August 28, 2013 by Ell and Mike Sports
Head Coach: Gary Andersen
Key Players (Offense): RB James White(SR), RB Melvin Gordon(SO), WR Jared Abbrederis(SR)
With the loss of RB Montee Ball, who was one of the top backs over the last few seasons many probably would expect a drop of in the running game this season from the Badgers. They also lose their coach, so many probably are expecting a down year this year. I beg to differ because the Badgers still have one of the best running back stables in the country with White and Gordon coming back. This two headed attack has the potential to produce even more together what Ball did by himself. Gordon averaged 10 ypc last year while White averaged 6 ypc. So these two backs will move the chains often. The Badgers also return 8 starters on offense, so that means a lot of continuity. With QB Joel Stave entering his second year, look for bigger and better numbers for WR Abbrederis; expect him to have an even better season this year than last year. He is a WR that isn’t the biggest or most athletic, but he does the little things to help this offense move the ball. The Wisconsin O will go as far as the offensive line and the running backs can take them.
Key Players (Defensive): ILB Ethan Armstrong(SR), ILB Chris Borland(SR), DE Brendan Kelly(SR)
The Wisconsin Badgers have one of my top LB units in the country as you can see in my top players. Their two middle linebackers are great at stopping the run and also do a good job and pass coverage. Their front seven will definitely not be a major issue on this defense. They also will plug in a very highly recruited redshirt freshman from 2012 class at OLB in Vince Biegel. He will be a force to be reckoned with a freshman to look out for this season. You heard it here first. As good as the front seven will be, their secondary loses both of its starting corners and their strong safety. So expect growing pains as they will be starting some young players in their secondary. i believe the rush defense will be great but the pass defense will have more downs than ups.
8-4 (2nd in Big 10 Leaders Division)
Offensively, I believe the Badgers don’t skip a beat this season and continue to pound the ball down teams throats as they have done in seasons past. I believe their two headed running back tandem produces a lot of big plays and becomes one of the best in the country. Defensively, I believe they will be stout up front and stop the run very well, but when passing becomes an option for teams i believe they will have their struggles. However, expect them to come on late in the season. All in all, i think they have a solid first season in head coach Gary Andersen’s first season.