This morning Fox’s College Football analyst, and former Colorado Buffaloes quarterback, Joel Klatt was gracious enough to give me a few minutes to ask him about the state of Wisconsin football. Klatt elaborated and touched on a host of things that the Badgers need to do to get back to being Wisconsin in 2019.
When I asked what Wisconsin needs to do to get back to their model of consistency, Klatt had this to say.
“I would say be Wisconsin, right? I think they need to play strong defense, they need to find a strong running game with all those new offensive lineman. Obviously with Jonathan you would think they could run the ball well.”
It’s hard to disagree with Klatt, as those are the principles of every successful Wisconsin football team. However, Klatt also talked about the quarterback play and some other notes that the Badgers need to improve on. When talking about the quarterback position Klatt continued.
“ Have a quarterback that plays, I hate to say safer, but cleaner football. That was the biggest issue. I thought the quarterback didn’t play clean football, but I don’t want to lay it all on his shoulders.”
Klatt also mentioned a conversation with Jonathan Taylor on Thursday evening. Klatt noted that Taylor talked about the level of intensity and focus for the team in 2018 was not where it was in 2017, and that getting back to that will be a key point for the Badgers.
“I was talking with Jonathan last night... I said what do you think the difference was? He was very candid about saying that he thought that the level of intensity and the urgency in the off-season and in practice wasn’t nearly the same last as it was in its freshman year when they went 13-1. He (Taylor) feels that the intensity and urgency from just the players, i’m not talking about the coaches, but an internal locker room standpoint has returned more to what it’s season was, so maybe that’s a really good sign.”
I think its more than fair to assume that something was different with the team last year, and the results obviously showed that as the Badgers did not meet the expectations they had set for themselves. If, internally, things are back to the way they were in 2017, it would be a welcome sign for the Badgers heading into 2019.
In wrapping up, Klatt noted that the Badgers don’t need to do anything special, but need to ‘Be Wisconsin’. However, he also mentioned the difficult schedule for the Badgers in 2019.
“They don’t have to do anything special, they just gotta be Wisconsin and they should be fine, although their schedule is tough this year.”
I think Klatt is one of the best college football experts in the game and he gave some very good points about the Badgers in 2019. Obviously the defense and run game has to be strong, as all Wisconsin teams hang their hat on these things. However the quarterback play has to improve, as does the locker room culture, although it sounds like some of those things have been fixed already because guys like Taylor and Orr have, potentially, taken over a strong leadership role.