Wisconsin Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Wisconsin Badgers
Big Ten


Wisconsin did not exactly earn a spot in the Big Ten title game. The Badgers got off to a very slow start. They did improve as the season progressed, but the schedule got tougher too and the Badgers ended up with just a 4-4 mark in Big Ten play. With Ohio State and Penn State ineligible for the postseason, Wisconsin did not have much competition winning the Leaders Division and 4-4 was good enough. But, of course, the Badgers proved they belonged in the Big Ten title game with an absolute whooping of Nebraska.

2012 Record: 7-5, 4-4
Coach: Bret Bielema
Coach Bowl Record: 2-4

Big Wins: 11/10 at Indiana (62-14), 12/1 vs Nebraska (70-31)
Bad Losses: 9/8 at Oregon State (7-10), 10/27 Michigan State (13-16)

The Badgers defense will keep them in every game. Of their five regular season losses, four of them were by a field goal. The fifth, to Ohio State, was by a touchdown. This is not a team that is going to get blown out. Mike Taylor, Ethan Armstrong and Chris Borland form the best group of linebackers in the Big Ten. Taylor is a tackling machine and Borland is a big hitter who can get into the backfield. With seniors Devin Smith and Marcus Cromartie manning the corners, Wisconsin has the luxury of bringing a little extra heat on the quarterback. And bringing some extra pressure from the linebackers or safeties is needed since this is a team that has dealt with a lot of injuries in the front four. Offensively, this is a team that will still run the ball. With Montee Ball and James White on the squad, they rarely need to do anything else. Ball and White may not have lived up to their lofty expectations due to an offensive line that has had some issues, but this is one of the most dangerous backfield duos in the nation.

The problem on offense comes when the Badgers need to pass. Danny O’Brien began the 2012 year as the starter, but was benched because of his ineffectiveness. Freshman Joel Stave came into the mix and did pretty well at first. Then it was senior Curt Phillips’ turn. Phillips is not a big play quarterback, but he has done a decent job of avoiding interceptions in his limited playing time. No matter who Coach Bret Bielema decides to be his quarterback, they will need help from Jared Abbrederis. The 6-2 junior receiver has had a bit of down season due to inefficiency at the quarterback position, but he has proven to be a big time receiver. Tight end Jacob Pedersen will be involved, especially in the red zone, but the lack of a true second receiver who can stretch the field and open up space for the entire passing game has been a problem all year and will continue to be a problem during the bowl.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Montee Ball, RB, 1,730 yards
Passing: Joel Stave, QB, 1,104 yards
Receiving: Jared Abbrederis, WR, 793 yards
Tackles: Mike Taylor, LB, 120
Sacks: Tyler Dippel, DE, 5.0; Brendan Kelly, DE, 5.0
Interceptions: Devin Smith, CB, 4

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 212.67 (23rd in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 167.75 (108, 11)
Total Offense: 380.42 (84, 8)
Scoring Offense: 27.50 (72, 8)
Rushing Defense: 111.33 (12, 2)
Pass Defense: 196.58 (24, 6)
Total Defense: 307.92 (11, 2)
Scoring Defense: 18.08 (17, 2)
Turnover Margin: .08 (57, 6)
Sacks: 2.08 (50, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 2.25 (82, 10)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Rose Bowl        Oregon (38-45)
2010    Rose Bowl        TCU (19-21)
2009    Champs Sports Bowl    Miami (20-14)
2008    Champs Sports Bowl    Florida State (13-42)
2007    Outback Bowl        Tennessee (17-21)

*all team stats through 11/24


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