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Big Ten Championship 2011, Wisconsin Vs. Michigan State: Kirk Cousins Confident Headed Into Rematch With Badgers

With first-team All-Big Ten quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Montee Ball grabbing all the headlines from the backfield, few may be aware that the No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers bring the nation's seventh-ranked defense into Saturday night's Big Ten Championship Game against No. 11 Michigan St. Spartans.

Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, who ranks 23rd in passing efficiency, passed for 290 yards and three touchdowns in their October 22 win over the Badgers. That success gives the senior quarterback confidence heading into the rematch, Greg Johnson of The Grand Rapids Press reports.

"We were able to make some plays the first time against Wisconsin, and I think that gives us confidence going into this game," Cousins said. "I think mentally we have to go in thinking it will be a close game where it goes back and forth, and hopefully we make more plays than they do."

That October game aside, the Badgers have the country's third-ranked pass defense, allowing just 144.5 yards per game. Senior cornerback Antonio Fenelus has a team and Big Ten-leading four interceptions on the season.

For more on this game, head over to Wisconsin blog Bucky's 5th Quarter and Michigan State blog The Only Colors. Visit SB Nation NCAA Football for more on Championship Weekend.