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CFN: Wisconsin Preview

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For more previews, predictions and prognostications, go to the CollegeFootballNews.com.


Prediction: 9-4

Head coach: Barry Alvarez
13th year: 84-55-4

Overview: For a program that prides itself on finding ways to win, it has severely underachieved the last two years. The 2000 Badgers were one of the nation's most talented teams, but lost four games. Last year's team couldn't stop 's running game, the passing game or handle anything or tried to do. This isn't a make or break year for the UW program that was on the verge of being one of college football's superpowers a few years ago, but it needs to make huge strides before next year's team, which should be loaded with experience, can make a big push for the Big Ten title. The offense would've been one of the nation's best this year had not blown out his knee in the spring game. Now the passing game will sputter and teams will be able to load up against the run. has been able to run over anyone no matter what, but if the Badgers have any hope of being in the Big Ten title race, they need to create ways to be multi-dimensional on offense and the defense has to be far better and much tighter than last year. The loss of Evans is eerily similar to the loss of WR Lee Deramus in the spring of 1994. The defending Big Ten champs never recovered from the loss of Deramus and it'll be interesting to see if the Badgers can get past the disappointment of losing Evans.

2002 Schedule
*Predicted Wins in Bold
Aug. 23
Aug. 31 at
Sept. 7
Sept. 14
Sept. 21 Arizona
Oct. 5
Oct. 12 at
Oct. 19
Oct. 26 at St.
Nov. 2 at
Nov. 9
Nov. 16 at
Nov. 23
Best Offensive Player: Sophomore RB . WR is the team's best player, but until he gets back from his knee injury it'll be the up to Davis to carry the offense. Davis broke Tony Dorsett's freshman record for 100-yard rushing games with ten, and will need to play at least as well this year.

Best Defensive Player: Sophomore CB . He wears the number 2 and is a great tackler making 64 stops last year, but he's not Jamar Fletcher yet. Even so, he's growing into the job of the team's top cover corner and should become one of the league's best over the next few years.

Key player to a successful season: WR Darren Charles. With Evans out, the 6-6 sophomore will have to be a huge producer or the Badger offense will have to deal with teams loading up to stop the run.

The season will be a success if: the Badgers finish in the top three in the Big Ten race. doesn't quite have enough experience on defense or pop in the offense without Evans to win the Big Ten, but the schedule is relatively friendly to come very, very close.

Key game: Oct. 19 vs. . The Buckeyes might be the Big Ten's best team, but if can find a way to hold serve at home against , and , the Badgers will have a shot at the title.

Fun Stats: 

  • The Badgers gave up 95 points in 1st quarters, 85 in the 2nd, 111 in the 3rd and 55 in the 4th.
  • If UW has a 1,000-yard rusher this season, it'll be the 10th straight year it has had a 1,000-yard rusher.
  • UW was the first team in Big Ten history to have two 1,000-yard passers in the same season.

    Final Thoughts: It's hard to look to next year when a team has as much talent as has, but 2003 will more likely be UW's year. The main losses in 2003 will be WR , but he's not in the mix this year anyway, QB , but will be a fine replacement, and on the line which is loaded with great young depth. Every other spot on the team is young and athletic and it needs to go through the wars of a Big Ten season to get its seasoning. Fortunately for , the Michigan game isn't until late in the year when the young team should be fully jelled, but getting through , and to get to that point should be too much to expect a Big Ten title.

    Wisconsin Offense Preview | Wisconsin Defense Preview

    Ten Best Players
    1. WR , Sr. (INJURED)
    2. RB , Soph.
    3. C , Sr.
    4. OT , Sr.
    5. QB , Sr.
    6. CB , Soph.
    7. DT , Soph.
    8. SS , Jr.
    9. DE , Jr.
    10. QB , Jr.

    2002 Recruits

    Star of the class
    Alex Lewis LB 6-1 235 Delran, N.J. (SUNY-Morrisville)
    Conference Defensive Player of the Year at SUNY-Morrisville ¿ recorded 100 tackles and 10 sacks while earning all-conference honors ¿ junior college track and field all-American in discus, shot put and javelin ¿ will have two years of eligibility at ¿ all-league football pick twice in high school ¿ group II state track champ two times in high school career ¿ wrestling district champion as a prep ¿ team captain in both football and track ¿ biggest sports thrill was throwing discus at the Penn Relays in high school ¿ played for Coach Terry Dow in junior college and Pete Miles in high school ¿ mother is Belva Lewis-Taylor.

    Instant Impact Players
    Reginald Cribbs LB 6-1 215 Chicago, Ill. (Hubbard)
    Elliot Goode LB 6-2 225 Manlius, N.Y. (Fayetteville-Manlius)

    Other 2002 Recruits
    Scott Campbell K 6-0 225 , S.C.
    Cody Childs DB/RB 5-10 190 Poynette, Wis. (Poynette)
    Enrique Cook WR 6-2 185 Hammond, Ind. (Mt. Carmel)
    Graham Danielson QB 6-5 215 Black River Falls, Wis.
    Matthew Domonkos K 5-8 155 Windber, Pa. (Bishop McCort)
    Phillip Fuller RB 5-11 180 Irving, (Nimitz)
    Mark Gorman DL 6-4 240 The Woodlands, (The Woodlands)
    Randy Gyllin OL 6-3 305 Mauston, Wis. (Mauston)
    Zach Hampton DB 5-10 175 Lancaster, Wis. (Lancaster)
    Paul Joran LB 6-3 225 Apple Valley, Minn. (Apple Valley)
    Joe Monty DL 6-2 235 Ft. Collins, Colo. (Ft. Collins)
    Tony Moss RB 6-0 170 St. Louis, Mo. (Hazelwood East)
    Levonne Rowan DB 6-1 180 Erie, Pa. (Mercyhurst Prep)
    RB 5-11 215 Chicago, Ill. (Hales Franciscan)
    Booker Stanley RB 5-10 195 Milwaukee, WI. (Whitefish Bay)
    Joe Stellmacher DB 6-1 175 Berlin, Wis. (Berlin)
    John Stocco QB 6-2 180 Richfield, Minn. (Academy of Holy Angels)
    Steve VandeVoort LB 6-2 200 Waunakee, Wis. (Waunakee)
    LaMarr Watkins RB 6-1 205 Mt. Laurel, N.J. (Lenape)
    Brandon White WR 6-3 175 Palm Beach, Fla. (Dwyer)
    Andre Williams DL 6-2 285 , Pa. (Central Catholic)
    WR 5-11 170 St. Louis, Mo. (Hazelwood East)
    Mark Zalewski LB 6-2 230 Wausau, Wis. (East)

    Return to College Football Preview 2002
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