Knowing the Enemy 2016
The first thing noticeable about the Wisconsin Badgers is a lot of players on their roster have not started all the time, but they have played a lot. The media guide lists Wisconsin returning 11 starters, but that number is somewhat skewed. A lot of players on the team were not listed as returning starters, even though many of them did start certain games. The Badgers play a lot of people. The 2016 squad, has very few players who stood out in any statistical category last year. This does not mean Wisconsin does not know how to play the game.
On defense, Wisconsin has two returning linebackers who are very active. One is senior outside linebacker Vince Biegel. Last season he had 66 total tackles, 14 tackles for losses (tfls) and eight sacks. He had a career high 14 tackles against Northwestern in 2015, but only three were unassisted. The other man is junior inside linebacker Jack Cichy. He is one of those players who started about half of Wisconsin’s games last year, but still played a lot. In the 2015 Holiday Bowl he had three consecutive sacks of USC quarterback Cody Kessler in a Badger win over the Trojans.
On offense Wisconsin quarterback Bart Houston is a fifth year senior who has not started a game in his career, but, he has played. Senior running back Cory Clement has been plagued with injuries during his career. However, he has run for 100 yards or more in eight games in his time as a Badger, and he carries a healthy 6.6 yards per rush.
Junior center Michael Deiter started in all 13 games for Wisconsin last season. The rest of the offensive line all started, but not in every game.
Injuries have also been frequent for Wisconsin in the preseason.
This is a team of mystery for the Purple and Gold. The Tigers should expect anything Saturday, and not be surprised by anything.
*The Wisconsin mascot is Bucky Badger.