Sep 17, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive tackle Ricky Wagner (58) blocks during the game against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Soldier Field. Wisconsin defeated Illinois 49-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Ricky Wagner Still a Question Mark For Michigan State Game

The Badgers did okay against Minnesota with Ricky Wagner on the shelf and Ryan Groy starting at left tackle. But how long can the Badgers keep it rolling with their patched-together offensive line? They’d certainly prefer to get Wagner back in there. Well, there is a chance Wagner could play this weekend against Michigan State. As you would expect, the Badgers aren’t committing one way or the other. Bart Miller says there’s a game plan in place for Wagner at left tackle and one for Groy. Sneaky Bart Miller.

So, how much of a difference would it make for the Badgers to once again roll with Groy at left tackle and Robert Burge at left guard? Like I said, the O-line was just fine against Minnesota. They tore open huge holes in the Gophers’ defensive line and created all kinds of second-level havoc with their pull blocking and misdirection. One assumes they won’t have such an easy time of it against Michigan State. Sparty is #1 in the Big 10 in run defense right now. Although, if you look at the box scores, Sparty has given up some decent rushing performances this year. Mark Weisman of Iowa got 116 on them. And Braxton Miller and Denard Robinson both had nice games running against them. Obviously those last two guys are QBs and the Badgers don’t feature that kind of running QB action.

So the question is still sort of up in the air. The Spartans don’t give up a ton of yards on the ground, but then again, they haven’t faced a RB combo like Montee Ball and James White yet. And the Badgers really do seem to have things cooking in their running game, not just with the guys toting the ball but the blocking too. It’s all coming together right now for the Badgers offense. Michigan State will be a good opponent to gauge their progress against. If they can run it on Sparty, they can probably run it on anyone.

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