A week after getting gashed by the Alabama Crimson Tide offense, do the Badgers get a break with the Redhawks of Miami (OH) coming to Camp Randall for the home opener of the Paul Chryst era at the University of Wisconsin?
Thereâ€™s only one way to find out and thatâ€™s to dive in to our wonderful weekly feature known simply as “opposition research” and get down to the numbers and reality of the situation.
So, letâ€™s jump right in to breaking down the Redhawks offense.
Starters:Â (2015 season stats)
WR:Â Sam Martin - So. (6-3, 199) â€” 1 reception, 17 yards
WR:Â Rokeem Williams - RS Jr. (6-1, 198)Â â€” 2 receptions, 51 yards, 1 touchdown
WR:Â Jared Murphy - RS So. (5-10, 184) â€”Â 5 receptions, 101 yards, 20.2 avg.Â
LT:Â Trevan Brown - RS Sr. (6-4, 300) â€”Â 32 career starts, has played every position but center along off. line
LG:Â Jimmy Rousher - RS Jr. (6-2, 289) â€” 15 career starts, played last 2 seasons on Def., recorded 24 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss in 2014.Â Â
C:Â Brandyn Cook - Sr. (6-3, 307) â€” 10Â career starts, 2 starts in 2014
RG:Â Sam McCollum - Fr. (6-2, 306) â€”Â 1 career start,Â earned all-metro special mention and first-team all-conference as a senior in high school
RT:Â Terry Davis - RS So. (6-4, 290)Â â€” 3 career starts
RB:Â Alonzo Smith - RS Fr. (5-9, 225) â€” 12 carries, 86 yards, 2 touchdowns
QB:Â Drew Kummer - RS Sr. (6-3, 211) â€” 14-19, 255 yards, 2 touchdowns
TE:Â Nate Becker - RS Fr. (6-5, 265) â€”Â no stats in 2015 yet
Miami (OH) Offense Rankings: (Stat/MAC/National)Â *according to CFBstats.com
Total Offense:Â 466.0ypg — 6th — 48th
Scoring Offense:Â 26.0ppg — 7th — 79th
Passing Offense:Â 261.0ypg — 7th — 48th
Rushing Offense:Â 205.0ypg — 4th — 53rd
Badgers Defense Rankings:Â (Stat/B1G/National)
Total Defense:Â 502.0ypg — 12th — 103rd
Scoring Defense:Â 35.0ppg — 12th — 93rd
Passing Defense:Â 264.0ppg — 11th — 89th
Rushing Defense:Â 238ypg — 13th — 23rd
3 Keys to Badgers Success:
1. Donâ€™t Pay Attention to the Stats: OK, this is more a warning for the fans, because the disparity between these two teams seems large on paper, and youâ€™re right â€” itâ€™s just in the exact opposite way of the stat sheet. I mean Presbyterian is no North Dakota State, let alone Miami (OH) and certainly light years away from Alabama.
2. Eliminate the Big Plays: If thereâ€™s been one Achilles heel of Dave Aranda-coached defenses, it has been Wisconsinâ€™s inability to eliminate the big plays. Part of it is the fact that they do so well on almost every other down that the big plays stand out. Still, last week if the Badgers eliminate one or two of the big plays the game looks very differently.
As for the Redhawks offense, it is clear that it is meant to be a big-strike offense, with quarterback Drew Kummer averaging nearly 20 yards a completion. UW will need to also watch for it in the run game, which killed it last week. Running back Alonzo Smith needed just 12 carries to get to 86 yards and two touchdowns before being shut down a bit for his backup. While the competition may have had something to do with the numbers, big plays have continued to kill this defense and stopping them against anyone would be a great thing to see.
3. Get to the Quarterback: Wisconsin got off to a decent start against the Crimson Tide, racking up 9.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks against a rebuilt offensive line. Continuing to show confidence and growing as a young front seven would be huge. Besides, hitting the quarterback early, often and hard is never a bad thing. Particularly when youâ€™re looking to find some way to dominate an opponent that is inferior on paper. Showcasing an ability to get to the quarterback gives future opponents just one more thing to worry about.