A season with high hopes begins in Las Vegas Nevada, as the Wisconsin Badgers take on the UNLV Rebels. Las Vegas isnt too far from another place the badgers would like to play this year, Glendale Arizona, or Pasadena California. With most of their core returning, and a very promising running back, the badgers could revisit a city they haven’t been since 1999.
John Clay comes into this year with many great expectations. After rushing for 1,500 yards in 2009, Clay has alot of weight on his shoulders. Luckily for him his body might help. Clay comes in at 6’1 255 pounds as a junior. Thats almost Brandon Jacobs like. The team hopes Clay can have an even greater year than last year. Clay will get help from Wisconsin’s massive line. The Badgers were 15th in the NCAA last year in rushing. Thats really good, but there is always room for improvement. So, Wisconsin will likely do what they’ve done for most of their history: run.
They do have an underrated weapon. Scott Tolzien has been the big tens most efficient passer the last 2 years. He is under the radar because he runs a running offense, and he doesn’t have flashy numbers. Tolzien threw for 1,700 yards, 16 td’s, and 11 interceptions last year. He doesn’t put up bug numbers but he conducts the offense very effectively. He is a perfect fit for a run heavy offense. Don’t look for Tolzien in the Heisman contention, but look at him as a leader. We’ll habe to see if Tolzien is capable of doing something amazing this year.
You might not be able to tell how good the defense is week one , because UNLV isn’t a legitimate program, but you’ll see in weeks ahead. Look for the hard hitting safety Jay Valai to make some noise. Last year he had 51 tackles and one interception. He is one of the four senior starters on defense. At defensive tackle their starting freshman Jordan Kohout alongside junior Patrick Butrym. The defense was 33rd in the NCAA last year in points allowed with 22 per game. Look for the defense to help the badgers on their way in a promising looking season.
This is the last year the Badgers will play in an 11 team conference. They’re hoping in Madison that they’ll end the big 10 (11′s) last traditional year with a conference win. They have all the player in place. There’s a need to break out of the non BCS habits they’ve had over the years. If Wisconsin can handle Iowa and Ohio State, then Wisconsin could possibly get a chance to handle Alabama, or Florida, etc. NO matter what happens. it all starts in Vegas.
About the Author
Written by James Hagedorn
I was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1995. I am a huge fan of any team in the whole state of Wisconsin. The badgers have always been a big part of me. I can barely remember when they beat Stanford to win the 2000 rose bowl but I do remember the happiness in my family after that.