Wisconsin to tackle Terriers, ‘Wingbone’

first_imgJunior quarterback Scott Tolzien will look to provide his defense with a big cushion against FCS opponent Wofford Saturday.[/media-credit]With FCS opponent Wofford (1-1) coming to Madison this Saturday, the Wisconsin football team is simply hoping to learn from last year’s battle against FCS opponent Cal Poly.“If you don’t learn from history, you are bound to repeat it,” sophomore defensive tackle Patrick Butrym said, “which makes Cal Poly an advantage going into Saturday. We have a scheme that is a little different from last year.”The Terriers, who are being paid $500,000 to head to Camp Randall, come to town with a triple-option offense similar (though not the same) to the one Cal Poly employed so effectively against the Badgers last year. For those who have forgotten, Cal Poly put up 35 points against the Badgers defense and took UW into overtime.“The biggest thing [Cal Poly] does is (they) give you just another chance to see how this style of offense is going to attack your scheme,” UW defensive line coach Charles Partridge said. “We can get some suggestions from just how did they attack that scheme, so it’s good, valuable experience.”According to Butrym, the option offense — nicknamed the “Wingbone” — doesn’t change much in preparation, but being assignment sound is key.“Fundamentally, you have to play the same. If you aren’t playing with fundamentals, you are going to get exposed,” Butrym said. “Though it’s a different scheme, you still just can’t beat yourself.”Although this is the first option offense the Badgers have come across this season, preparing for an option is not that new for the Badgers. To practice, UW has inserted freshman wide receiver Jared Abbrederis as the scout team quarterback this week.With Michigan running a zone-option offense and Ohio State using quarterback Terrelle Pryor in option situations, Wofford could prove a nice warm up for Wisconsin.“Fortunately, with all the spread offenses and zone options that have come into play, we do a lot of option-style defending,” Partridge said. “There is a lot of carryover from that standpoint. It is a challenge but something that we are excited about.”Option offenses often generate big plays when teams abandon their assignments, but they can also be effective if teams play tentative within those roles. For the Badgers to be successful this weekend, the team must be confident and comfortable in its defensive scheme.“As long as you are aggressive through your responsibility, then everything is going to be fine,” Partridge said. “If you’re the quarterback, play the quarterback. If you are the dive player, then play the dive player. You play your man aggressively, then you are going to be fine. When guys get aggressive to the point where they try to do more then their job, you start to have problems.”“You can’t press to make plays because that is when you make mistakes and that is when you get exploited,” Butrym added. “You just have to maintain your gap, and when an opportunity comes, take hold of it.”Through two games this season, the Terriers have run on more than 85 percent of their plays. With such a low passing percentage, play-action plays become particularly effective.“You have to be on [for their pass game],” UW head coach Bret Bielema said. “They are averaging something like 12, 14 throws per game. They pound you, they pound you and pound you and then try to go play action over the top. I know in their first two games they scored on their opening possession and had some connections in the passing game.”On the offensive side of the ball, fans can expect more of the same from UW. With John Clay starting the first game of his career, a run heavy battle between both sides can be expected.If things are going well for the Badgers, however, freshman quarterback Curt Phillips may see the field after sitting against Fresno State last Saturday.“Scott has done a good job through the two games, and Curt has continued to do some good things,” Bielema said. “The part that we have is we have a couple of options. If [the Fresno State game] had kind of flowed a little bit different on Saturday, there is a very good chance we would have saw Curt. So, the same thing going into this week.”With most preseason polls predicting Wofford to finish second in the Southern Conference to four-time defending champ Appalachian State, Wisconsin certainly won’t be taking anything for granted.“The one thing that they bring is they are very, very tough and they are competitive,” Bielema said. “They are used to winning. They went to the playoffs the last two years in their division and have a lot of successful coaching over the last several years.”last_img

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