With the first year under Gary Andersen in the books, it's time for Badger fans to do some reflecting on the season. In my humble opinion, this season can't be viewed as a success. In fact, it's mildly disappointing. Losing at home to Penn State combined with losing all three games against teams that were viewed as equal or slightly better than Wisconsin leaves me desiring and expecting more out of the program. With the pretty favorable schedule combined with all the praise Bielema gave this year's team during the season last year, 9-4 isn't good enough at this stage in the program.
Before I go any farther, I do want to make it very clear I am very excited about the future of Wisconsin Football under Coach Andersen. The future is very bright and there is certainly a vibe around the program that Andersen and his staff can lead the program to places it has never experienced before. All i am saying is the on- field production this year wasn't good enough to the high standards Wisconsin football fans should have at this point for their team.
Going forward, there are a few major concerns that need to be addressed. I'm tired of watching this team lose games year after year because of the same reasons which are kicking, quarterback play, lack of receivers and secondary play.
Let's start with the quarterbacks . Next season's quarterback battle should be fascinating with Stave coming in as the favorite, but McEvoy, Houston and maybe even D.J. Gillins having a shot at the job. It will be disappointing if Stave wins the job to most Badger fans because he is obviously limited. I tend to agree with this, but obviously I have faith in the coaching staff to choose the best option.
Thankfully, Andersen and his staff do not ignore special teams and have used a scholarship on 3 star kicker Rafael Gaglianone this year. Year after year, the kicking game is atrocious so it's hard to believe this phase can't be upgraded in the short term.
Finding viable options at wide receiver next year is impossible to predict. Jordan Fredrick will most likely start but outside of that, I have no idea. Kenzel Doe, Robert Wheelwright and Alex Erickson all haven't shown much up to this point which could open the door for some true freshman to contribute. It will be impossible to replace Abbrederis' production with one or even two of these guys, but more consistent quarterback play could definitely help this group out.
Finally, the secondary was really exposed in the last two games of the season. I'm not real down on this group because they were picked apart by two really good quarterbacks in Christian Hackenberg and Connor Shaw. Sojourn Shelton looks like he could be one of the best defensive backs in the country by the end of his time at Wisconsin. To me, the secondary is the least of these four concerns going forward.
Overall, I consider 9-4 disappointing this season, but am very excited for the future of the Wisconsin football program under Coach Andersen. I can't wait to see how the staff's first recruiting class ends up as well as the opener vs LSU in 8 months or so. On Wisconsin!