Posted by: Opey | August 14, 2007

Badger Football Preseason Preview

So, I may have lied about posting my Badger preview post on Monday.   Move out/in 2007 featured a few more headaches than we had previously anticipated, so it necessitated another day away from the blog.  Well, the sun is now up (sort of) on a new day, so I’ll just quit babbling and get on with my preview and predictions for the Badger football team this season.  Let’s start off today with a look at the offense, position by position and I’ll finish off on Thursday with a look at the defense and some predictions for the season to come:

  • Offense
    • QB: This will be the pivotal position on the offensive side of the ball.  With the departure of John Stocco, a bit of a vacuum ensued in the QB position.  There are two leading candidates right now to replace Stocco.  Tyler Donovan is the veteran of the team and has a skill set that many would agree is more attuned to a running/option QB system.  He is fighting it out with Allen Evridge.  Evridge was seen as more of a true passing QB and also has an additional year of eligibility, so there may be something to be said for having a consistent starter over the next two seasons.  However, so far in the spring/summer, it appears that Donovan’s arm has been better than expected.  Evridge’s, on the other hand, has been worse, so look for Donovan to take the starting spot for the first game of the year.
    • RB: There have been very few seasons in the past few decades where the Badgers did not have a potentially great backfield and this year’s RB corp looks like another gem.  Everyone knows what P.J. Hill was able to do last year.  He bowled over teams for some impressive freshman numbers.  He has now slimmed down a bit, so look for a quicker more agile Hill.  Lance Smith has been reinstated following his suspension, so he should make for a solid back up and spell back for Hill when needed.  The more important factor in the RB situation for this year is the return from injury of Bill Rentmeester.  He is a dominant force at the FB spot and his ability to deliver some great lead blocking will help Hill equal or surpass his numbers from last year, in my opinion.
    • WR/TE: Here is an often overlooked position for the Badgers.  In the past, the team has featured one tremendous receiver (Chambers, Evans) and surrounded him with a crew of steady players.  This year there appears to be more balance in the WR corps.  With the return and further seasoning of Swan and Hubbard, whoever takes the QB reigns has two great threats at wideout which will help take some pressure off of the Badger’s running attack.  And if you want to know who will lead the team in most receiving statistics, look no further than Travis Beckum.  The converted linebacker lit up Big Ten defenses last year.  He is poised for another great season.  He will be the primary receiver for Donovan/Evridge on any sort of check down play and he will be the focus of his fair share of plays as well.  Look for some huge reception and touchdown numbers out of Beckum.  Andy Crooks will also factor in heavily in blocking roles and when the Badgers enter the redzone.
    • OL: If there is one thing WI does better than most teams in the country, it is the teams ability to churn out great offensive linemen.  Bucky lost perhaps the greatest left tackle in team history last year, Joe Thomas, and has quickly started the search for his replacement this season.  Look for sophomore Jake Bscherer to win the spot out of summer training camp.  He’ll have to look over his shoulder next year, though, as super-recruit Josh Oglesby comes back from a knee injury.  The whole right side of the line, as well as center Marcus Coleman, all return and begin their second season as starters.  This would lead me to believe that there will be a tendency to run more to the right, more experienced, side of the field.  Pass protection shouldn’t be an issue this year, so that will also help out whomever takes over the reigns of the Badger’s offense.
    • Offensive Predictions:  Look for the Badgers to continue their black and blue style of play on the offensive side of the ball.  Bielema and Offensive Coordinator Paul Chryst seemed to enjoy calling plays that pull the ball into PJ Hill’s hands and allowed him to run all over the other team.  With the return of Rentmeester, one of the most pivotal players this year, look for the Badger running game to flourish.  Don’t count out the Badger’s receivers, though.  Their numbers will be down some this year with an inexperienced quarterback at the helm, but the WR and TE have talent to make some big plays for the team.  Look for PJ to put up around 1600 yards rushing this year with the help of a solid O-line.  I also see whoever plays at QB throwing for 1700 yards and look for Beckum to be the target for 800 of those yards.

Look out on Thursday for my defensive preview and predictions, as well as some predictions for how the whole team will fare in the Big Ten this year.

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  1. […] the last week. Between the Brewers doing their best Titanic impression, my Badger football preview (Part I, Part II), and my purchase of Madden ‘08, things have really being coming up pigskin. Well, […]


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