The Wisconsin Badgers finished 2012 with an overall record of 8-6 after losing the final four games of the season. This season, the Badgers return several key starters, especially on offense. With most of the main skill position players returning, the Wisconsin offense will be the key to success in 2013.
Some may look at the offense and point to the fact that the loss of leading rusher Montee Ball will greatly hamper its success. However, even without Ball, the Badgers are loaded on offense and have capable replacements at running back.
Sophomore Melvin Gordon and senior James White will combine to give the Badgers a very effective backfield this season.
In 2012, Gordon ran for 621 and three touchdowns in limited action as a freshman. White rushed for 806 yards and added 12 touchdowns. White has shown the ability to be a major threat in the past, running for 1,052 yards with 14 touchdowns as a freshman in 2010.
Wisconsin heads into this season with two quarterbacks who both saw plenty of time last year. Sophomore Joel Stave and senior Curt Phillips both made starts in 2012 and will battle for the starting job this season. Stave led the team with 1,104 yards and six touchdowns. Phillips had fewer attempts and racked up 540 yards with five scores. It’s likely that Stave will begin the season as the starter.
Whoever gets the majority of the snaps under center will have the luxury of throwing to several talented targets. Seven of the Badgers’ top receivers in 2012 all return for this season. Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis and tight end Jacob Pedersen will both be senior leaders and will once again be favorite targets in the passing game.
Aside from the skill positions, the Badgers also return key players at other positions. Wisconsin is always known for having a tough offensive line, and 2013 is no different. Three starters return from last year and will give Wisconsin one of the best lines in the country.
On special teams, Kyle French returns to handle the placekicking duties, and Abbrederis and Gordon will handle the majority of the returns.
The Badgers have produced solid teams over the past few years, winning the Big Ten and appearing in the Rose Bowl in each of the past two seasons. This year, the experience and talent on offense will help lead Wisconsin to another successful season.