Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/25/13
Wisconsin Badgers Head Coach:  Gary Andersen  1st Badger Offense James White (AP Photo/Al Goldis) “In a Word”…Beef…The July depth chart has the starting five on the offensive line and their weights as follows; LT- Ryan Groy-318, LG-Dallas Lewallen-309, C-Dan Voltz-301, RG-Kyle Costigan-313, RT-Rob Havenstein-342…Uhh..nothing really terribly eye-opening here…there is one guy listed in the two-deep for the O line that isn’t over 300lbs…and that’s how they like ‘em in Cheeseburg.  Former coaches Barry Alvarez and Brett Bielema had pretty heavy amounts of success building great rushing attacks behind land masses like this years offensive line…but one of the bigger reasons that Wisconsin hasn’t enjoyed a lot of national success is because they haven’t really had that top shelf QB to make teams pay on a regular basis for putting 10 guys in the box…that really won’t change too much in 2013 with as many as four different QB’s are vying for the starting gig.  The odds on favs to be listed on the two-deep when late August rolls around are sophomore Joel Stave and senior Curt Phillips.  HB James White will have his opportunity to emerge from the Montee Ball shadow this season…anything less than 1,000 yards and 10 TD’s should be considered a disappointment…WR Jared Abbrederis and TE Jacob Pederson will be the favorite targets for whomever is throwing the ball..Six starters return for Wisconsin and half of those are on the O line…and when you have those kinds of players to open holes for a HB like White, good things will happen more often than not. Badger Defense “In a Word”…stingy…I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Badgers defense improve significantly in 2013…and that would be saying a lot…new DC Dave Aranda did a lot with Utah State in 2012 under Gary Andersen, but now he is up with the big boys.  My guess is he really turns this Badger defense to a great unit.  He has a great front seven to work with led by NG Beau Allen and LB Chris Borland.  The LB corp is deep and talented even though they did lose Mike Taylor…the D line should benefit to a change to 3-4 defense and the more athletic DE’s from 2012 like Pat Muldoon and Konrad Zagzebski should reap those benefits…especially former DE Brendan Kelly who will move to an OLB position…the secondary will be a ***** in the armor as only one starter returns (FS Dezmen Southward)…the others have talent, but lack quality playing time…they will certainly get that this season..and it’s the best kind…the kind where you have one of the better front sevens in the conference to try to force the oppositions hand…whether they take advantage or not could make or break the Badgers season.  Overall, this squad is a typical Wisconsin defense,,,hard-nosed and physical….but lacking a lot of the athleticism and speed that a lot of the elite teams in the country possess…still, it will be a very good defense and they should contend for the Big Ten title. Wisconsin 2013 Schedule If there is a schedule that appears to set up easy for a Big Ten title run, it might just be the Badgers list of opponents.  They open with scrimmages really at home vs Massachusetts and Tennessee Tech…then a road test vs Arizona State…then the Big Ten schedule gets started with the home opener vs Purdue…then the Badgers get their toughest part of the schedule with four of their next five games on the road beginning with a trip to Columbus..then a bye then homecoming vs Northwestern..then road games at Illinois and Iowa with a bye between them….after Iowa, BYU comes to Madison to conclude the nonconference schedule…the Badgers then close out the regular season with a homer vs Indiana, the final road game of the season to Minneapolis for Paul Bunyan’s axe and the season finale at home vs Penn State…it may appear deceptive right here in late July, but that closing stretch of five games may be a lot tougher than it appears..there are a ton of games that Wisconsin fans feel they should win, but I have a feeling that the Badgers could end up closer to .500 than closer to double-digit wins….I would be stunned if first year coach Gary Andersen can roll into Madtown and pull off 10 W’s with that schedule…it isn’t impossible, just unlikely. Wisconsin  Could’s  Should’s and Will’s Wisconsin could win at OSU for the 1st time since 2004 (0-3). The Badgers should have a 1,000 rusher for the 9th straight season. UW will have a chance to even their all-time record vs BYU in 2013…they lost their only meeting with the Cougars in Madison back in 1980 28-3 To receive an email each time I post a Big Ten Football article, fill out the Email Notification Form You can also follow me on Twitter @isportsChad Related articles Ohio State season preview Penn State season preview Purdue season preview
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