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September 21, 2010

Hot 11: Arizona State

Though the special teams were anything but that Saturday, ironically enough it was a couple of special teams plays that helped seal the win for Wisconsin over Arizona State. Now, with the final non-conference matchup against Austin Peay on the horizon, it's time for the popular weekly feature: The Hot 11.

The third installment of the 2010 regular season is based on momentum and individual play this season. One bad game won't necessarily move a player off, but it could cause a player to slide down the board as new players start to emerge.

By no means is the list perfect, that is why BadgerBlitz.com encourages everyone to head over to The Badgers' Den to offer their own opinions.

Note: The number in parentheses is the number of points the player got based on a voting panel of BadgerBlitz.com staff members.

BadgerBlitz.com Hot 11
Rank Player The Word Last Game
1 Lance Kendricks, TE (42) When Lance Kendricks is catching the ball at a rate similar to that of Saturday, chances are the Badgers are finding success on the field. His seven-catch, 131-yard day was very impressive. But maybe more impressive than his statistics is the way he plays the game. He's arguably the best blocker the Badgers have offensively and his versatility is top notch. Kendricks is essentially a professional in a Badger uniform. 5
2 John Clay, RB (40) For the ninth straight game, Clay was able to pass the 100-yard mark on the ground. And it only took 22-carries to get there. Keeping Clay fresh is of the utmost importance, but the flashes of greatness he's showing in limited action has been impressive nonetheless. 1
3 J.J. Watt, DE (28) Without Chris Borland for the majority of Saturday's game, UW needed somebody to step up in the pass rush department. Watt, though he didn't record a sack, was able to help fill in that void with constant pressure in the backfield. 2
T4 Scott Tolzien, QB (24) Tolzien hasn't put up gaudy numbers so far this season, but Saturday's performance was his best to date. He connected with receivers on critical third downs and stayed away from forcing balls that weren't necessarily in his best interest. It seems as though Tolzien is rounding into form, particularly without his security blanket Nick Toon, who's sidelined with a turf toe injury. 10
T4 Jay Valai, SS (24) Though the defense had just given up what looked to be a game-tying touchdown, the UW kick block unit did not flinch. Valai, coming off the edge, was able to block the extra point to secure the win. N/A
6 Louis Nzegwu, DE (19) Nzegwu is really rounding into form as a defensive end. He's physical at the point of attack, quick off the line of scrimmage and athletic enough to make plays at a position that is critical for UW's defense to succeed. The junior led the team with six tackles in Saturday's win over Arizona State. N/A
7 Jared Abbrederis, WR (17) During his first career start, Abbrederis proved he is a viable weapon in this Badger offense. He's got sure hands, is willing and able to block on the edges and perimeter and solid as a return specialist. 3
8 Shelton Johnson, LB (15) There may not have been a better way for Johnson to make his first career tackle as a Badger. After the offense scored a touchdown late in the first half, Johnson saved the momentum from swinging in ASU's favor by tackling Sun Devil kick returner Kyle Middlebrooks inside the one yard line when it looked like he was going to score as the half expired. N/A
9 Blake Sorensen, LB (12) With Borland out of the lineup for the remainder of the year, UW is graced to have a versatile athlete like Sorensen to back him up. So far this season, Sorensen has proven to be a viable option in the linebacker core. 3
10 Gabe Carimi, LT (11) One of the main reasons Clay has been able to rush for 100-yards in nine-straight games is the play of the left side of the offensive line. With Carimi and Moffitt flanking that side, Clay will likely continue to rack up the yardage. 6
11 Niles Brinkley, DB (8) Facing Steven Threet, a quarterback that has proven to have success against the Badgers in the past, it was important for the UW secondary to stay sharp against the pass. Brinkley spearheaded the group that never really allowed the ASU passing game to get into its full rhythm. N/A

Receiving Votes:

-John Moffitt (7), Philip Welch (5), Brad Nortman (3), Jordan Kohout (2), James White (2), Aaron Henry (1), Antonio Fenelus (1)

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