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Previewing UNLV's 2010 Opponents: Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Stats for the 2009 season:

Head Coach Bret Bielma
Record 10-3 (5-3)
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 Center John Moffitt
Offense Right Guard Bill Nagy
Offense Right Tackle Josh Oglesby
Defense Defensive End J.J. Watt
Defense Linebacker Culmer St. Jean
Defense Linebacker Blake Sorensen
Defense Cornerback Aaron Henry
Defense Safety Jay Valai
Defense Cornerback Niles Brinkley

This team lost a lot of talent after last season, but they still are ranked sixth in Lindey'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
Indiana Sat 11/13 TBA
@ Michigan Sat 11/20 TBA
Northwestern Sat 11/27 TBA

Wisconsin 2010 Football Roster

Wisconsin Badgers Football Roster

offense # Pos.
Jared Abbrederis 13 WR
Isaac Anderson 6 WR
Kraig Appleton 81 WR
Montee Ball 31 RB
Jordan Bergmann 73 OL
Zach Brown 30 RB
Michael Brunner 96 TE
Jake Bscherer 78 OL
Jon Budmayr 5 QB
Robert Burge 64 OL
Jake Byrne 82 TE
Gabe Carimi 68 OL
John Clay 32 RB
Jake Current 60 OL
Zach Davison 46 TE
Casey Dehn 63 OL
Alex Dietzen 69 OL
Jeff Duckworth 15 WR
Sam Edminston 61 OL
Nate Emanuel 27 WR
Bradie Ewing 34 RB
Travis Frederick 72 OL
David Gilreath 85 WR
Garrett Graham 89 TE
Ryan Groy 79 OL
Clifton Heckner 54 OL
Kyle Jefferson 3 WR
Daven Jones 13 WR
Dex Jones 28 RB
Lance Kendricks 84 TE
Sean Kennedy 46 FB
Richard Kirtley 87 WR
Peter Konz 66 OL
Rob Korslin 43 TE
Eric Kossoris 32 WR
Zach Matthias 75 OL
John Moffitt 74 OL
Maurice Moore 23 WR
Bill Nagy 76 OL
Tyler OKane 19 RB
Josh Oglesby 67 OL
Jacob Pederson 48 TE
Curt Phillips 10 QB
Mike Preisler 17 RB
Jeremy Reierson 94 TE
Joe Schafer 65 OL
Dustin Sherer 18 QB
Erik Smith 22 RB
Sam Spitz 42 FB
Elijah (T.J.) Theus 86 WR
Nate Tice 12 QB
Scott Tolzien 16 QB
Nick Toon 1 WR
Mickey Turner 36 TE
Ricky Wagner 58 OL
T.J. Williams 20 WR
Brian Wozniak 49 TE
Kevin Zeitler 70 OL
defense # Pos.
Ethan Armstrong 36 LB
Chris Borland 44 LB
Eriks Briedis 55 DL
Niles Brinkley 29 DB
Patrick Butrym 95 DL
Shane Carter 25 DB
Dan Cascone 77 DL
Kevin Claxton 37 DB
Marcus Cromartie 14 DB
Tyler Dippel 51 DL
Antonio Fenelus 26 DB
A.J. Fenton 39 LB
David Gilbert 11 DL
Matthew Groff 56 LB
Adam Hampton 22 DB
Shelby Harris 89 DL
William Hartmann 19 DB
Jordan Hein 64 DL
Ethan Hemer 75 DL
Aaron Henry 7 DB
Nick Hill 52 LB
Tyler Holland 38 DB
Leonard Hubbard 43 LB
Shelton Johnson 24 DB
Brendan Kelly 97 DL
Jordan Kohout 91 DL
Andrew Lukasko 5 DB
Anthony Mains 90 DL
Chris Maragos 21 DB
Jaevery McFadden 47 LB
Tony Megna 59 LB
Prince Moody 31 DB
Dan Moore 45 DL
Pat Muldoon 92 DL
Louis Nzegwu 93 DL
Conor O'Neill 13 LB
Chukwuma Offor 16 DB
Josh Peprah 17 DB
Aubrey Pleasant 8 DB
Jerry Ponio 23 DB
Erik Prather 42 LB
Coddye Ring-Noonan 28 DB
Kevin Rouse 41 LB
O'Brien Schofield 50 DL
Devin Smith 10 DB
Blake Sorensen 9 LB
Dezmen Southward 12 DB
Culmer St. Jean 15 LB
Jeff Stehle 79 DL
Mike Taylor 53 LB
Darious Thomas 23 DB
Jay Valai 2 DB
J.J. Watt 99 DL
Tyler Westphal 94 DL
Kyle Zuleger 27 DB
specialists # Pos.
Alec Lerner 96 K
Brad Nortman 98 P
Philip Welch 18 K
Ryan Wickesberg 90 P
Kyle Wojta 62 LS
Drew Woodward 57 LS


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