Wisconsin Football: Projecting Stats for Badgers' Top Performers in 2012
The Wisconsin Badgers are the best team in the Big Ten.
The team has stars on both sides of the ball, and each is poised for a big season in 2012. Montee Ball, Jared Abbrederis, Mike Taylor and Chris Borland are all going to post another big season in 2012, and incoming quarterback Danny O'Brien is poised to breakout.
The Badgers stars are going to carry Wisconsin to another win in the Big Ten championship game and a third-straight appearance in the Rose Bowl.
Montee Ball had a career year in 2011, and is poised to have another big year in 2012.
However, he won't post mind-boggling numbers again in 2012. James White is going to get his share of carries, and Melvin Gordan, star of the Badgers' spring game, is also going to earn playing time in 2012.
With that being said, expect Ball to put up Heisman-worthy numbers. Ball is going to feast on the Badgers' non-conference opponents and should have no problem ripping through most of the Big Ten slate.
Montee Ball will get around 275 carries and will rush for 1,700 yards, with 25 touchdowns. A threat out of the backfield, Ball will also be good for 20 catches for a couple hundred yards and a few touchdowns.
Jared Abbrederis is the Wisconsin Badgers' best wide receiver, and he is going to dominate in 2012. Nick Toon is no longer around, and the rest of the Badgers receiving corps are unproven.
Abbrederis is going to quickly become Danny O'Brien's safety blanket.
Just like Montee Ball, Abbrederis is also going to feast on the Badgers' non-conference opponents. Northern Iowa, Utah State, Oregon State and UTEP all struggled against the pass in 2011 and shouldn't pose any problems in 2012.
Abbrederis will see a drop off during Big Ten play, as Big Ten defenses were strong against the pass in 2011, but will still put up numbers.
Expect Abbrederis to catch 60 balls for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns as the Badgers' biggest threat in the passing game.
Danny O'Brien is going to be the Badgers' starting quarterback in 2012. O'Brien is the best quarterback on the roster, and even though he is arriving in Madison late, his starting experience will ensure his spot at the top of the depth chart.
O'Brien is a talented player and could easily be the focal point of the offense. However, this is Wisconsin, and the Badgers are going to pound the rock. Look for O'Brien to excel as the Badgers' game manager and to have a solid overall year.
As the game manager, expect O'Brien to complete 65 percent of his passes for 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns. As long as he keeps his interceptions in the single digits, O'Brien's first season in Madison will be a huge success.
Mike Taylor is going to feast on opposing offenses in 2012. A tremendous player, Taylor does it all for the Badgers defense, and is a leader from his linebacker position. He has impeccable instincts, and he is consistently around the ball.
The Badgers offense is going to dominate again in 2012, and consequently, the defense is going to see a lot of playing time. As a result, Taylor is going to get plenty of opportunity to pad his stats in 2012.
Taylor is going to have well over 100 tackles in 2012, and will chip in a couple sacks and interceptions. If Taylor is able to post multiple sacks and interceptions, he will be an All-American for the Badgers.
Chris Borland is the other defensive star for the Wisconsin Badgers. Similar to Taylor, Borland is a tenacious defender who is consistently around the ball as well. Another leader in the Badgers linebacker corps, Borland will also dominate in 2012.
Borland is also going to post well over 100 tackles, and will have a sack and an interception or two. However, he must up his impact plays for the Badgers in order to enter into consideration for an All-American team. Expect Borland to have 140 tackles with two sacks and three interceptions for the Badgers in 2012.
As long as all of these players play well in 2012, the Badgers are going to win the Big Ten. The Badgers have stars on both sides of the ball, and their talent level is unmatched in the Big Ten.
Expect Wisconsin to be playing in their third-straight Rose Bowl come New Year's Day.