Many have said, including myself that Wisconsin needs a second strong receiver to complement Abbredaris for the Badgers to have a successful passing game.
Why that may not be the problem and why Gary Anderson
’s recent recruiting of Dual threat Qb’s is sound.
Last year Wisconsin’s QB situation was a disaster. Danny O’Brien proved to not be what was expected, Freshman walk on Joel Stave
’s development was a work in progress before he was injured and Curt Phillips
known for his running not his arm was slowed after numerous knee surgeries, was rusty and not the QB he once was. The Qb situation in addition to WR Abby missing some of the season due to injury was challenging for first year OC Matt Canada and his newly installed offense.
Could Wisconsin have succeeded without another top-flight receiver complementing Abby?
A close look at Wisconsin’s upcoming opponent seems to indicate yes. It has been written that Arizona State University has a strong offensive passing game. Taylor Kelly
who was third string at the start of the year passed for over 3,300 yards and rushed for another 500 yards. Who were his top receivers? Tight end Chris Coyle was first with 690 yards, than came a wide receiver Rashad Ross
for 610 yards, next was a running back DJ Foster
at 533 yards, followed by another running back Marion Grice
for 425 yards.
ASU was successful (2 points away from Pac-12 crown) with a weak receiving core, a quarterback who lacked arm strength and without a single 1,00 yard rusher.
The key as I can tell was that ASU’s offense was up-tempo, Taylor Kelly could run, and that they spread the ball around to a large number of players.
Three Wisconsin QB’s combined for only 30 total yards rushing. Curt Phillips was the only QB to have positive rushing yardage, Stave and O’brien both lost yardage rushing. It showed the QB’s could not rush, extend the play and had weak pocket presence.
Compare again the 2011 season when Wisconsin had Russell Wilson Quarterbacking. Russell’s strength was exceptional pocket awareness, extending the play to get receivers open and he rushed for 338 yards while passing for 3,175. He did have the two receivers in Toon and Abbrederis along with Montee Ball
and a host of running backs and tight ends.
Currently Wisconsin coach Gary Anderson has stated they have incredible depth at Tight End, and we all know they have the running backs along with the best Big Ten receiver in Abby. GA is on the right track moving toward the mobile dual threat qb recruits that can extend the play or rush, which will improve the receiving game since Wisconsin has historically lacked depth at the receiver position due to the running game emphasis.
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