Wisconsin Football: Projecting Who Will Win Badgers' Open Starting Positions

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Wisconsin Football: Projecting Who Will Win Badgers' Open Starting Positions
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Coach Gary Andersen will have tough decisions to make as he looks to replace 14 starters from last year

When you lose as much talent and experience on both sides of the ball as Wisconsin's football team did after 2013, you are bound to have some position battles as the new season approaches.  

Going into his second year as head coach of the Badgers, Gary Andersen is in the process of implementing a more aggressive defensive scheme while on the offensive side of the ball, the plan should be to run, run and then run some more.

But even with an offense predicated on a power running game, losing its top four pass-catchers while having a giant question mark at quarterback could put a crimp in Melvin Gordon's bid for a Heisman Trophy and hamper the team's ability to run the football.

On the defensive side of the ball, nearly every position features a battle as only Sojourn Shelton, Michael Caputo and Derek Landisch come in with significant starting experience.  Replacing Big Ten Defensive Player of the year and Badger all-time great Chris Borland will present a massive hole to fill by the coaches.

There are a handful of spots where the Badgers have unquestioned starters.  At running back, Melvin Gordon will take the lion's share of carries while Corey Clement will play a strong complementary role.  Along the offensive line, four of the five spots are being held by starters last year, all of whom have a firm grip on their position, barring injury.

Two other spots where the Badgers are set is at cornerback, where Sojourn Shelton will take the top corner spot, while Darius Hillary will play across from him.  Last but not least, Drew Meyer is the punter barring an open competition at the spot.

Overall, this is a team hurt more by a lack of experience than a dearth of talent.  Let's take a look at who will win the Badgers' open spots.

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