Wisconsin Badgers' Sept. 5 Starting Lineup and Two-Deep?

Duff BeachContributor IAugust 26, 2009

Bret Bielema says he will finish the two-deep tonight after an extended practice session.  Tomorrow he releases it to the media.  I really have no idea who the quarterback will be: PhillipsTolzien

I still think Sherer is in the running (but maybe I just want to be right).  Regardless, the rest of the lineup looks pretty well set, at least on offense.  Above is how I see it.

Outside of the quarterback there are a couple of things worth noting.  First, all that red on the offensive line denotes injuries; guys who haven't practiced full-bore yet. 

I'm pretty sure each of those three will start against NIU, but maybe not.  Note that behind them are redshirt and true freshmen across the board.  That's a little scary.  Fortunately the injuries provided those freshmen the opportunity to get a lot of reps with the number one offense.  Still...

Note that I went with two tight ends (Y and H).  That's who will likely take the field for the first snap and through most of the year. 

While Mickey Turner (Y) may end up playing a fair amount of fullback, he will likely come out with Graham who will line up in the H-back spot, and Turner will motion from tight end back to a fullback position. 

Offensive Coordinator Paul Chryst likes to use Turner primarily in a blocking role, but that makes him just a little more dangerous to defenses because he has pretty good hands and will release off a block into a flat while the defense keys on Graham (as Turner did for a touchdown against Ohio State last September). 

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Barring injury I don't think the Badgers will get to Byrne very often.  Graham can play either Y or H; Kendricks is a natural H, and will sometimes lineup as a receiver at Z.

As for the receivers, I think listing Gilreath at No. 2 for the Z is a little unfair to him.  Realistically I think he's the No. 1 at X (slot back) in the three-receiver set.  While I think true-freshman Kraig Appleton will see the field this year (and not just a little), I don't see him out there in week one, certainly not ahead of any of the four receivers I've listed here.

At tailback I included true-freshman Montee Ball even though technically as the third back he's not on the "two"-deep.  Nonetheless, Brown and Clay will split snaps pretty evenly (I'm still predicting about 60/40), making Ball nearly a No. 2 tailback, as Brown and Clay are 1a and 1b.

While the depth on the line worries me, overall I see a pretty solid offense—as long as the quarterback play is decent.  Moreover, I see a great returning lineup for 2010...

As long as the quarterback play is decent.

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