The Wisconsin Badgers, led by Melvin Gordon at RB, are likely to be a force in the Big Ten West, but their roster isn't without question marks. Head coach Gary Andersen talked about the youth of his roster, how they plan to replace production at WR, their flexibility, and questions about their schedule.
#Leadership is always a major discussion point at Big Ten media days, and here, Andersen praises perhaps his best player, not just as a player, but as a leader:
Gary Andersen again touting Melvin Gordon for stepping up as a leader. Michael Caputo gets similar praise on defense. #Badgers— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) July 28, 2014
#Wisconsin's Gary Andersen very high on Melvin Gordon's efforts as a leader this offseason.— ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) July 28, 2014
Perhaps the biggest story of Wisconsin's offseason though, will come under center. Joel Stave failed to light the world on fire last year, and many had wondered to what extent Wisconsin might have a QB battle, given the relative depth of potential candidates behind him. Well, consider that question answered:
Andersen reiterates the #Badgers' quarterback race is open.— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) July 28, 2014
Your two candidates? Stave and Tanner McEvoy. McEvoy spent some time at safety last season, and is considered to be the more athletic of the two.
#Wisconsin's Gary Andersen says no timetable for naming starting QB, but Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy will split most of the reps.words! — ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) July 28, 2014
Finally, somebody asked something we were all thinking about: Wisconsin's schedule, outside of LSU, looks pretty easy, doesn't it? Not a bad slate for a team with some youth and instability at QB. Apparently, Gary Andersen disagrees:
Asked about #Wisconsin's easy schedule/youth, Gary Andersen says: "First of all I think the schedule is very challenging." Mentions LSU, BG— ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) July 28, 2014
Okay, well, sure. LSU is really tough, and BGSU should be a very strong MAC team. That's true:
"There are no easy Big Ten games. I'll debate that with anyone who wants to debate it." -- Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen— Jim Naveau (@Lima_Naveau) July 28, 2014
Okay, you lost a little there coach, and I'm sure just about all of the internet would disagree. We did, after all, watch Purdue last season. But we can agree to disagree.
Finally, a tidbit about how Wisconsin may use different defensive packages for next season:
Andersen said versatility of DEs & LBs gives UW ability to have some different looks. Also will mix it up w/ combos of CBs & safeties— Marcus Hartman (@marcushartman) July 28, 2014
The Badgers will be a team to watch next year, one way or another, for sure.