Head coach Bret Bielema only expressed satisfaction during his weekly press conference Monday. His team is fresh off a performance against Michigan that showed both the offensive and defensive might of the Wisconsin football team. He also expressed excitement for what the remainder of the 2009 season holds for his team.
For the second time this season, junior quarterback Scott Tolzien was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
Against the Michigan Wolverines, Tolzien passed for 240 yards and four touchdowns. Tolzien also added a rushing touchdown to top off perhaps the best game of his collegiate career thus far.
The rushing attack, courtesy of sophomore John Clay and freshman Montee Ball, was firing on all cylinders.
""At Wisconsin, we really believe we should run the football,"" Bielema said. ""It's one of the keys to our success.""
Clay rushed for 151 yards and a score and Ball continued to show his promise as a future star on the team, accumulating 62 yards on the ground.
Bielema continued his praise of Clay, excitedly lauding the Big Ten Conference's leading rusher.
""The development of John Clay ... I really like what he's begun to do,"" Bielema said.
On the other side of the ball, the Wisconsin defense has been solid and improving with every contest. The Badgers have still not allowed a Big Ten opponent to rush for over 100 yards in a game. Wisconsin held Michigan, a team that averaged over 200 yards per game on the ground, to only 71.
The Badgers' rush defense is currently the 14th best in the nation and has held seven straight opponents to under 100 yards on the ground, the longest current streak in the country. Additionally, after surrendering 39 rushing touchdowns the past two seasons Wisconsin has allowed just seven in 2009.
One player who continues to contribute to the Badgers' strong defense week after week is freshman linebacker Chris Borland. Borland had 11 tackles for Wisconsin against the Wolverines, and once again caught the attention of Bielema.
""If there's a freshman in this league that's had more of an effect on [his] team [than Borland], I would be surprised,"" Bielema said.
Wisconsin's next and final Big Ten test comes this weekend when the team visits Northwestern. Bielema noted the Wildcats' success on the field this season, especially in the latter half of their schedule, and even compared the team to his own.
""Defensively, they're very similar to us in a lot of ways,"" Bielema said.
Bielema and his team are certainly aware of the potential implications next Saturday could have for the Badgers. If Wisconsin beats Northwestern, and if Ohio State loses to Michigan, the Badgers would secure a share of their first Big Ten Title since 1999.
However, Bielema stressed that his team will be focused on Northwestern and its task at hand instead of thinking about Big Ten title implications.
""The only way we can worry about [a potential title] is to take care of Saturday,"" Bielema said.