Nick Toon was the target on 28.5 percent of Wisconsin's passing targets last season. Unless a second wideout emerges, replacing Toon's presence in the offense will be extremely difficult.
Bill Connelly's statistical breakdowns are one of the best things about the offseason. He is currently running down the Big Ten, ostensibly bottom-up, so you'll have to wait a few more days to see Wisconsin's. The raw numbers are available, however, and in case you were wondering it is still a lot of fun reliving just how freakishly efficient the Badgers were last season.
As much as I love the data, I admittedly can only wrap my head around about half of it. I understand that a lot of ones in a row are a good thing, however. By statistical measure, Wisconsin had both the most efficient and most explosive offense in college football last season. As good as Montee Ball was, Russell Wilson looks perhaps even more impressive from the 1,000-foot view. A 33-4, TD-INT ratio and 72.8 percent completion percentage are jaw-dropping figures. As is 10.3 yards per attempt, second only to Robert Griffin III last season.
The numbers also highlight how much Wisconsin is losing from the passing game. Forget Wilson for a second. Nick Toon and Bradie Ewing were targeted on 34.9 percent of the offense's passing attempts last season. Toon led the team with a 28.5 percent target rate, while Ewing was deadly efficient with a 100 percent catch rate on 20 targets. Overall, that's 84 more receptions that need to be fudged amongst expanded roles for Jared Abbrederis, Jacob Pedersen and Ball if a second receiver doesn't emerge. James White playing slot would go a long way to alleviating the stress on Danny O'Brien, but it's hard not to see the passing game regressing next season. Which, you probably already knew that, but the point is it might have happened even if Wilson could somehow return.
The one thing we don't have to worry about is the offense getting all shmancy. New offensive coordinator Matt Canada spoke with Tom Dienhart and admitted that despite his spread background, he won't be changing a thing about the offensive philosophy passed on through the eons at UW. (Continued with links after the jump).
I think it's gonna be the same. Wisconsin has an offensive identity, but there always are differences (between coordinators). Paul and I have known each other a long time, but we are different. That's just the nature of our profession. We all do things a bit different. How we are different, I don't know. But I don't think you are going to see a huge difference.
That's a good thing. This is an offense that does what it does very well, and has enough returning pieces to presumably do very well again. Replicating last year's numbers just isn't going to happen, however, even if Canada turns out to be the second coming of Chryst (sorry).
Joe Krabbenhoft is pursuing his coaching dream and joining Bo Ryan's staff as the team video coordinator.
Adam Rittenberg on Bret Bielema and Mark Dantonio as two of the best bang-for-the-buck coaches in the country.
Brian Butch has been signed to the Bucks summer league roster, and may be taking on Anthony Davis.
This is demented. OTE is running a worst-of-the-B1G bracket, piggy-backing off their best-of tournament. The good news is 2001 Wisconsin won't be lasting long.
Ann Arbor is the whitest place on Earth, via Land-Grant Holyland.
Eric Martin breaches the fine line from Twitter rant to performance art. WE NEED OUR CHECKS!!
You've probably seen this already but screw it. Mascots doing 'Call Me Maybe'. Bucky wins. Herbie needs to update his video equipment. Purdue Pete and Willie the Wildcat MIA.
I'm waiting for a rainy day to sit down and read this, but Chris Brown's opus on the Air Raid is reportedly fantastic.
Wrapping up: Via EDSBS, choosing a quarterback that's right for you.