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By Bryan Follins
The Purple and Gold will start the 2014 football season against the Wisconsin Badgers. On offense the Badgers are no mystery. They will run the football. Like the Tigers, Wisconsin will feature a powerful running game. In 2013 Wisconsin was eighth in the country in rushing offense. They averaged 283.8 yards per game on the ground, and 6.62 yards per rush.
The Badger offensive line is strong. It is anchored by senior right tackle Rob Havenstein, a preseason first team Big 10 selection. Havenstein has been a starter since his freshman year. Dan Voltz, a sophomore, is the center. He started last season as a freshman, and was named to the 2013 preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy. Junior left tackle Tyler Marz and senior right guard Kyle Costigan are returning starters.
The storm center for the Wisconsin offense is junior running back Melvin Gordon. In 2013, he rushed for 1,609 yards on 206 carries. This was an average of 7.8 yards per carry, tops in the nation. Gordon was 10th in the country in rushing last year. In 2013, he ran for 12 touchdowns. He has lost only one fumble in his career.
The Badgers lost seven starters from their defense last season. Six of those seven starters were from the front seven of their defense. In 2013 Wisconsin was seventh in the country in total defense, and fourth in the land in rushing defense. It is interesting to note, however, three of the newcomers on defense are seniors who saw playing time last year, like nose guard Warren Herring, defensive end Konrad Zagzebski, and inside linebacker Marcus Trotter.
The fact both offenses are capable of moving the ball is no secret. The challenge is which defense will be able to stop, or slow down the offense of the other team. The squad which does will win the football game, and hopefully that squad will be wearing Purple and Gold.
What is the name of the Wisconsin Badger mascot:
More on the history of Buckey: https://kb.wisc.edu/vip/page.php?id=10348
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