Wisconsin’s is going to look a little different this season, at least from a personnel standpoint.
Four of the Badgers’ starting five offensive linemen are gone and three-year starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook opted to finish his career at Florida State. While NCAA-leading rusher Jonathan Taylor and a slew of receivers return next fall, there’s no doubt Wisconsin will undergo some changes offensively.
That’s why Paul Chryst views the spring as so important, hoping to find the strength and weaknesses of a relatively new-look unit.
“Certainly you’ve got a foundational approach, I believe you always want to be balanced, probably game-by-game,” Chryst told reporters on Tuesday. “Last year we were a 60-40 team, 60 percent run, 40 percent pass. You’re gonna need them both to be good. I think you’re always striving to do that within what your group can handle. Obviously, we’re early in that process of finding this offense’s personality.
“It’s this group’s opportunity to build their own identity.”
Even before Chryst took over at Wisconsin, the Badgers have had incredible success running the football thanks to elite backs and powerful offensive line groups. Even though this year’s line might be inexperienced, it would be uncharacteristic to see Wisconsin steer away from establishing a prominent ground attack.
What the Badgers need to find is a passing attack that works, preferably one that stretches the field a little more frequently. Trying to play to the strengths of a new quarterback and a fresh offensive line could be a tough task for the 2019 season.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of personality Wisconsin’s offense adopts in the fall.