Badgers feeling rosy after another blowout

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
6:59
PM ET
Bret Bielema can keep on talking about how Wisconsin isn't a pretty program.

These scores certainly are.

Wisconsin likely punched its ticket to Pasadena with -- what else? -- a blowout victory, as the seventh-ranked Badgers pounded Northwestern 70-23 at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin secured a share of the Big Ten title with Ohio State and Michigan State.

Before you get on Bielema for running up the score, save it. Northwestern committed seven turnovers and showed no interest in stopping the run for the second consecutive game. Wisconsin ended the contest by taking a knee inside the Wildcats' 10-yard line.

The Badgers are playing like a national title contender, and barring a real BCS snafu, they'll be heading to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 11 seasons.

They did it with offense, racking up 558 yards, including 327 on the ground. They did it with defense, as defensive end J.J. Watt had another monster game and safety Aaron Henry recorded a pick-six. And they did it with special teams, as Watt blocked a PAT attempt and Jared Abbrederis recorded a 52-yard punt return.

Wisconsin's offense can hang with any squad in the country. Quarterback Scott Tolzien had another brilliant day (15-for-19 passing, 231 yards, 4 TDs) and got plenty of help from running backs Montee Ball (174 rush yards, 4 TDs) and James White (138 rush yards, TD).

Northwestern never gave itself a chance to compete, as backup quarterback Evan Watkins really struggled. The Wildcats' season effectively ended the moment starting QB Dan Persa went down with a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Still, you expect a Pat Fitzgerald-coached team to compete better than this. Fitzgerald has to be furious with the team's defensive collapse down the stretch.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, is feeling rosy.

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