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Saturday, September 26, 2009
Badgers make statement with dominating win



Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


I'd like to apologize to Bret Bielema and the Wisconsin Badgers for doubting you. Especially at home.

It won't happen again.

Wisconsin made a major statement Saturday by dominating hapless Michigan State in a 38-30 victory that wasn't as close as the score indicates. Junior quarterback Scott Tolzien continued to validate the coaches' decision to start him by tossing four touchdown passes, three to tight end Garrett Graham.

I was very impressed with Wisconsin's balanced attack, as running back John Clay got going (142 rush yards, TD) after some fumbling problems last week. Perhaps the biggest plus is the secondary, which struggled a lot in Week 2 against Fresno State but contained Michigan State in this one. Three interceptions definitely looks good going forward.

As for Michigan State, what else is new? The Spartans entered the season determined to prove they could handle high expectations after back-to-back bowl appearances. It seemed like they would come out strong in a desperate situation Saturday, but Wisconsin controlled the game until the final stages.

Forget about this never-ending quarterback competition for a minute. Mark Dantonio's secondary is an absolute mess despite boasting a ton of depth. Tolzien had his way with the Spartans' defensive backs, and that just can't happen. Next week's rivalry game against Michigan is an absolute must win.