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Russell Wilson passes first test as Wisconsin QB

Russell Wilson

With just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Wisconsin’s offense took the field up 51-10. However, their first-team quarterback Russell Wilson stayed on the sideline with a headset.

Wilson had done all he needed. At 10-of-13 for 255 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air, Wilson was solid against a significantly outmatched UNLV defense.

But with all due respect to the Rebels, who went on to lose 51-17 to the No. 11 Badgers,┬áit’s difficult to read how Wilson’s performance tonight projects on the rest of the season. After all, any quarterback can look great when given plenty of time from their offensive line and their running backs are some of the best in the country.

Oh, and good play calling from offensive coordinator Paul Chryst doesn’t hurt either.

What Wisconsin’s coaching staff needed to evaluate was how Wilson handled himself in game situations — a more NFL preseason approach, if you will. And that’s where Wilson really shined. Outside of a couple instances early where the senior overthrew a pair of wide-open targets, as well as a late first-half time management blemish during a two-minute drill, Wilson looked comfortable in the Badgers’ offense and exhibited great decision making.

His stats were inflated — a few checkdowns to his running backs accounted for over half his passing yards — but Wilson played, just as he did at North Carolina State, with a very high football IQ. The only time Wilson took a play into his own hands was during a 46-yard touchdown run toward the end of the first half.

That kind of efficiency is what Bret Bielema looks for in a quarterback, and if Wilson can continue to execute similarly to what he did tonight against better competition, Wisconsin has a great chance to make a run at another Big Ten title. The Badgers have plenty of talent to make it happen.

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8 Responses to “Russell Wilson passes first test as Wisconsin QB”
  1. J. Curle says: Sep 1, 2011 11:44 PM

    As a State fan, I wish nothing but the best for Russell.

    Tom O’Brien had to make a tough call (knowing he’d lose Glennon if Wilson returned, but not knowing if Russell would excel in the minors) that I understand. Ideally, Mike Glennon would be a year younger so non of this was an issue, but it is what it is.

    As such, I hope Wisconsin kicks some serious ass this year and Russell earns all his due praise.

  2. trbowman says: Sep 2, 2011 12:52 AM

    Look out….Russell Wilson will be a heisman contender.

  3. polegojim says: Sep 2, 2011 9:40 AM

    Welcome Back College football!!!

    Best time of the year.

  4. paintan8 says: Sep 2, 2011 9:48 AM

    That was like passing a test in one of Jim Harrack’s “classes”.

  5. gatiger says: Sep 2, 2011 11:27 AM

    Again, why did NC State not want this guy back?

  6. J. Curle says: Sep 2, 2011 11:32 AM

    @gatiger: See my first post at the top of the page.

  7. wbevans says: Sep 2, 2011 2:02 PM

    Russell Wilson brings a whole new dimension to the typical Wisconsin offense.
    I’m one happy FSU fan to see him in the Big Ten.
    Although UNLV is not the toughest competition they’ll see, if their o-line can stay healthy, they just might end up playing for a ring.

  8. qdog112 says: Sep 2, 2011 8:01 PM

    The only question about the Badgers is on the defensive side of the ball. When you marry the traditional running game with the dynamic playmaking of Russell Wilson, you have the offensive attack that is rivaled only by Oregon. Defensively, they have problems with speed. UNLV continually got around the edges on them. If the can seal the corners, they are in the hunt for the BCS. Championship.

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