine points. That would have been tough for UW to overcome. 2
4 Mike Taylor, OLB Taylor struggled in the first half of the game against Michigan State. Once he took his knee brace off, though, it seemed like he felt more comfortable. 4
5 Jeff Duckworth, WR Wisconsin wouldn't be in the Rose Bowl if it weren't for Duckworth's dramatic fourth down catch late in the fourth quarter. He also hauled in his first touchdown pass as a Badger to kick off the scoring. N/A
6 Jared Abbrederis WR Abbrederis quietly continues going about his business. He led the Badgers with three catches for 65 yards. His 42-yard touchdown in the third quarter was extremely huge because it swung momentum in UW's favor. N/A
7 Antonio Fenelus, CB For the first time all season it seemed as though Fenelus struggled throughout the course of the game. Both Keshawn Martin and B.J. Cunningham had 100-yard receiving days against the Badger secondary. 5
8 Aaron Henry, FS Henry made a couple of big plays when his defense needed it most. That's exactly what a leader needs to do. 8
9 Nick Toon, WR Toon finished the Big Ten championship game with three catches for 34 yards. The pass interference he drew in the fourth quarter was instrumental in UW's comeback. 6
10 Kevin Zeitler, RG Zeitler routinely opened holes for Ball throughout the course of the regular season. He did so again, particularly in the first quarter, against Michigan State. 7
11 Shelton Johnson, SS Johnson reeled in his fourth interception in as many games against Michigan State. He also had a couple pass breakups that helped the Badger defense get off the field when it absolutely had to. 10

Honorable mention: Brad Nortman - - You can't sell a running into the kicker penalty much better than Nortman did.

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