Previewing Wisconsin

The Florida State Seminoles (8-4) play the Wisconsin Badgers (7-5) in the Champs Sports Bowl Saturday afternoon on ESPN. Wisonsin is looking for their first signature win of the 2008 season while the Seminoles are looking for their first 9 win season since 2003.

Wisconsin Offense

Wisconsin's best player on offense (Travis Beckum) will not be playing on Saturday because of an injury earlier in the season. They are led by a very good rushing attack with P.J. Hill and John Clay. Hill is the more well known of the two players but Clay may be more talented. Both are very big players (Hill 236lbs & Clay 237lbs). They run behind a huge offensive line that should be the biggest that Florida State has seen this year. The offensive line averages around 318 lbs. Florida State's defensive line must create penetration in the backfield and disengage blockers to have a successful performance on Game Day. The Badgers don't ask their quarterback Dustin Sherer to do too much. He only averages about 125 yards a game passing. Wisconsin's style of offense will remind many of Boston College with less misdirection. Florida State will also be the fastest defense that Wisconsin has played all season. It's no secret what Wisconsin plans to do on offense. Will the Noles be up to the challenge?

John Clay will look to get in the end zone against the Noles

Wisconsin Defense

Wisconsin's defense is ranked #32 in total defense. They will be without starting linebacker Jon Casillas because of an injury. He was third on the team in tackles and one of the many seniors on the defensive side of the ball. Wisconsin is led by starting linebacker Jaeve McFadden (79 total tackles) and Niles Brinkley (4 interceptions, 9 pbu). Wisconsin biggest problem on defense this season has been getting to the quarterback on a consistent basis. Their rush and pass defense are both solid but not great. They are a very experienced group on this side of the ball. The Noles' will have their opportunities on Saturday. Look for Florida State to open it up and try to make this game a track meet.

Did you know?

* That Florida State Safety Myron Rolle and P.J. Hill played against each other on two occasions in high school with Hill's team coming out victorious in both meetings.

* That Florida State and Wisconsin have never played each other before.


Florida State has to try to block out everyone telling them how much faster they are than Wisconsin and this game won't be close. The Seminoles have played one complete game against an FBS opponent (Maryland) this season. Wisconsin has struggled this season but they are coming off a 3 game winning streak. If Florida State can handle Wisconsin's rushing attack and spread the field offensively then the Noles' should win this game. FSU 34 Wisconsin 17.

Stop Hill and you'll have an excellent chance to win. Easier said than done.

Nole Digest Top Stories