Badgers deserve to be taken seriously

By Tony Osborne

Russell Wilson showed why he and Wisconsin (3-0) deserve to be taken seriously as National Championship contenders as they routed NIU (1-2) by a score of 49-7.

The senior transfer from North Carolina State ran all over NIU’s defense and shined the most on third down when the Badgers needed to convert.

That alone showed his ability to be agile and think on his feet.

The success of teams like NIU and Wisconsin comes when their quarterbacks can make decisions on their own and not what the defense determines.

Wilson shined at the Soldier Field Showdown II, and NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish did not. Not only did Wisconsin more than double the total yards of NIU, but it had more rushing yards than all of the Huskies yards combined.

This equates to a stellar performance by Wilson, throwing for 347 yards and three touchdowns. Wilson also ran the ball at key times when the NIU coverage was locked down, scampering for first down after first down.

Wilson came into this game well-known, but not everyone was a believer in his full capabilities.

He left fans with the feeling that they have been in control of every game this season. That kind of confidence leads to more points on the scoreboard.

Although, Harnish did not have a terrible game. If you ask him, he’ll tell you it was one of his worst. Well, when you are expected to throw five touchdowns and run for a couple touchdowns every game, average performances will happen.

Even the best have off days.

Harnish ran for -2 yards, a performance he’s likely going to forget.

When he’s running the ball well, the Huskies have a better chance to score.

A good quarterback running game makes a powerful and diverse offense even trickier to prepare for with the constant threat of Harnish running.

The Badgers defense made the Huskies a one-dimensional offensive attack, which led to Harnish’s low numbers and only one touchdown by NIU running back Jasmin Hopkins.

On the other hand, the effective use of the pass and run by the Badgers led to a three-dimensional attack led by Wilson that accumulated 49 points and over 500 yards.

It was clear to most that this game would come down to which quarterback had the best game.

Wilson clearly continued his underdog push to the Heisman Trophy with a dominating performance against the Huskies Saturday.