Getting to Know Wisconsin
Badgers fan here, I joined this forum so I could get to know South Carolina as I know very little about your team besides Spurrier and Clowney. From the topics I've glanced at, you guys seem to know a similar amount the Badgers so I will try to give you the 411 about the team in as impartial manner as possible.
Offense: Pro-Style, QB mostly under center except for obvious passing down, I formation and Multiple TE sets are common occurrence. Lots of power run plays and use of play action.
Defense: 3-4 with a ton of variation. Expect to see lots of pre-snap movement and many different fronts. In 3rd and long Wisconsin often only uses 1 down lineman. We don't blitz a ton, but we mix and match which 4 guys are rushing the QB.
Running game and RB depth(duh)
Run blocking (also duh, but not just oline, the run blocking at Wisconsin is a total team effort)
Veteran front 7 on defense (2 deep of mostly juniors and seniors)
Big play ability (I believe Wisconsin is 2nd in the nation in plays of over 50 yards behind Baylor)
WR depth (we have 1 WR)
Oline depth (this is the first year in awhile where we don't go 2 deep at oline)
Inconsistent QB play
Young Secondary (opposite of front 7, only 1 guy started before this year)
Special teams is nothing special (our return game is not a threat to score a TD and our kicking game is merely competent)
Players to know:
QB Joel Stave #2 - Good arm, but consistently inconsistent as he'll miss wide open guys and make at least one really stupid throw per game
WR Jared Abbrederis #4 - he is our #1, #2, and #3 WR, Everyone knows that Stave is looking for him and yet he still finds a way to get open. Superb route runner.
RB James White #20 - I looked up highlights of USC and realized that you have your own version in Mike Davis (arguably better version). Like Davis he has great hands and is relied upon in passing game.
RB Melvin Gordon #25 - White may be the starting RB, but Gordon is the superstar talent. Gordon does not have the hands of White or the Pass blocking ability, but he makes up for it with home run running ability. His speed is good, but his acceleration is insane as he gets to top gear immediately.
TE Jacob Pedersen #48 - The #2 receiving threat on the team, he is Stave's 2nd option when he can't get the ball to Abby. Good redzone threat.
FB Derek Watt #34 - The name sounds familiar because he is JJ's younger brother. IMO he one of most important pieces to the Badgers running game and he often creates the first hole by mauling his man, be it a lineman or lbacker. LB's don't fair well vs him at all.
LB Chris Borland #44 - Big Ten Defensive Player of Year is the heart and soul of Badgers defense. Opponents often remark there must be three 44's on defense because there is no way that one guy could always be around the ball. Expect to hear his name a lot as the guy making the tackle.
CB Sojorn Shelton #8 - the undersized, true freshman is the Badgers only real play maker in the secondary. He battles like a veteran, but makes freshman mistakes on occasion in form of penalties. Bigger receivers can take advantage of his small size
S Tanner McEvoy #17 - I know you guys already know his name. He failed to win the starting job as QB (apparently his accuracy is really bad) so he was moved to WR but then broke his wrist. His athleticism was too valuable for the coaching staff to leave on the bench so they put him at S. He usually plays CF type role of covering the deepest guy. He is still learning the position, but his range is rather impressive. Needs to be better at playing the ball if he stays at safety in future.
How to beat the Badgers:
Everyone knows the best way to beat Wisconsin is stop the run and make Stave beat you. Stopping the run is easier said than done, but getting out to a quick lead is key as Badgers are not good at playing catch up. I expect USC to stack the box and try to put pressure on Stave which actually isn't extremely difficult as Wisconsin is only decent at pass blocking. Of course, if the RB can make it to the 2nd level against stacked box, then there is plenty of room for big plays so the key is gap discipline. On offense, attack the secondary deep. They are young and inexperience so mistakes are very possible. If you guys can protect the QB then you will be in good shape. Wisconsin lacks a true pass rusher, but gets pressure based on scheme as they play a 3-4 unlike most college teams. Give your QB time, and the secondary is yours for the taking.
The Badgers big play formation is when they are set up for the Jet Sweep. Melvin Gordon (#25) lines up at WR and James White (#20) lines up at RB. Melvin Gordon runs a sweep and either takes the hand off or acts as misdirection giving White a chance of the middle with fewer defenders or Stave a chance for play action as defenses bite hard on run. Another wrinkle is Abbrederis running from the opposite side as Gordon and he actually takes the sweep the other way. Its a misdirection formation that has wreaked havoc on teams this year because of the talent of the players running it. Good news is that you guys get plenty of time to prepare for it so the it will be interesting to see how Badgers adjust.
I hope this helps clear things up about the Badgers, I'm excited to watch them against a good SEC opponent to see how well they match up.
Last edited by zbadger; 12-10-2013 at 03:52 AM.