The Wisconsin passing game is not as potent as their rush. Junior QB Alex Hornibrook (62.3 COMP%, 25 TDs, 15 INTs) is a sound pocket passer, but he needs to reduce the number pf picks he throws. Seven of the team’s top pass catchers are back. That’s good news, as this is an experienced and deep group. WR Quintez Cephus (30 REC, 16.7 YPC, 6 TDs), a junior, led the team last season in touchdown catches.
Also, ready to go is OLB Andrew Van Ginkel (39 TKLs, 6.5 SCKs, 3.5 TFL, 2 INTs), a senior who last season tied for second in sacks and was second in TFL. The defensive backs include sophomore CB Dontye Carriere-Williams (30 TKLS, 6 PBU, 1 INT) and senior strong safety D’Cota Dixon (55 TKLS, 3 PBU, 1 INT). The secondary is, however, less experienced than the 2017 group, and there may be some drop-off here. Speaking of drop-off, the D-line has less experience and depth than they did last season. Senior NT Olive Sagapolu (17 TKLs, 3 SCKs, 1.5 TFL) will serve as the cornerstone for this unit.
How does our 2018 Wisconsin Badgers college football preview view the Badger’s special teams situation? On punt runbacks, Nick Nelson, who ran one back for a TD and averaged 8.6 YPR, will have to be replaced. Receiver A.J. Taylor may get the call. Taylor averaged 23.5 YPR on kickoffs last season. Senior PK Rafael Gaglianone (59-59 XP, 16-18) was stellar last season. He was 4-of-4 from 40-plus yards, including a 52-yard field goal. Junior Anthony Lotti (57 Punts, 40.0 YPP, 25 w/in20) was solid.
2018 Wisconsin Badgers College Football Preview: Final Word
Our 2018 Wisconsin Badgers college football preview finds that this team’s schedule is not as daunting as it might be. They start their season at home against WKU (Aug 31). The Badgers have won 22 straight home openers. One tricky game, mid-season, will be when they visit Michigan (Oct 13). Wisconsin will be going up against a team that’s strong, experienced, and balanced on both sides of the ball. Another road contest, this time at Penn State (Nov 10), could be harrowing. The Nittany Lions have won the last three meetings in this series. We do think, after every game has been played, that the Badgers will be facing OSU for the Big Ten title.
Top Three Takeaways
- Big time rush attack and great O-line
- Hornibrook needs to reduce INTs
- Solid defense that will be led by LB unit