View from the Bleach-ers

With No.11 Wisconsin ready to take on Arizona State, Badger Nation opens up the mailbag to debate some of the topics surrounding the Badgers football team.

MADISON — Welcome to the View From the Bleachers.

I am taking comments from the Premium Message Board from our subscribers and doing my best to answer them. So vent your thoughts and feelings midweek and get answers — whether satisfactory or not is up to you to decide.

Do more editorials, your fairly close to the team. For example I have been to both games so far and they look way over rated. Lets talk about this. — Fredneck

The inspiration for the column! Thank you Fredneck.

So you think the Badgers are overrated? I agree, we should talk about this.

Because you are probably wrong.

Wisconsin has yet to prove anything, certainly. But do two double-digit victories against over-matched opponents make them overrated? After all, the Badgers did go over 200 yards rushing in both games, make 13 trips to the red zone and rack up nearly 900 yards of total offense.

More importantly, all the mistakes UW made are imminently correctable. Fumbles in the red zone? It hasn't been a reoccurring problem in head coach Bret Bielema's tenure, and there is little reason to think it will become one now. The Badgers went through this same thing against Wofford last season, putting the ball on the ground six times before gaining better ball security.

On defense the Badgers are getting back linebackers Chris Borland and Mike Taylor at full go just in time for the Big Ten season. The pass defense looked fine, save for a couple of plays. And that was never going to be a strength of the team any way.

J.J. Watt has fulfilled O'Brien Schofield's role better then anyone could imagine. Special teams — a consistent source of frustration last year — have looked better then average.

The one legitimate source of concern would be the play of quarterback Scott Tolzien. He flat out has not looked good.

But I choose to look at his complete body of work last season, instead of two wins this season.

One way or another, the Badgers should provide a much better answer then I can with their play against Arizona State Saturday.

please refrain from using the word "great" when describing any of the current Badger running backs. — by EDSBS

I suppose this is all relative. Is John Clay the next coming of Jim Brown? Of course not. But if winning the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award as a sophomore doesn't qualify as greatness in the college tanks, we may want to tone down our standards.

Clay has rushed for over 100 yards in eight straight games. He has averaged 6.5 yards per carry and has yet to take a single carry for a loss. Clay lacks breakaway speed and recovering from ankle surgeries in the off-season, is not in ideal shape — which is hardly a problem with two capable backups and both are fairly petty complaints. There are few if any backs Bielema and co. would trade for in the college game.

While I wouldn't presume to set your standards for "greatness", you won't find a better back than Clay in the Big Ten.

I'd like to see Rouse with a bigger role. Taylor isn't close to being ready and Rouse is very explosive. — ajmadison

Seeing as Taylor has played only 35 snaps this season, it seems a tad unfair to dump on him already.

Furthermore, the issue isn't whether Taylor is ready to play right now; It is whether he will be ready for Michigan State. The sophomore linebacker was Wisconsin's leading tackler until his ACL tear last season. He figures to be a huge part of the Badgers future, assuming health of course.

Pulling the plug on him now would seem a bit unwise, no?

Either way, you should still see a lot of Rouse with Arizona State's fast-pace offense Saturday, as Bielema has maintained all linebackers will see significant snaps.


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