Champs Sports Bowl preview

December, 27, 2008
12/27/08
11:09
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The Big Ten bowl season finally kicks off today as Wisconsin (7-5) faces Florida State (8-4) in the Champs Sports Bowl (ESPN, 4:30 p.m. ET). Here's a quick look at the matchup.

WHO TO WATCH: Wisconsin running backs P.J. Hill and John Clay

The Badgers' upset hopes rest on the burly backs of Hill and Clay, who respectively rank 48th and 62nd nationally in rushing. The plan calls for Wisconsin to pound the ball and overpower Florida State's speedier defense with a rushing attack that led the Big Ten and ranks 14th nationally (212 yards per game). Wisconsin had a 100-yard rusher (Hill or Clay) in each of its final four games, and both backs hit triple digits against Michigan State and Indiana.

WHAT TO WATCH: Wisconsin's offensive line against Everette Brown

Sacks have been a problem at times for quarterback Dustin Sherer, and the Badgers' mammoth offensive line must keep Brown out of the pocket. Florida State ties for sixth nationally in sacks (3 sacks per game), with Brown and Neefy Moffett leading the way. The Badgers' line entered the season as one of the team's strengths. Today is the time to prove it.

WHY TO WATCH: It's the first Big Ten bowl game

You've waited 35 days to see a Big Ten team in action again, longer than any other fan base in college football. Wisconsin isn't as big an underdog as many of its Big Ten brethren, and despite a disappointing regular season, the Badgers could get the league off to a positive start in the postseason. The game also pits power versus speed, which is always entertaining.

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