Centering the Ball - with Derek Engler Part 1

Former Badger offensive lineman Derek Engler recaps the Badger performance from Saturday. He gives an inside the huddle type viewpoint on a huge Big Ten victory. Engler also talks about playing for The Axe. Read on.

Finally we took it to Northwestern the way we should have in so many years. Particularly over the past 15 years the Wildcats have been a thorn in the Badgers side. Although I beat up on Pat Fitzgerald as a player I felt somewhat bad for him as a coach after a while on Saturday because the Badgers completely manhandled his Northwestern Wildcats. We pounded them on the ground and dominated them up front. Coach Fitzgerald is a good man and will learn more this year as a rookie head coach and the youngest in NCAA 1-A then all of his future coaching years. He is a man of character and he will instill that into his team and he will have success in the future. That being said, I was smiling ear to ear after seeing the Badgers demoralize the Wildcats on Saturday. I was on the other end of some heartbreaking losses to Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats during the years they went to the Rose and Citrus Bowls. The Badgers did it the "Wisconsin" way and that was getting after them up front and running the ball.

There are some special things going on with this Wisconsin Badger team. I have a feeling that Coach Bielema has created a special bond among these players on this team. In having a few conversations with Mark Zalewski who is the leader of a very good Badger Defense, he has mentioned on more than one occasion that this team is a tight knit group. This can prove to be very dangerous to future Badger opponents. Nothing fights through adversity like team unity and character. Five different players scored Badger TD's on Saturday. We took the initiative right off the bat with our S.T. unit not letting the Wildcats capitalize on the onside kick. We took the wind right out of their sail two plays later by PJ rumbling and bumbling 60 yards for a score. Our Defense held the Wildcats to just nine points after overcoming two turnovers by Paul Hubbard. If the Badgers continue to have this type of team effort there is no telling where the Badgers can go this year.

Former Badger offensive lineman/center Derek Engler will be joining us each week for "Centering the Ball" for the remainder of the football season. He will give us a look at the previous week's game from the field. Currently, Engler works for Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor. If you have any questions regarding investments, reach him by email derek.engler@morganstanley.com . Or reach him by phone (800) 776-7797.

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