Badger Bits: Taylor to play Saturday; Borland questionable

When will Badger fans be able to finally see both of our stud sophomore linebackers on the field at the same time? It's as though there's an immutable law in the universe that Mike Taylor and Chris Borland cannot be healthy and in uniform for Wisconsin at the same time. Mike Taylor was having an impressive freshmen season for the Badgers last season before he tore his ACL in the Iowa game last season. Taylor's injury allowed fellow freshman Chris Borland to slide into his starting position and Borland ended up having an equally impressive season for Wisconsin. Taylor missed last Saturday's game at UNLV recovering from a cleanup surgical procedure on the knee in August, but will probably play this weekend. Borland played last week, but he suffered a shoulder injury and is questionable for this week's game.

Although it's not clear when this season we'll get to see both Borland and Taylor in the starting lineup, it's obvious that having these two players on the roster will ensure that the Badgers linebacker corps will be solid for the next three seasons. The emergence of both helped dampen the loss of Jaevery McFadden this past offseason. It's also great to hear that the two players have a great relationship, as evidenced by this Las Vegas hotel room "incident":

"I was rooming with Borland on the trip and just in case I told Borland: 'Let me see if I can tackle you,'" Taylor said. "So I picked Borland up and dived with him on my shoulders onto the bed.

Borland's response to Taylor's in-room workout?

"I'm just glad no one walked into the room," he said.

What happens in Vegas, does not necessarily stay in Vegas. After the jump, we'll see what happened when the Badgers went to Evanston last season, and we've got more links.

Bucky's game at Northwestern last season was one of those trap games that you wish never made it on to the schedule. Could the Badgers take care of business and win to virtually secure a New Year's Day bowl game?

Link to 2009 Northwestern/Wisconsin Game Highlights

Wisconsin Badgers (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) at Northwestern Wildcats (7-4, 4-3), November 21, 2009 - Last year's game in Evanston was typical in the sense that about half the crowd was wearing red (count me among that half) and the other half was wearing purple. There was actually a lot at stake for both the 16th ranked Badgers and the unranked Wildcats. As it turned out later, both teams were essentially fighting for an Outback Bowl bid. It was Senior Day for Northwestern, which always gives the home team a slight boost. Finally, a win for a Badgers was the difference between finishing in a tie for second in the Big Ten or finishing for a tie in fourth. Wisconsin struggled early and Northwestern brought out all the stops in this one. In the 2nd quarter, Mike Kafka threw a lateral pass to wideout Zeke Markshausen, who then heaved it 40 yards downfield to a wide open Sidney Stewart for 6. It was 27-14 Wildcats at half.

An impressive 68 yard punt return TD by David Gilreath made it 27-24 Northwestern in the 3rd, and Wisconsin answered 2 Wildcat field goals with a Tolzien to Graham touchdown with 10 minutes left in the game to make the score 33-31 Northwestern. Wisconsin's defense then gave the Badgers three chances to kick a field goal to take the lead, but a Badger punt, a gut-wrenching John Clay fumble on a very promising drive, and a Scott Tolzien interception with 42 seconds left gave Northwestern the victory. The Wildcat student section rushed the field immediately after the victory, which honestly didn't make a whole lot of sense. Northwestern sealed a 3-0 November, and Wisconsin was left to lick its wounds and prepare for Hawaii in two weeks. The Badger pass defense in this game was atrocious and the Wisconsin rushing attack was not as much of a factor as it should have been. In hindsight, the Badgers benefited from losing this game because they ended up getting matched up with a much better bowl opponent- Miami instead of Auburn.

More Links:

Mike Taylor, Kevin Rouse, and Jordan Kohout talk about Saturday's matchup with San Jose State in this video.

Count WR David Gilreath among those who would prefer a playoff system in college football.

The Badgers had 4 touchdowns and 2 field goals on 6 trips into the red zone, but they want that statistic to be 6 touchdowns and no field goals.

Adam Rittenberg correctly predicted the winner of every Big Ten game last week, so I would take his week 2 predictions seriously.

Get the San Jose State perspective on having to face Alabama and Wisconsin in consecutive weeks.

NFL football kicks off tonight with New Orleans vs. Minnesota. Unfortunately, both P.J. Hill and Jonathan Casillas are on injured reserve for the Saints and will not be playing tonight. However, there is a big Wisconsin connection on the Vikings sideline- head coach Brad Childress was an offensive coordinator for the Badgers and Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell quarterbacked the Badgers to a Rose Bowl win in 1994.

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