Meet the Badgers

Wisconsin (2-1) and up to 76,634 of its fans will await the winless Tar Heels (0-2) in Camp Randall Stadium Saturday at noon EDT.

Click here for Monday's quotes from Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarez

Following their stunning 23-5 home loss to UNLV, the Badgers dropped out of the rankings this week from as high as No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25. That may not be good news for Carolina, who once again, will likely be unable to catch a favored opponent looking ahead.


Jim Sorgi
Head coach Barry Alvarez is still scratching his head trying to determine what happened last Saturday, but don't let the slip up fool you. Wisconsin has talent at all the offensive skill positions – QB, RB, WR. In their 48-31 win over Akron two weeks ago, the Badgers became the first team in Big Ten Conference history to have a 200-yard rusher and a 200-yard receiver in the same game. Wisconsin also has a quality win, a 24-17 victory at West Virginia in the season opener.

Wisconsin is ranked third in the Big Ten in total offense, averaging 440 yards per game. However, while their offense managed 291 yards, they allowed eight sacks for a total loss of 67 yards and committed five turnovers versus UNLV.

This will be the first-ever meeting between UNC and UW, and just the third time that the Badgers have faced a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Wisconsin defeated Virginia 24-17 in the 2001 season opener and Duke 34-20 in the 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl.

Here's IC's weekly trip through the depth chart of UNC's next opponent.

Quarterbacks

Jim Sorgi (6-5, 190, Sr.) is the real deal at the helm of the offense. Earlier this season, he became one of just 14 quarterbacks in NCAA history to throw a 99-yard touchdown pass. Sorgi has 2,965 career passing yards and a 133.7 efficiency rating, as he enjoys just his first year as the full-time starter. Don't expect to see backup Matt Schabert unless Sorgi gets hurt or the Badgers open up an insurmountable lead.

Running Backs


Anthony Davis
Tailback Anthony Davis (5-8, 191, Jr.) was the nation's leading rusher over a span of two years (2001-02) with 3,021 yards. But Davis' availability for Saturday's game is in doubt, after he suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter last week and didn't return to the game. Dwayne Smith (5-11, 225, So.) took over for Davis and rushed for 92 yards on 18 carries. He rushed for 552 yards last season as a true freshman, which ranks fourth all-time in Wisconsin school history behind Ron Dayne, Alan Ameche and Anthony Davis. Matt Bernstein (6-2, 273, So.) blocks mostly from the fullback position, but did have a two-touchdown game last year versus Fresno State.

Wide Receivers

Lee Evans (5-11, 202, Sr.) is the most dangerous player on offense. He is UW's career leader with 2,597 receiving yards, and leads the Big Ten averaging 114 yards per game this season. Evans needs just five catches to supplant Al Toon as the Badgers' all-time leader for receptions. Brandon Williams (5-11, 170, So.), who is the team's second leading receiver with 14 catches this year for 178 yards, will line up at the other wide receiver position. Jonathan Orr (6-3, 190, So.), who set a team record with 842 receiving yards as a freshman last year, will be in on the three-receiver sets.

Offensive Line

There are no seniors in the starting lineup and it showed in the offensive line's inability to protect Sorgi last week. However, the unit does not lack size. Guards' Dan Buenning (6-4, 298, Jr.) and Jonathan Clinkscale (6-3, 308, Jr.) are the only returning starters, with tackles' Mike Lorenz (6-5, 313, Jr.) and Morgan Davis (6-5, 326, Jr.) getting their first starts this year. Center Donavan Raiola's (6-3, 290, So.) older brother Dominic, was All-America at Nebraska and now starts for the Detroit Lions.

Tight Ends

Tony Paciotti (6-4, 263, Jr.) is a two-year starter that has never caught a pass in a game. Look for him to serve as a sixth lineman in nearly all situations when he is in the lineup. Jason Pociask (6-3, 250, So.) will also play.


Jeff Mack
Defensive Line

End Jonathan Welsh (6-4, 228, Jr.) has collected two sacks this season, including at team-high 17 yards on tackles for loss. On the other side, Darius Jones (6-3, 268, Jr.) returned to action and forced a fumble last week after missing the second game of the season against the Zips. Tackles' Anttaj Hawthorne (6-3, 300, Jr.) and Jason Jefferson (6-3, 307, Jr.) have a combined 34 starts between them.

Linebackers

Jeff Mack (6-0, 244, Sr.), a 2003 Butkus Award candidate, ranks third in the Big Ten with 32 tackles so far this season. He was the defensive MVP of the 2002 Alamo Bowl. Over a three-year span, UW is 9-2 when Mack is in the starting lineup and 1-5 when he is not. Alex Lewis (6-1, 237, Sr.), who has already blocked two punts this season, recorded seven tackles (two for loss) and a sack against the Mountaineers. Chris Catalano (6-1, 206, Jr.), a converted wide receiver, is seeing his first action at linebacker this year.

Defensive Backs

Free safety Jim Leonhard (5-8, 183, Jr.), now on scholarship for the first time, is second on the team with 27 tackles this season. He led the nation last year with 11 interceptions and already has one this year against Akron. And according to the Wisconsin media guide, he is also the the team's slam-dunk champion. Corners' Brett Bell (6-0, 193, Jr.) and Scott Starks (5-10, 158, Jr.) and strong safety Ryan Aiello (6-1, 196, Sr.) round out a formidable defensive backfield for the Badgers.

Special Teams

Lewis blocked a punt for a safety versus UNLV last week; and blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown at West Virginia. Kicker Scott Campbell (6-0, 245, Sr.) missed his first two field goal opportunities of the season, but has rebounded to convert on four of his last five attempts. Punter R.J. Morse (6-1, 246, Jr.) has pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line five times this season. Leonhard holds the Wisconsin record for punt-return average with 12.3 yards per return.


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