Wisconsin might have a new head coach at the helm, but expectation will be high. Junior running back Corey Clement is back, as is a more than solid defense. Paul Chryst has a good complement of players to work with in his first year at the helm, with a good mix of maturity and experience, so they should compete well.
The offensive line is a worrying spot, as only senior left tackle Tyler Marz and junior center Dan Voltz are returning. That leaves three spots to fill, and all of the options lave limited playing time to speak of. Joel Stave will be back at quarterback as a fifth year senior, but he has struggled with consistency. Last season he only completed 53.4 percent of his passes, and did toss 10 interceptions, with only 9 touchdowns. Alex Erickson will be back at the wide receiver position, finishing last year with 55 reception and 772 yards. He will need some major help, however, from the likes of junior Robert Wheelwright, who only had one caught pass last year, and that came in the last game of the season. At tight end, sophomore Troy Fumagali will be back, and he is a favorite of Chryst’s, so look for him to get a great deal of playing time and to have a breakout season. At running back, junior Corey Clement will be tapped to take over from departing Melvin Gordon, who took his 2,587 yards and 32 touchdowns to the NFL with him.
Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda will be back at the helm of the defense this year. Last season saw the Badgers finish fourth in the nation in total defense and a very respectable 17th in scoring defense. At the linebacker position, junior Vince Biegel will be back. He led the team in tackles for a loss last season with 16.5, and also added 7.5 sacks to go with that. Senior Joe Schobert will also be back at the linebacker position, fresh off his 13.5 tackles for a lost last season. The secondary is experienced, headed by senior safety Michael Caputo, and cornerbacks Darius Hillary and Sojourn Shelton. The Badgers did end last year with only six interceptions, so look for that to be a focal point this year. At the kicking position, Rafel Gaglianone will be back as a sophomore, having completed 19 of 22 field goal attempts last season. This included his final 14 tries, and went 5 of 7 from beyond the 40 yard mark. All in all, the Badgers look poised to win the Big Ten West Division title, and they should finish inside the top 20 nationally. Not bad for a first year head coach.
In the tough Big 10, the Badgers will look to dominate once again this season with a new team. Their task could be difficult as they go against good teams such as Alabama, Iowa, and Nebraska but the Badgers will be pumped up and ready for the season as they want to prove to be they are an elite college football program.
Courtesy of the Huffington Post