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September 20, 2011

Hot 11: Northern Illinois

MADISON - Wisconsin improved its record to 3-0 with a 49-7 win over Northern Illinois Saturday afternoon. In doing so, several players rose to the occasion. Now it's time for our popular weekly feature: The Hot 11.

The third 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
1 Russell Wilson, QB Wilson has only been able to practice with the Wisconsin football team for the past month and a half. Think about that for a second. During that month and a half he has played so astonishingly well that he's now a mainstay among Heisman projections. 1
2 Nick Toon, WR Toon's fully healthy, he's playing at an incredibly high level and he's got the best chemistry with Wilson of anybody on the team. He's catching the ball (no drops to this point) and he's scoring touchdowns. As Bret Bielema likes to say, when Toon goes, UW goes. 3
3 Jacob Pedersen, TE Pedersen is off to an incredible start as UW's featured tight end. He's already caught 10 passes and accumulated more than 150 yards receiving. Of his 18 career catches, six have gone for a touchdown. 4
4 Montee Ball, RB When asked to classify his performance against Northern Illinois Ball simply responded by saying, 'It was poor.' If a 91-yard, two-touchdown day is poor I would really like to see what he would consider acceptable. 2
5 James White, RB White, like Ball, rushed for 91 yards. Unlike Ball, though, White did so with a fraction of the carries. The sophomore running back continues to be a big-play threat for the Badgers. His 11.4-yard-per-carry average against the Huskies backs that up. 6
6 Chris Borland, MLB With each passing game and with each additional rep he receives, it's becoming more and more evident that Borland is settling into his new role. He led the team with 11 tackles against NIU Saturday and was on the brink of making some traditional Borland-esque plays. He's getting there. 9
7 Mike Taylor, WLB Bielema and company awarded Taylor with the defensive MVP award for his five-tackle performance against NIU. Now fully healthy, it seems as though both Taylor and Borland are starting to gel together once again. 8
8 Antonio Fenelus, CB Nobdoy is willing to target Fenelus on a regular basis. That, in short, is the biggest compliment the senior shut down corner could possibly receive. 10
9 Marcus Cromartie, CB Dave Doeren targeted Cromartie early and often during Saturday's game. And the junior cornerback, making his first career start, did not back down. He tackled very well, too. 11
10 Bradie Ewing, FB Not only is Ewing a force when playing on all four units of the Badgers special teams, but he's becoming a versatile asset to Paul Chryst's offense. He's always been a good blocker, but now he's proving he can be a reliable receiver as well. N/A
11 Jared Abbrederis, WR Abbrederis has quietly put together three complete games for the Badgers to start this season. He's tied for second on the team with 10 catches and he's been an instrumental blocker in the run game. He led all receivers with six catches against NIU. N/A

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