There are fourth constants that neither waver but simply stand the test of time – (1) Life (2) Death; (3) Taxes; and (4) Wisconsin Badgers dominant running game. The Badgers running game has been a staple that has survived three coaching changes, a few wars, 20 million births, and a handful of U.S. Presidents.
And as expected in 2014 the Badgers mammoth offensive line will pave the way for another premiere rusher in Melvin Gordon who is blessed with a rare combination of size and speed. Last season Gordon rushed for 1,609 and 12 touchdowns but his production could double since his partner in crime from last year James White is getting paid to play in the NFL.
Since Jared Abberderis has finally exhausted eligibility the Badgers will be relied on like never before. Although starter quarterback Joel Stave has shown glimpses of promise his inconsistency and questionable decision-making may pave the way for the more mobile Tanner McEvoy who may be a better fit for Coach Gary Andersen‘s offense.
No matter whose under center the Badgers receiving corp is the great unknown. Their big and nasty offensive line will be relied to not only opening up holes for Gordon and friends but to their inexperienced receivers a few more seconds to get open.
On the defense the Badgers return both talent and experience but replacing All-American linebacker Chris Borland will not be easy. In an effort to get more big plays on defense the Badgers sacrificed size for speed. Although only three starters return from a defense that allowed the fifth fewest offensive touchdowns due to depth and experienced gained from last season little drop off is expected in 2014.
The experience of the Badgers secondary will compensate and occasionally save the day as the talented but experienced front seven gets up to speed. Despite the loses to graduation anything less than eight wins would be considered a disappointment.
Do the Badgers have holes? A blind man could see their holes. Can the Badgers win the Big Ten Conference? DOUBT THEM IF YOU DARE, their schedule says HECK YEAH! Can the Badgers make it to Arlington? WHY NOT THEM! Year in and year out the Badgers are overlooked, ignored, dismissed as a title contender. And every year the Badgers transform walk-ons and under-the-radar recruits like Abberderis and Borland, JJ Watts, Joe Thomas, Jamar Fletcher, Montee Ball and so many others into not just All-Big Ten performers but into All-American playmakers and game changers. The Badgers have proved us wrong before, led by a dominant running game and Heisman contender Melvin Gordon why should 2014 be any different? Stay tuned…I know I will.
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Subscribe to podcast