Friday, December 10, 2010

Wisconsin Brings Home a Few Awards


Congrats to both Scott Tolzien and Gabe Carimi for winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Outland Trophy respectively. Both awards are well deserved and add another check mark to the Bielema-Alvarez era.

The Outland Trophy win for Carimi, which goes to the top interior lineman (offensive or defensive), is not a surprise as Wisconsin always has a strong offensive line. Seeing it go to the hometown boy, Gabe grew up in the Cottage Grove suburb of Madison, is icing on the cake. He is well deserving of this award after anchoring a line that opened holes for James White (1,029 yards, 14 TD), John Clay (936 yards, 13 TD) and Montee Ball (864 yards, 17 TD). This offensive line also allowed just 11 sacks of Scott Tolzien all year. He's the second Badger to win the award in the last five years after Joe Thomas (now with the Cleveland Browns) won in 2006. Carimi was also named to the Walter Camp All-America Team.

The Johnny Unitas award for Scott Tolzien is great to see after fighting from the bottom of the depth-chart during 2009 camp to win the starting nod after everyone had seemingly figured Dustin Sherer was a shoo-in. While Badger fans know that he is well-deserving of this award, many feel he's been looked over with some of the other quarterbacks (see Newton, Cameron) have gotten all the praise and attention during the season but he was accurate, steady and led this team to the Rose Bowl. His numbers aren't spectacular which is common after the rushing dominance documented above but he piloted the ship and made plays when asked of him. Had it not been for all the drops in the Michigan State game, this may have been an undefeated season for Wisconsin with Tolzien at the helm. While the award is exclusively for senior quarterbacks, meaning Newton, Andrew Luck of Stanford and Kellen Moore of Boise State (all Heisman Trophy finalists) were ineligible, he did beat out his TCU counterpart Andy Dalton who had a pretty outstanding season himself. These two are set to square-off in the Rose Bowl which should be a fantastic game and one of the better games of the bowl season.

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