They are the Big Tens bullies, a team with giant tackles, wide guards and a 338-pound center.
Even Wisconsins star tailback possess bulk.
The Badgers offensive desires are implied. When the weather turns colds, they often stay grounded.
Their formula: Five linemen 6-foot-4 or taller and averaging 325.6 pounds per player + loads of carries for 5-foot-11, 215-pound rocket Monte Ball = late-season victories.
The Badgers are 19-4 in November under seventh-year coach Bret Bielema. Wisconsin (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten) and Penn State (7-4, 5-2) end the regular season Saturday at Beaver Stadium.
This years Badgers are 1-1 this month, battering Indiana 62-14 and falling to undefeated Ohio State 21-14 in overtime. The 564 rushing yards Wisconsin registered against Indiana illustrates the plight facing Penn State.
Teams know whats happening. And some stop it better than others.
Its just getting in a base defense and stopping the run, Penn State senior defensive tackle Jordan Hill said. You really have to play gap responsibilities and be ready to play a physical game.
Hill has first-hand experience against the Ball and the Badgers. He started last years game, an encounter Wisconsin easily won 45-7 last year.
The Badgers 2011 offense included a future NFL quarterback in Russell Wilson. But the Nittany Lions still absorbed heavy poundings from Ball, who rushed for 156 yards on 25 carries. He scored four touchdowns.
Balls penchant for scoring creates todays most intriguing record chase. The next time Ball scores, he becomes the first player in NCAA history to collect 79 touchdowns. He currently shares the touchdown record with former Miami (Ohio) running back Travis Prentice.
Hes a good back, Hill said. Hes one of the best, not only in the Big Ten, but in the country. Hes a guy who can run you over, hes a guy that can make you miss. Its a big challenge, but I think we are up to it.
Wisconsin, coincidentally, also boasts the NCAAs all-time leading rusher in Ron Dayne. The Badgers physical style has bruised the Nittany Lions multiple times. Penn State is 6-7 against Wisconsin since joining the Big Ten in 1993.
In coach Penn State Bill OBriens mind, this is a prototypical Wisconsin team.
Starting on offense, I see a big, physical, tough football team that is going to run, OBrien said. Personally, its a football team that I really admire. Theyre not an east-west team. Theyre a north-south team and theyve got obviously a great running back.
Balls senior season included a turbulent start as he was injured in an unprovoked assault in Madison, Wisc., before preseason camp opened. Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, suffered a concussion. He was held to under 100 yards in three of Wisconsins first five games but he will enter Saturday with a Big Ten-leading 1,417 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns.
I have a lot of respect for him, Penn State cornerback Stephon Morris said. I hear hes having a down year. I looked at his stats and was like, Hes having a down year? He has 17 touchdowns, over (1,400) yards. You cant take anything away from that. He might make some big plays on Saturday. We are going to have our plays too.
Penn States success in conference games has partially hinged on its run defense. In five conference victories, they are allowing 63.4 rushing yards. In conference losses to Ohio State and Nebraska, they are allowing 250.5 rushing yards.
Wisconsins offense has a similar split, averaging 269.9 rushing yards in victories and 79.0 in losses. Ball isnt the only back finding holes created by linemen Rick Wagner, Ryan Groy, Travis Frederick, Kyle Costigan and Rob Havenstein. Junior James White and freshman Melvin Gordon have combined for 1,025 yards on 140 yards.
My impression of their offense is how huge and how physical their offensive line plays, Morris said. Its pretty much the same Wisconsin offense minus Russell Wilson from last year. Its going to be a real physical game, one of the most physical games this season.
Follow Guy Cipriano on Twitter @cdtguy.