For years, the Wisconsin Badgers have played a “bend but don’t break” style of defense where they molded to what offenses were doing and disrupted it enough to stall drives. It could be described as a “passive” style that relied on the offense being unable to execute in key situations to get off the field. New defensive coordinator Dave Aranda isn’t going to be standing around and waiting to see what offenses are doing in 2013, however, as he installs his defense to be a disruptive force next fall.
The old defense, while effective, had its drawbacks. The Badgers’ previous 4-3 defense was malleable and reactive, like a trained swordsman. They would parry and block, waiting for the offense to take a big risk or over-extend themselves before striking and getting the ball back to their offense. It ran into trouble when an offense could break out over the top or simply execute their way down the field in reasonable chunks and could sometimes read as “soft” against physical teams.
Aranda’s defense will be nothing like that. The new Wisconsin 3-4 defense that they will run in 2013 will be an aggressive defense that actively disrupts what offenses are trying to do. It will bring pressure and dictate what the offense will be able to run with different coverages and blitz schemes, effectively bringing the fight to the offense rather than reacting to what the offense is doing. Where their old defense was a sword fighter picking his spots, their new defense looks to be a body builder swinging a sledgehammer, wreaking havoc to everything in its path.
It is a new era for the Wisconsin defense where they will be the aggressor against the varied offenses they will face in the Big Ten. Will the Badgers bust up opposing offenses next season or will the aggressive defense burn them in 2013?