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September 1, 2013

Hot 11: UMass

After a year-long hiatus, the BadgerBlitz.com Hot 11 is back for the 2013 season. This has always been a popular feature, so I'm glad to bring it back now that the Badgers have their first game of the season under their belt.

Just as a reminder, the rankings are based on individual play and a player's season-long momentum. A bad game won't knock a player all the way off the list, but new players will jump on to the list and rise and fall as the season moves along. These are my personal rankings, so be sure to head over to The Badger's Den if you want to submit a list of your own!

BadgerBlitz.com Hot 11
Rank Player The Word Last Game
1A Melvin Gordon, RB It was hard to pick between Wisconsin's two running backs, but Gordon led the team in rushing (but not by much) on Saturday. Gordon is currently averaging nine yards per carry for his career, and it looks like the Badgers will continue to be a force to be reckoned with on the ground. N/A
1B James White, RB White got the Badgers going early with a 47-yard run, and finished the day just one yard shy of tying Gordon for the game. White lived up to expectations- he's a fast and slippery running back, and it will be interesting to see if he or Gordon finish the season with more yards. N/A
3 Jared Abbrederis, WR Abbrederis had just two catches against UMass, and would have had a few more if the passes weren't underthrown. He was open for most of the game and racked up 122 yards and two touchdowns. N/A
4 Corey Clement, RB Clement rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown in his first collegiate game, and showed off the powerful running style that had his coaches swooning during camp. There might not be a lot of carries for him, but he's talented enough to make the most of them. N/A
5 Sojourn Shelton, CB Shelton started the game at cornerback as a true freshman, but his final stat line looked more like an upperclassman. Shelton picked off his first career pass, recorded four tackles, and had a QB hurry when the Badgers sent him on a blitz. N/A
6 Brendan Kelly, OLB Kelly seems to be a great fit for Wisconsin's new 3-4 defense. He's athletic enough to roam the field, and also forced a fumble against UMass. We'll see how often the coaches send him on a blitz this season. N/A
7 Chris Borland, ILB Borland led the Badgers with nine tackles against UMass, and was involved in several big stops, even though he wasn't credited for any "glory" stats. He'll likely climb this list as the Badgers reveal more of their new defense. N/A
8 Ethan Armstrong, OLB Armstrong had five tackles and recovered a fumble against UMass. He also broke up two passes during the game, giving us a glimpse as to why the Badgers like him as their "F" linebacker. N/A
9 Joel Stave, QB Stave struggled out of the gate, but completed 5-of-6 passes in the second half for 161 yards. He also had two TD passes to Abbrederis. The Badgers will need him to play more like he did in the second half moving forward, but his bounce-back should encourage Badgers fans. N/A
10 Peniel Jean, CB Jean had several really solid tackles in the game, showing why he's Wisconsin's best cornerback. He's always been one of the best tacklers on the team, and he also broke up a pass against UMass. N/A
11 Michael Caputo, S Caputo was roaming all over the field for the Badgers, showing off why he won the starting safety job next to Dezmen Southward. He recorded four tackles, but the Badgers will need him to keep playing well against tougher teams. N/A

For more Wisconsin Badgers news, notes and discussion, follow John on Twitter.

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