Badger Bits: Defense saves the day for Wisconsin

Good morning, did everyone have a good weekend? (Minus the first two quarters of the Purdue game?) Here's some Badger Bits to make Monday a bit easier.

After scoring just six points during the first half of Saturday's 34-13 win over Purdue, Wisconsin's defense lead the team to a comeback according to Tom Mulhern. From the number of turnovers that the defense forced in the second half, you might think that linebackers Culmer St. Jean and Mike Taylor as well as corner back Antonio Fenelus must have said something similar to: "Chill out, offense. We got this."

St. Jean, Taylor, and Fenelus all recorded interceptions after halftime, and the Wisconsin offense did not waste their extra opportunities. Including a forced fumble in the first half by Taylor and free safety Aaron Henry, the Badgers scored 24 points off of forced turnovers. Those extra opportunities would be crucial in a game where the Badgers started out sluggishly, with running backs John Clay and James White each missing time due to injuries.

Wisconsin had recorded only seven forced turnovers in its previous eight games, with none of them coming during the Badgers' wins over Ohio State and Iowa.

More Badger Bits after the jump!

Football

If you didn't see yesterday, Wisconsin has moved up to No. 7 in the BCS standings, as well as improving to No. 5 in the Coaches poll and No. 6 in the AP.

The Wisconsin offensive line is not making excuses for the sacks they allowed on Saturday, according to Rob Schultz of Madison.com

Tom Oates of Madison.com grades the Badgers after their 34-13 win on Saturday. Oates also thinks that after the second half, the Badgers played like a first-place team.

Wisconsin defensive end Tyler Dippel got his chance to shine over the weekend, according to UWBadgers.com.

The SB Nation Big Ten Blog Off Tackle Empire has posted their bowl predictions for all of the Big Ten bowl games.

Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com has also posted his Big Ten bowl predictions. Rittenberg's forecast is a little rosier than others, if you know what I mean.

Hockey

The Badgers battled to a 3-3 tie on Saturday night against the rival Gophers, after getting a shut-out the night before with a 6-0 win.

Chuck Schwartz from Sixty Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets. has posted his thoughts about the weekend series with our rodent-loving neighbors to the west.

Men's hockey coach Mike Eaves expects to sign seven recruits this week when the WCHA's early signing period begins on Wednesday.

Basketball

The Wisconsin men's basketball team opened its exhibition season on Saturday night with an 84-59 win over UW-La Crosse. Forward Jon Leuer recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and junior guard Jordan Taylor 12 points and six assists.

If you haven't seen Mike Bruesewitz's new haircut, you should. It's funny. Haircuts aren't the only thing he updated in the off-season though, according to Mike Lucas of UWBadgers.com

In Conclusion

5 days until Wisconsin vs. Indiana!

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