Bucky the Badger Players to Watch Week 5

Finally!  Conference season is upon us and first up, the pesky, and dangerous, Wisconsin Badgers.  Here are a few players to keep your eye on Saturday.  One of them is even a good ole Ohio boy!

Wisconsin 

Melvin Gordon, Running Back  #25-  While the Badger backfield also includes James White, Gordon is slowly beginning to take over the role of the feature back.  In all four of the Badgers games this season, Gordon’s worst game this year was 140 yards on 9 attempts, in a 48-0 win against Tennessee Tech.  Needless to say the kid is explosive.  He can between the tackles, with great vision, and when he gets in to open space, defenses are usually chasing him.  Now as dangerous as Gordon is, he has yet to face a defense that allows less that 150 yards rushing per game.  In his three games against FBS opponents, Gordon is averaging 161 yards per game.  Gordon will face an Ohio State defense who has only allowed 79.75 yards per game.  One side will have to budge.  If Ohio State wants to win, they must contain Gordon.

 

Jared Abbrederis, Wide Receiver #4-  Abbrederis is the utility man for Wisconsin.  Even with their limited passing attack, Abbrederis is still averaging 15.9 yards per reception.  He is the safety blanket  for the below average quarterback Joel Stave.  Abbrederis will attempt to take advantage of the play action game the Badgers will run on occasion.  Roby, and the rest of the Buckeye secondary will have to be wary of Abbrederis’ ability to sneak behind defenses for a big play.  If he is able to get behind the secondary just once and make it count, it may just give the Stave the confidence the Buckeye defense does not want him to find.

Chris Borland, Middle Linebacker #44-  Now for the Senior from Kettling, Ohio.  Chris Borland was a two star recruit out of high school, and for that reason, he wasn’t even offered by the Buckeyes.  Four years later, Borland is an All Big Ten linebacker, and is the cornerstone of the Badger defense.  Borland won’t put up amazing stats, but he anchors the Badgers stingy rush defense.  He has excellent positioning and will rack up massive amounts of tackles for the Badgers.  Look for Borland to be the consistent stronghold of the Wisconsin defense on Saturday.

Ohio State

Curtis Grant-  “This is without question one of the defining moments of his career.”  That was a direct quote from Urban Meyer, on the Big Ten weekly teleconference.  Ding, ding, ding, Curtis Grant your bell has been rung.  Grant will be HUGE in stopping the Badgers run game.  He has done very well this season in filling running gaps, and wrapping up running backs.  I’d be surprised to see Grant not play well Saturday night.  He’s a great, not good, but great run stopping line backer and should have a productive night Saturday.

Carlos Hyde-  This will be Hyde’s real first game back (with all due respect to FAMU).  Hyde’s conditioning will be tested in this game, as he will be called upon to tote the rock early on against a very stubborn Wisconsin defense.  The front seven of Wisconsin will be one of the biggest and stout run defenses will face all year.  Hyde will need to establish a power run game, to help set up other areas of the offense.  If the Badgers D are forced to respect Hyde, then the rest of the offense will open up for Braxton Miller, and will greatly assist any rust he may have to shake off.  Hyde is big time back, who shows up in big games.  I wouldn’t expect a lot of yards out of Hyde Saturday night, but I will expect him to get the call down close to the goal line.  If he can average around 3.5 to 4 yards a carry, the Buckeye offense will be very successful Saturday.

Braxton Miller-  Braxton’s rustiness is being way over played.  If this was Braxton of last year, who had messy mechanics and awful footwork, rust would certainly be a problem.  However, his mechanics are much cleaner this year, and he also seems much more committed to sticking with them than before.  Therefore, his rust may not be as serious as some are expecting.  Also, the Badgers secondary struggled against Arizona State’s pass attack two weeks ago, in a close loss.  Their secondary couldn’t handle the amount of weapons and tempo the Sun Devils threw at them.  I’m expecting a much similar story Saturday.  Braxton will also have his two trusted running backs, Carlos Hyde and Jordan Hall, to take some of the pressure off of him.  Expect Braxton to have a few quick early throws and get him in rhythm.  As long as his play-makers help alleviate pressure expect Miller to be just fine.  Braxton loves the spotlight, and I don’t think he will disappoint Saturday.

Comments

  1. I usually don’t get nervous about Wisconsin running backs (OSU has a history of shutting their run game down in the past few years) but Gordon makes me nervous. REAL nervous.

    I really hope that Grant answers the call. With a lot of base defense, he and Josh Perry have a chance to make their names known.

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