Yep, we've barely had a week to digest what happened in a Rose Bowl loss ONCE again. But, life goes on and for Wisconsin there's a new era afoot, so why dwell on the negative past when we can try and be positive by looking into the future. Well, that's exactly what we'll do for you as we give you our WAY too EARLY look at Wisconsin's 2013 opponents. So, have some fun and tag along with us!
We'll break down what the team did in 2012, what that tells us about 2013, and look at who will and won't be back for each team, because you know we're the home of the most in depth coverage around!
We begin our series with a look at a team that took it's lumps as a member of the FBS level for the first time in 2012 - the Massachusetts Minutemen who will come to Camp Randall on August 31st.
2012 Record: 1-11
2012 Billingsly Ranking: 123rd
2012 Team Stats:
|Scoring Offense||12.7ppg||Scoring Defense||40.2ppg|
|Rushing Offense||89.6yds||Rushing Defense||223.7yds|
|Passing Offense||187yds (9TD's/19INT's)||Passing Offense||235.2 (26TD's/13INT's0|
2012 Crazy Stat: Wisconsin will lose more TD's with Montee Ball graduating than UMass scored as a team in 2012. Ball had 22 touchdowns to UMass's total of 18 on the year (9 passing TD's, 8 rushing TD's, and 1 defensive TD).
What Does 2012 Tell Us About UMass: UMass may have had a rough, rough start to their life as a member of the FBS, but they didn't lack in gaining experience as 30, yes THIRTY freshman (redshirt & true) played in 2012. 17 of them started at least one football game.
So, in 2013 this team should be at least a little bit better on just experience alone, however being just a little bit better won't be good enough for a program really building from the ground up at the FBS level. It really hurts that they will lose two all-MAC defensive players in Perry McIntyre (1st team) and Darren Thellen (2nd team). Hey, at least they'll return all-MAC punter Colter Johnson. 2012 was all about improving and setting a bar of where this team needs to be, so taking much away from their 1st season in FBS football is a bit much if you ask me.
Series History: This will be the first ever meeting between the Badgers and Minutemen.
Key Losses: Michael Cox, RB (715yds, 5TD's); Dion Walker, WR (led team w/ 59rec, 667yds); Alan Williams, WR (42rec, 4TD's); Stephane Milhim, LT; Nick Speller, LG; Quinton Sales, C; Perry McIntyre, OLB (132tkls, 7.5tfl's, 3 sacks, all-MAC 1st team); Darren Thellen, S (79tkls, 3INT's, all-MAC 2nd team)
Key Returning Players: Mike Wegzyn, QB (1,825yds, 52.6% comp., 6TD's, 10INT's); Hafis Williams, DE (50tkls, 5.0tfl's); Kassan Messiah, MLB (65tkls, 3tfl's); Blake Lucas (7-8FG's, long of 39); Colter Johnson, P (43.8avg, 19 of 50yds or more, all-MAC)
WAY too Early Prediction: Wisconsin 66, UMass 13 - Come on, you can't be serious? Do you actually think we're picking anything but a Wisconsin blow out in this one. Yes, freshmen got some valuable playing time for UMass, but they aren't even competitive on a MAC level right now (beating Akron isn't exactly a huge feat), let alone competing with a defending three time B1G Champion. This one could be over by the end of the 1st quarter if you ask me.