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NCAA Football Wisconsin Badgers

5 Players Who Will Make Or Break Wisconsin Football’s 2014 Season

Players Who Will Make Or Break Wisconsin Football's 2014 Season

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It's looking like Wisconsin is the early favorite to win the Big 10's West Division and receive yet another chance to represent its division in the Big 10 Championship game. Here are five players who will either make or break this season's run at a conference championship.

5. Jordan Fredrick/Kenzel Doe (WR)

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jordan Fredrick/Kenzel Doe (WR)

jordan fredrick wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

One of these guys has to step up this season for the Badgers. Last season, Fredrick and Doe caught 10 and seven passes, respectively. This season, one of them will have to become a reliable target for Joel Stave, who desperately needs someone to help bring up his comfort level in the offense.

4. Nate Hammon (S)

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

4. Nate Hammon (S)

nate hammon wisconsin
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin's pass defense was stellar a season ago, but that core will be taking a hit in 2014. Nate Hammon is the only returner with any experience in the secondary, and that's not a whole lot by itself.

3. Melvin Gordon (RB)

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

3. Melvin Gordon (RB)

melvin gordon wisconsin
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Gordon is the very obvious one here. As an early Heisman candidate and one of the best running backs in the country, you can depend on Gordon's productivity to be there. Should his season be hindered by anything, though, it's difficult to imagine Wisconsin going very far.

2. Vince Biegel (LB)

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

2. Vince Biegel (LB)

vince biegel wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Vince Biegel's job this season is simple, not easy. He must be a hefty part of the crew looking to replace Chris Borland. Biegel is one of a few backups who will be filling the hole, but he'll need to be the top dog in the middle.

1. Joel Stave (QB)

joel stave wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

1. Joel Stave (QB)

joel stave wisconsin
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Stave's role in Wisconsin's offense is probably larger than you think. If he can be an effective passer, the defense's job becomes much easier. You simply load the box and devote all your resources to stopping Gordon on the ground.