The No.19-ranked Wisconsin Badgers (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) hopes of earning a chance of playing in a BCS bowl game came to a heart-wrenching collapse after falling to the Penn State Nittany Lions 31-24. However, the efforts and hard work of this Wisconsin football team did not go unnoticed. The Badger’s will face the No.9-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (10-2, 6-2 SEC) in the top non-BCS bowl game, the Capital One Bowl on Wednesday, January 1st. The game is scheduled to kick-off at 1:00 PM ET and can viewed on ABC.
With the Wisconsin football team headed out to Orlando, Florida to fight together one last time and end the season on a positive note. The individual efforts of a number of players received accolades for their strong play this season Saturday night at the team’s annual banquet awards ceremony at the Gordon Evert Center.
It is difficult to put into words how much senior linebacker Chris Borland has meant to this Wisconsin football team over his long tenure in Madison. Playing in 11 games this season, Borland led the team with 102 total tackles and was the clear leader in one of the Big Ten’s most feared and punishing defenses. During the 2013 Wisconsin Football Awards, Borland received the Jimmy Demetral Team MVP award. The strong brotherhood of this defense shared their blood, sweat and tears behind his leadership all season long both on and off the field. Borland’s passion for the game will be greatly missed in the years to come, but the inspiring impact he has had on Wisconsin football will forever be remembered. The future looks extremely bright for this young inside linebacker and it will be exciting to continue to watch him grow and succeed at the next level.
Big Ten Awards:
Butkus-Fitgerald Linebacker of the Year
Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year
First Team All-Big Ten (Coaches and Media)
Finalist for both the Lott IMPACT Trophy and the Senior Class Award
Jared Abbrederis and James White
At the 2013 Wisconsin Football Awards, these 2 beloved seniors received the Offensive Players of the Year.
Wide-receiver Jared Abbrederis posted his fourth 1,000-yard season and is now ranked second all-time at Wisconsin in receiving yards, touchdown receptions and receptions. His supreme route-running ability, gracious double-move and remarkable hands still has opposing defenses scratching their heads. Abbrederis was also awarded first-team All-Big Ten.
James White stepped out of the shadows this season and was finally granted the opportunity to be Wisconsin’s feature tailback. The dominant-dancing rushing duo of White and Melvin Gordon was seemingly unstoppable this season. White finished rushing for over 1,000-yards for the second time in his career and was also awarded second-team All-Big Ten.
Beau Allen and Dezmen Southward
The nose-guard and safety received Defensive Players of the Year at the 2013 Wisconsin Football Awards. Both Allen and Southward contributed to the Badger’s ferocious defense with their big bodies that punished opposing offensive players who tried to take them head on.
Born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, Zuleger may not be a house hold name, but this 5th-year senior has made a significant impact on this Wisconsin football team. He earned the Special Teams Player of the Year at the 2013 Wisconsin Football Awards. Zuleger was utilized in all aspects of the special teams department with his intensity and nose for the ball. He received some kick-offs and totaled 12 special teams tackles this season, which was tied for a team-high.
Additional 2013 Wisconsin Football Award Recipients
Jacob Pedersen and Brain Wozniak: Wayne Sousa Coaches’ Appreciation Award (Offense)
Tyler Dippel and Pat Muldoon: Jay Seiler Coaches’ Appreciation Award (Defense)
Curt Phillips: Ivan Williamson Scholastic Award
Ryan Groy and Ethan Hemer: Tom Wiesner Award
Vince Biegel: Badger Power Award
Ethan Armstrong and Brendan Kelly: Comeback Player of the Year
Melvin Gordon: Most Improved (Offense)
Michael Caputo: Most Improved (Defense)
Connor Senger: Offensive Scout Player of the Year
Chikwe Obasih: Defensive Scout Player of the Year
Joe Spiegelhoff: Otis Green Manager Award
Sandy Freye and Lisa Powell: The Captains’ Cup