As I wrote our 2017 home game tailgating plans are firming up nicely. We’ll be at every game in Red Lot 5A and will be there hours early and about an hour after the game. I already put up one article and as we get closer to the end of camp I’ll pin the info to the top of the blog.
One thing – we’ll have a donation box for POV’ers who attend (and anyone else actually). One POV’er is donating a lot of time, effort and a parking space and the others are putting out some up front costs – so we’ll reimburse them… OK guys?
You all are the best and I have about another week before I settle in with my new volunteer work – I’ll try my best to be up to the Pitt Media Day on Tuesday then I’ll try to get more articles out on a regular basis…
Here is an example…
PAT SAID QADREE NEEDS TO PLAY BETTER THAN HE DID WHEN HE RAN FOR 1,100 YARDS TWO YEARS AGO.
CAN HE DO THAT?
POWELL: I don’t know. He was a redshirt freshman and that was two years ago. So I think he can. That’s the bar. We’re trying to raise the bar. He rushed for 1,100 yards, a little bit wiser, a little ability to anticipate and see things before they happen, receiving the tips that the defense gives you, he could have had more yards.
Hopefully he knows those things now or is learning them now, and when it comes to the time to play, hopefully he’ll be a better player.
OK Coach – now tell us what you really think.
Aaron Mathews – two-week suspension? From Rivals.com: (Who will be WR#2 if Henderson is in the slot?)
– Aaron Mathews was not, as the sophomore receiver missed his third practice in as many days Thursday. There had been no official word on Mathews’ status, so I asked Narduzzi prior to Thursday’s practice if he expected Mathews to join the team soon.
“I expect Aaron – he’s got some personal obligations he’s trying to take care of right now, as well as a lot of other guys, like I mentioned earlier a couple days ago. He’s got some things going on right now that he’s got to take care of. We expect to have him back there the end of next week. So he’s good.”
Well, I wouldn’t say “he’s good” if he’s not out there practicing. I have heard from a few people that Mathews was serving a two-week suspension; Narduzzi obviously didn’t use that language, but his timeline – saying Mathews will be “back there the end of next week” – fits the fortnight timeline I have heard.
Either way, he’s not there.
Here are some additional tidbits to keep the discussion juices flowing.
We have said that this year is the season that Pat Narduzzi is going to have to play ball with the majority of his starters being Narduzzi recruits, and transferred-in players.
I didn’t show the offensive chart below but at my best guess that out of 11 players only four are Narduzzi guys, with the OL being populated with Chryst recruits. I’m also assuming Ollison will be the RB with Aston.
So – Browne, O’Neil, Clark and Henderson, if he starts at WR, but all the WRs save Weah are Narduzzi guys. Total – four and all pretty talented.
On defense it will be a different, and let’s hope a better, story as we won’t have many starters who aren’t Narduzzi’s players, seven out of 11 there. The Chryst guys are Maddox, Briggs, Folston and Oluwaseun to start the season.
That is just flipped from the offense – and remember these are just speculative starters at this point before camp.
When I dug a bit deeper to look at the starting experience side of things what I found was pretty eye-opening once I delved into the stat book. Here is what I think the lineup will be over the first three matches. And to answer a recurring question about whose players are going to be playing in the defense as starters and back-up the Narduzzi acquired player are in amber.
|Star Ranking & Starts||Star Ranking & Starts|
|DE||Hendrix, Dewayne RS JR/TR||4* / 1||Edwards, Allen RS SR||2* / 4|
|NT||Camp, Keyshon RS FR||3* / 0||Herndon, Mike RS JR||3* / 0|
|DT||Watts, Amir SO||4* / 1||Roy, Shane RS JR||3* / 0|
|DE||Folston Jr., James RS JR||3* / 0||Rashad Weaver, RS FR||2* / 0|
|MONEY||Zeise, Elijah RS JR||3* / 1||Anthony McKee, RS FR||3* / 0|
|MIKE||Brightwell, Saleem RS SO||3* / 2||Pine, Chase RS FR||3* / 0|
|STAR||Idowu, Oluwaseun RS JR||WO / 12||McKee, Anthony RS SO||3* / 0|
|CB||Maddox, Avonte SR||3* / 27||Damar Hamlin, SO||4* / 0|
|SS||Briggs, Dennis RS JR||2* / 0||Phillipie Motley, RS JR||3* / 2|
|FS||Stocker, Jay RS SO||3* / 0||Ford, Paris FR||4* / 0|
|CB||Jackson, Dane RS SO||2* / 3||Hamlin, Damar SO||4* / 0|
|Star / Start Average||2.8* / 4
||3.1* / 6
As far as recruit rankings go our prospective defensive first string averages 2.9* and the back ups average 3.1*.
But the experience factor is what worries me. We are so inexperienced in fact that if you take away our only truly tested by fire 1st string player, CB Avonte Maddox and his 27 starts, we then average 2.0 starts with the other 10 starters.
Of course because backups in the two-deep are normally populated by younger players our 2nd string guys there average only 0.5 (1/2 game) starts each. That is really low and let’s keep – fingers crossed for no injuries.
What really got me thought was that in a majority of these younger player’s games played (aside from starts) it was almost always in the special teams unit and not at an actual field position on defense.
So -three years ago we had one of the youngest teams in the FBS – and it is coming around again. That 2014 team went 6-7 under Paul Chryst but I don’t think we’ll see that this season. But it is pretty worrisome when you see it laid out like that.
But those players on the 2014 team also gave us 16 wins over the last two years also, so who’s to say we can’t do that again or win even more! It’s a tough task I think but it wouldn’t be all that surprising.
Wisconsin’s Top Ten Spot
Quarterback Alex Hornibrook is a talented player who struggled as he split time with Bart Houston last year. However, with just a bit of improvement in his decisiveness and accuracy, the Badgers’ passing game could improve quite a bit.
The running game should be sensational, as it usually is in Madison. While Corey Clement has moved on, Chris James has transferred from Pittsburgh, and he should be ready for a memorable season. He will be running behind a powerful and huge offensive line, and that unit should be able to open up craters while blocking for him.