Are the 2008 Badgers a typical Big Ten grind-it-out
team with massive linemen opening holes for big running backs?
Yes, Wisconsin once again is a run-first team. It led the Big Ten with 212 rushing yards per game. The Badgers do have huge offensive lineman, and the two primary tailbacks are in the 235-240 pound range. For much of the year, this truly was more of a grind-it-out offense, especially because of injuries to tight ends Travis Beckum and Garrett Graham. In the second half of the season, the Badgers did display a bit more big play capability. One of the newer weapons in the running game has been wide receiver David Gilreath. The Badgers used him rather effectively on end-arounds. Also, as Dustin Sherer became more comfortable as the starting quarterback, the passing game showed signs of life.
Will Wisconsin have some new wrinkles to spring on FSU?
The Badgers rarely do anything fancy, even with extra time to prepare. Bret Bielema probably is a bit more of a risk taker than Barry Alvarez, but I doubt you will see much that is radically different from what Wisconsin did during the regular season.
Really, how important is this game to Wisconsin, especially after
so many recent trips to Florida bowls?
This is the fifth straight year in Florida, and the third time in four years in Orlando (the other two being the Capital One Bowl). While early indications project a low turnout of Badger fans, I believe this game is extremely important for the program. It has been a disappointing season, but clearly the view in these parts is that a win against a program such as Florida State would have tremendous meaning for Bielema and his team. To the players’credit, they didn’t quit after starting conference play 0-4. If the Badgers can beat FSU, it would be a good ending to an otherwise bumpy year.