Wisconsin's Stats for the 2009 season:
|Head Coach||Bret Bielma|
|Bowl Game||20-14 win over Miami|
Returning Starters for Wisconsin:
|Side of the ball||Position||Player Name|
|Offense||Running Back||John Clay|
|Offense||Wide Receiver||David Gilreath|
|Offense||Wide Receiver||Isaac Anderson|
|Offense||Tight End||Jake Byrne|
|Offense||Left Tackle||Gabe Carimi|
|Offense||Left Guard||Jake Bscherer|
|Offense||Right Guard||Bill Nagy|
|Offense||Right Tackle||Josh Oglesby|
|Defense||Defensive End||J.J. Watt|
|Defense||Linebacker||Culmer St. Jean|
This team lost a lot of talent after last season, but they still are ranked sixth in Lindley's Pre-Season top 25. It's because this team was so deep last season, that even though so much talent has left, so much talent steps in for the remaining open positions. For instance, at Tight End, Wisconsin lost star Garrett Graham who was First-team All-Big Ten. They have Lance Kendricks taking over the starting role and Wisconsin shouldn't lose anything at that position because of the caliber player that Kendricks is. Wisconsin shouldn't have any issues with departing players this upcoming season.
The one thing you have to wonder about this team is why they play a cupcake non-conference schedule that includes UNLV, San Jose State, Arizona State and Austin Peay? If they're such a good football team, why didn't they play Auburn or Cincinnatti? This team has a lot of talent, but you won't see any showcase games until conference play starts, and the first four weeks of conference play look pretty tough. Overall, I really don't think Wisconsin plays a good schedule. For a team of their caliber, They should play around six marquee games, not the four marquee conference games they have on the schedule for this year.
More analysis of Wisconsin after the jump...
Strengths of Wisconsin
Wisconsin's strengths really are in their offense. They already have an experienced Quarterback in Scott Tolzien, a star Running Back in John Clay and a First Team All-Big Ten Wide Receiver in Nick Toon. Not to mention, they have a former four star Tight end in Lance Kendricks stepping up to the starting role to replace the loss of Garrett Graham.
Star Running Back John Clay ran over defenses constantly, gaining 1,517 yards on the ground. Scott Tolzien took over the starting QB job last year after starter Dustin Sherer got injured in week two. Tolzien threw for 2,705 yards last year and sparked the passing game for this offense. Star Receiver Nick Toon gained 805 receiving yards and about 25% of that amount was yards after catch. This offense is loaded with weapons and should give defensive coordinators fits.
The defensive side of the ball isn't as loaded as the Badgers offense would be, but it still is talented. The defensive line, although losing three starters, is a strength for this defense. J.J. Watt, the Defensive End that didn't leave, really took a step up in Spring Practices this off-season and looks like he could seamlessly replace O'Brien schofield as the star Defensive End on the team. On the other side of the line is Defensive End Louis Nzegwu, he showed this spring that he deserved the other Defensive End position and earned it. You should see him on the field in Wisconsin's season opener at UNLV. Defensive Tackles Patrick Butrym and Jordan Kohout will take over for Dan Moore and Jeff Stehle at the starting position. Both players had good springs and they should be solid come fall. The defensive line should be a point of strength for Wisconsin this season.
Weakness of Wisconsin
The Secondary and Linebacker core on defense is a real concern for this Wisconsin team. The Linebackers lost star Jaevery McFadden who had a team leading 74 tackles over the course of last season, and he will be tough to replace. Blake Sorensen and Culmer St. Jean return as the outside linebackers, but they weren't majorly productive last season and this past spring. Either Kevin Rouse or Tony Megna are going to have to improve if this Linebacker core is going to be good.
The Secondary also lost a star in Chris Maragos at the strong safety position. Maragos was a strong leader for the secondary and Wisconsin will miss that along with his overwhelming talent, but Aaron Henry will take over as a converted cornerback. Henry and returning Free Safety Jay Valai seem to complement each other, but their just isn't much talent at the safeties positons. As for the cornerbacks, the Badgers return both. Devin Smith and Niles Brinkley will return as veterans of the college game and hopefully they can play man coverage well enough for the defensive line's pass rush to get to the Quarterback.
The only weakness I see on offense for the Badgers is their offensive line. Wisconsin does return all of its starters, but the offensive line was cluttered with many injuries this spring and wasn't really able to practice together as a line. It should be interesting to see how this group performs in their first practice together in the fall.
Wisconsin's style of play
Under Head Coach Bret Bielma, Wisconsin has traditionally played in low scoring, methodical, defensive, lethargic, whatever other kind of word you can think of to describe boring, tempo. The Badgers have never had a premier offense, but had a solid defense. This year it is the opposite, Wisconsin has a premier offense and a bit of an uncertain defense. With the defense's secondary not being able to stop strong passing games such as Ohio State's, you should see some shootouts in Wisconsin games.
How do Wisconsin and UNLV stack up
Wisconsin and UNLV don't stack up, on paper or on the field. This game should be a mismatch from the start and I would be surprised if UNLV kept the game close.
Here are the rest of the statistics of Wisconsin:
2010 Wisconsin Football Schedule
Badgers Football Schedule
|@ UNLV||Sat 09/04||8:00 PM PDT|
|San Jose St.||Sat 09/11||TBA|
|Arizona St.||Sat 09/18||12:30 PM PDT|
|Austin Peay||Sat 09/25||TBA|
|@ Michigan St.||Sat 10/02||TBA|
|Minnesota||Sat 10/09||9:00 AM PDT|
|Ohio St.||Sat 10/16||4:15 PM PDT|
|@ Iowa||Sat 10/23||TBA|
|@ Purdue||Sat 11/06||TBA|
|@ Michigan||Sat 11/20||TBA|
Wisconsin 2010 Football Roster
Wisconsin Badgers Football Roster