PCP: Most surprising decision?

first_imgBraun: The question that has challenged the UW football coaching staff all summer has been one with two answers. At least that’s what we thought.Who will start at quarterback for the Badgers? The most logical answers would be Dustin Sherer or Curt Phillips — either the experienced senior or the hyped freshman.Then, seemingly in a matter of days, that competition was all for naught. Sherer begins to learn hand motions on the sidelines and Phillips is in cruise control, getting ready to start against Northern Illinois on Saturday.And now, your starting quarterback is… Scott Tolzien?Wait, really?When the coaching staff released the depth chart on Aug. 27, I was surprised to see Zach Brown ahead of John Clay and the freshman Mike Taylor on top of the linebacker core, but none of them compare to the shock from seeing Tolzien’s name on the top of the list.Now I know we haven’t seen much from Tolzien. A brief appearance at Iowa last season was just about as much he’s played in any game in his career at UW. He might work hard, but it’s not like he’s much more developed in game situations than Phillips.Obviously, Tolzien has played more than Phillips, but what he lacks in past game experience, he makes up for with talent and the ability to develop as UW’s quarterback over the next four seasons. That should be enough for the UW coaching staff to put him in the starting role.Bleach: Bret Bielema anointing junior Scott Tolzien as his starting quarterback is surprising, Jonah, I will give you that.Opening the season with freshman linebacker Mike Taylor among the front seven, however, is nothing short of shocking.Coming out of spring camp, Bielema assured the media the three linebackers would be Jaevery McFadden, Culmer St. Jean and Blake Sorensen, with no one else being close.Well, two out of three ain’t bad.Although Sorensen probably isn’t too pleased with the move, everyone else in Badgerland should be. With Taylor starting as a freshman, Wisconsin will have a legit linebacker for four straight years (barring injury, knock on wood!) and a cornerstone leader of the defense in the wings.The defense had two major weaknesses last year: giving up big plays and struggling to create big plays. You know, other than that, they were fine.With Taylor in the game, hopefully at least one of those issues will be resolved. Although Taylor is a fairly big unknown, the rumor mill and my eyes from fall practice saw a fast linebacker who is extremely aggressive. The crystal ball we keep in the Herald shows sacks, interceptions and forced fumbles in his future.Either way, starting Taylor is the boldest of many moves Bielema has enacted since fall camp broke. It’s up to the precocious youngster to prove it’s also his wisest.last_img read more

Football: East meets West as Wisconsin, Michigan clash at Camp Randall

first_imgThings are going to get exciting this weekend as the University of Wisconsin welcomes the Michigan Wolverines to Madison in for a Big Ten battle.The Badgers (10-0) are the Big Ten West champions for the 2017 season, punching their tickets to Indianapolis after their victory last week against Iowa. Michigan (8-2), on the other hand, is still hoping to claim a Big Test East title, and a win against Wisconsin would certainly do the trick.There is a lot on the line for the Wolverines this weekend, because the Big Ten East race is incredibly close right now. While Ohio State might be in the lead, Michigan could still find themselves facing Wisconsin in Indy if they play perfectly against the Badgers.Football: Wisconsin struggles against Hawkeyes, injuries continue to plague teamThe University of Wisconsin football team might have won Saturday afternoon, but their victory against the Iowa Hawkeyes was fleeting. Read…Not only would Michigan have to get a win this weekend, but they would also have to secure a victory next weekend as they take on Ohio State. As if that wasn’t enough, Michigan will also have to rely on Penn State and Michigan State both getting losses sometime in the next two weeks.Michigan will be fighting for their lives Saturday, and with College Gameday in town, the Wolverines are sure to put on quite the show. It will be up to Wisconsin to prove that they can handle one of the best teams in the East, and that they truly are the best team in the Big Ten.The Wisconsin defense is ready for this challenge there’s no doubt about that. Wisconsin managed to hold Iowa to just 66 yards last week, resulting in zero touchdowns for the Hawkeyes.Iowa proved to be quite a challenge for the Wisconsin offense, as quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw for three interceptions against the Hawkeyes, resulting in two touchdowns for Iowa. Hornibrook has been rather interception-prone this season, throwing a grand total of 12 since week one.Wisconsin football: The best coaches to have led the BadgersCoaching a Division I football team is a task many people are not qualified to do. In the history of Read…Against Iowa, these missteps were inconvenient at worst, but the Badgers managed to bounce back. Against Michigan, those mistakes could be the difference between a victory and the first UW loss of the season.While Wisconsin’s defense is currently No.1 in the nation, the Wolverines are not that far behind, currently sitting at No.3. While the Michigan defense is worse at rushing defense than Wisconsin (No. 9 to No.1 respectively), they are better than the Badgers at passing defense, sitting at the No.2 spot compared to Wisconsin’s No. 7.The Badgers and the Wolverines are just about equal for time of possession, and neither one is considered to have a better offense than other teams in the Big Ten, like Ohio. This game might purely come down to which defense can make bigger plays, and which offense can minimize those opportunities.One Century of Camp Randall: A Brief HistoryToday, Camp Randall Stadium can hold upwards of 80,000 football fans at capacity after a long journey of innovation, renovation Read…This game will be a great challenge for Wisconsin, and will surely help the only undefeated team in the Big Ten gain some confidence as they get ready to close out their regular season. If Wisconsin can do what it does best, and play the caliber of football that they are capable of playing, this weekend should end in another Badger victory.Kickoff happens at 11 a.m., with the matchup also being televised on FOX. As fans might know, College Gameday will be setting up on Bascom hill, with fun pregame celebrations occurring throughout the morning.last_img read more