Friday, July 20, 2007

Breaking Down: The Wisconsin Badgers

Penn State stays at home for week seven of 2007 to welcome the Badgers to town. It is more than a little likely that the Badgers will roll into Happy Valley sporting a 7-0 record (they will have faced Washington St., UNLV, the Citadel, Iowa, MSU, and Illinois). Yeah, there is a good chance they will be 7-0. That is if Tyler Donovan can step up and get the job done for the Badgers. Penn State will be in the heart of the Big Ten schedule but there is no rest for the weary as yet another powerhouse, hyped, national contender rolls into State College. Bielema and Wisconsin are on my shitlist for the abuse of the clock in last years game. It was a close game and the wasting of the clock was not in the spirit of the game. Yes it was cheating. Yes, it still pisses me off. That being said; I'll take a wildly impartial look at the 2007 Badgers below. Peep some badger blogs: Bucky's Faithful, and Badger Sports Fan.

I'm cookin up some sweet illegal plays for 07!

Lets start with the bad news, for the first time since 1978 John Stocco won't be starting under center for the Badgers. However, before you think that there is no replacing Stocco's 2185 passing yards on 59% passing and 17 TDs play this in your mind: "NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND!". Donovan is no useless turd-burglar. Last year, Donovan passed for 564 yds, 4 TDs, on 63% passing. His only real weakness was his decision making as he also heaved up 2 INTS. Also, Hubbard and Beckum return to man the WR corps. The Duo combined for 1530 receiving yards and 10 TDS. In short, don't expect to be able to crowd the line against the Badgers.

If the Badgers rushing game were embodied as a dog it would look like this. Two of Wisconsin's best RBs were merely freshman in 2006. (lyrical puns are awesome!) Hill and Smith will both be back and looking to improve on their combined 1914 rushing yards and 20 TDs! The offensive line also returns a talented and experienced bunch. I wouldn't expect these totals to decrease much in 2007. Apparently it will be pick you poison against the Badgers; do you want to challenge the beastly running game or take your chances with Donovan in the passing game.

Wisconsin only gave up 12 points a game last year. PSU was only able to put up 3 points against the badgers. Yes, it was tough to watch. Yes, it still hurts me inside. This years Badgers squad look good on the Defensive line and Linebacker but graduation hit them hard in the Defensive backfield. It seems that if one is to be successful against Wisconsin it mus be through the air initially to open up the running game.

This is another very lose-able game for Penn State. This years Wisconsin team is deeper in a lot of ways than last year's team. If PSU is to have success they will have to pass the ball effectively and limit a very potent Wisconsin running game. Wisconsin's key to victory will be controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball (last year Wisconsin had the ball for over 37 mins against PSU last year. Not good). If the Badgers can run the ball, prevent PSU from hurrying Donovan, and open running lanes for the rushing game the badgers will be tough to beat.


PSU: 15
Wisc: 13


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