Originally Published: Aug 20, 2010 9:31 AM CDT
When you think Wisconsin you think of smash-mouth, defense-first football. But believe it or not, this Badgers team may have to rely on outscoring opponents.
Wisconsin averaged nearly 32 points a game last season, and everybody is back on a powerful offense. Senior quarterback Scott Tolzien is reliable if not spectacular. Running back John Clay was the Big 10 Offensive Player of the Year. Receiver Nick Toon and tight end Lance Kendricks are NFL talents. And the Badgers have are stocked with experienced offensive linemen. The offense is tough, talented and athletically gifted.
Defensively, they have several trouble spots. The defensive line has one sure-fire star in J.J. Watt, but he may not be able to do much if nobody else steps up to help get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Linebackers Mike Taylor and Chris Borland are both question marks coming back from offseason surgeries. And the secondary has been the weak spot on the defense for the last two years.
Bottom line: Wisconsin is good, but their whole season hinges on a two-week stretch in mid-October. In back-to-back weeks they play Ohio State in Madison and at Iowa. Last year they lost both of those games. Im not sure defensively they can handle Terrelle Pryor and Ricky Stanzi. But those will be the Badgers only two losses of the regular season.