2019 Wisconsin Badgers College Football Preview
Wisconsin had their ups and downs last year, starting their non-conference schedule strong before being handed their first loss against BYU.
They would go 8-5 in all, finishing just 5-4 in conference play, a poor mark for them.
They relied heavily on their defense, which ranked #34 in the FBS in points allowed (22 per game).
That was their calling card and will be something they look to keep up this coming campaign.
Paul Chryst’s expectations for his group will likely be higher than they were last year.
Alex Hornibrook quarterbacked for the team for much of the season and his statistics were very unimpressive. 13 TD’s to 11 INT’S, and he had just 1,530 yards. His backup Jack Coan had 515 yards, five TD’s, and two picks in his limited time as QB, but he will be taking the reins in 2019 and hoping to lead them to greater success.
They return one of the best running backs in the country in Jonathan Taylor who had over 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 7.1 ypa. Redshirt freshman Nakia Watson will be taking over as the RB2, looking to spell Taylor on long drives or after significant gains.
AJ Taylor led the way with a measly 521 yards receiving on 32 catches, and will be back looking to expand upon those numbers during his senior season.
Their lineup featured 10 different players with at least one interception last year, very telling of the intelligence on this side of the ball. Scott Nelson and Rachad Wildgoose will be back in the fold, their leaders in passes defended a season ago. They hope to keep it coming.
TJ Edwards, Andrew Van Ginkel and Ryan Connelly had 20.5 tackles for loss combined last year, but now all three of themselves find themselves in the NFL, a massive void left to be filled with them out. It will be about the youth, and Zack Baun to get the job done.
Wisconsin Special Teams:
Rafael Gaglianone handled 100% of the kicks a season ago, converting all 48 XPA’s, but finishing only 10 of 17 field goal tries. The points he left on the board really left a lot to be desired at the end of drives. Collin Larsh will step in as the kicker this year.
Connor Allen and Anthony Lotti battled throughout last season, the punt reps being split between the two, but to start this season, Allen is the starter. Both are seniors.
They will play two weeks in a row to start the season and then they will have their bye week before conference play kicks off. An interesting decision for a team with a lot to prove this year.
The expectations will be high for these guys, but if Jonathan Taylor can run like we know him to, they could be something special. That combined with improved QB play would make them a tough out.
Wisconsin, at their best, could be a 10-win team.
Don’t forget to check out our NCAA College Football Betting Guide to stay up to date on all of the happenings in College Football throughout the 2019 Season.