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Badger Bits: Halfway there, the road gets bumpier with the Spartans looming

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Wisconsin will have to get physical if they hope to take out the Spartans this weekend.
Wisconsin will have to get physical if they hope to take out the Spartans this weekend.

Michigan State wasn't satisfied with just beating their hated rival this weekend. They were out for blood; twisting facemaskspunching throats, and mercilessly taunting the Michigan Wolverines on their way to 28-14 win that, if not for 124 yards in penalties, should have been more lopsided. Six of those penalties were of the personal variety, but Michigan State is everybody's favorite honey badger meme incarnate in team form. Sparty don't care.

"That's what we tried to do, 60 minutes of unnecessary roughness," MSU defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said. "Just glad it didn't get called every snap."   

Up front the Spartans were ferocious, sending blitz after blitz against a bewildered Michigan offensive line. The B1G's leading rushing offense was held to 82 yards on the day, including just 42 from Michigan's quarterback type substance Denard Robinson, who was on the receiving end of most of the Spartans' seven sacks on the day. The Wolverines simply didn't have time to breathe, while the Spartans staked a claim as the conference's best defense.

And already they can't shut up. Via MSU safety Isaiah Lewis:

"And just like any other team, if they're throwing the ball up, our DBs are going to go get it, our linebackers are going to go get it and our lineman are getting after the quarterback. And they're going to hurt him."    

Wisconsin has proven so far that they are as good or better than nearly every team in the country. Pollsters agree. On paper the Badgers, the Wisconsin kind, ought to be somewhat comfy favorites. But pollsters may have missed the foamy substance dripping out of William Gholston's facemask as he lined up across Michigan's left tackle. The Badgers are good, that's a given, but they'll have to be more than that this week. They'll have to prove that they're nasty too, that they truly want what they're after, a national championship maybe, because if last week's game was any indication, the Spartans are willing to do anything, more than anyone, in the name of victory.

6-0 is in the books. The workload was light. The Badgers are in for a bumpy next two weeks. We haven't seen this team with its back against the wall. We haven't seen anything.


The Badgers swayed consensus four-star offensive tackle J.J. Denman away from Penn State this weekend.

Bret Bielema on whether he should have saved the halfback pass for another day: "For what?"

Tom Oates on Wisconsin's swag. For their next trick, the o-line will dazzle defenders with a fabulous jazz hand routine.

This week in statistical minutiae.

Badgers rushed for a season-high 332 yards against Indiana. This would be a nice time for the running game to hit its stride.

I feel like we haven't talked enough about how awesome Jared Abbrederis is so here you go: Jared Abbrederis is awesome.

MSU preview from the State Journal gives us a few more reasons to be spooked.

[plays "Girl from Ipanema"] Ooh look, a bball preview

[resumes scary football cliches] The Badgers are out to revenge last year's gut-wrenching loss to the Spartans.

Badgers Roundtable closes the book on Indiana, looks ahead to Michigan State

James White was out in full form against the Hoosiers. I see him having a big day hitting the corner in East Lansing.