Wisconsin Badgers 2012

Wisconsin 2011 Statistics

(Big Ten) The Badgers play on artificial (FieldTurf) at Camp Randall Stadium (seats 80,321)

  • Bret Bielema is in his 7th year as head coach at Wisconsin.  He’s had double-digit wins the four years and finished 2011 with an 11-3 record.  They beat Michigan State in the 1st ever BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.  This followed up their narrow regular season loss to the Spartans that came down to a last-second TD from a thrilling hail mary play from Kirk Cousins to Keith Nichol.  They went to the Rose Bowl for the second year in a row and lost again (this time to Oregon 45-38 and the previous time to TCU 21-19).
  • Apparently Wisconsin is the landing spot for disgruntled ACC Quarterbacks.  Last year it was Russell Wilson who transferred from NC State.  This year it is Danny O’Brien who transferred from Maryland.  O’Brien led Maryland to a 9-4 record in 2010 and was ACC rookie of the year, but struggled last season under new coach Randy Edsall, throwing 10 interceptions compared to just 7 touchdowns.  Because O’Brien graduated in three years, he is eligible to play immediately without needing to sit out a year (the same situation happened with Russell Wilson at NC State because Wilson was a graduate student).

    Quarterback Danny O'Brien

  • Quite a different QB situation in 2011 than Wisconsin was used to.  Wisconsin typically just expects game management and consistency from their QB’s, but Wilson brought an entirely new element to the offense when he showed up in Madison with 4,000 all-purpose yards from his last year at NC State.  And he thrived with the Badgers last year.  He completed 73% of his passes, had a mind-blowing 33 TD-4 INT ratio, passed for over 3,000 yards and ran the ball as well.     Danny O’Brien isn’t exactly bringing the same resume (it took him two seasons to hit 4,000 yards).
  • The success of the running game certainly helped.  Montee Ball was the #1 rusher in the nation last year (1923 yards, 33 TDS) (put in Ball’s records from media guide).  He had double the carries of James White, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2010 (714 yards, 6 TDs in 2011).  The big talk in the off-season last year was Ball’s big diet change and apparently it paid off.  Ball dropped 20 lbs from 236 to 214 for this season because he thought he was too top-heavy and that was causing him to trip over his feet.  Now he feels faster and thinks his cuts are a lot more smooth. Ball’s diet secrets. “So what I would do is after every lift and after every run we would do as a team, I would just take it upon myself to just jog back to my apartment and while I do that I would just go in and eat healthy food and probably like a couple hours later I would go out and jog three miles and then come back and eat the same sort of foods and then drink lots of water.”  Right before the start of fall camp, Ball was attacked  by five men and suffered a concussion. The incident is still being investigated, but Ball is expected to make a full recovery.

    Running Back Montee Ball

  • Last year the offensive line last three players to the NFL Draft and yet they led the way for the same incredible rushing yards (the QB also probably helped create a diversion).  This year they lost three starters (including 1st and 2nd round NFL Draft picks) and once again the experience on their line declines. Wisconsin’s Offensive Line will still pave the way for plenty of yards as one thing you can count on with Wisconsin is big offensive linemen .  They are slated to be just as big as last year (average 6’5 , 321 lbs).
  • This year defense has 6 starters returning. The top two tacklers return, but they do lose some experience.  The Defensive Line allowed the most rushing yards since 2005 last year, giving up over 150 yards per game and ranking 60th in the nation.
  • This team scored 539 points in 2010 and they did even better in 2011 with 618.
  • In 2011 Wisconsin welcomed Nebraska to the Big Ten with a 48-17 domination.  This year, the game is at Nebraska and will once again kick off conference play.   Again, the Big Ten isn’t presenting them with a daunting schedule, but I would expect two or three losses (Nebraska, Illinois and/or Ohio State).