Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Three Questions: Wisconsin vs. Hawaii

Badgers shuffle lineups, positions as final non-conference battle of season approaches
Joey Reuteman

With the start of Big Ten play just a week away, the Wisconsin football team will have one final test when they take on Hawaii at Camp Randall Saturday. Here are three questions to consider as UW looks to continue their success with conference play on the horizon.

Can linebacker Chris Orr continue to be a force in the middle of the field?

As a true freshman, Orr was not expected to make any notable contributions this season playing behind starting linebacker Leon Jacobs. However, after Jacobs was ejected for a targeting call in last Saturday’s matchup with Troy, Orr was given the opportunity to prove his worth.

And so he did. The freshman recorded a team-high 14 tackles in the team’s winning effort.


His reward? Orr was officially named a starter over Jacobs for Saturday’s meeting with Hawaii. He worked with the first-defense through this week of practice and the Wisconsin coaching staff feels he is ready to take on that premier role.

Football: Chris Orr to start Saturday

Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda says that Orr fits the mold of a guy who was built to play inside linebacker, and he will definitely be the player to watch on both sides of the ball Saturday.

Who will get the majority of touches at running back?

The meeting with Hawaii was thought to be the final time redshirt junior Dare Ogunbowale and redshirt freshman Taiwan Deal would serve the role as feature backs for UW.

That was until news broke Thursday that junior running back Corey Clement, who has been nursing a presumed hamstring injury for the past few weeks, in fact needs sports hernia surgery and will be out another four to six weeks.

Football: Corey Clement to miss 4-6 weeks

This is obviously a huge blow for the Badgers, as they were expecting to have their lead tailback back on the field for the team’s Big Ten opener against Iowa, but instead they will have to continue to ride the coattails of both Ogunbowale and Deal.

However, both backs have shown consistent improvement over the first three weeks of the season and seem to be growing more and more comfortable in their role.

Last week against Troy, the two essentially evenly split the time on the field, with Deal rushing 16 times for 84 yards and Ogunbowale rushing 14 times for 77 yards and a touchdown.

With confirmation that Clement won’t be rejoining the backfield until late October or early November, both backs know what is ahead of them. A telling sign of what is ahead for Wisconsin’s running game will be how the coaches decide to divvy up the snaps for each back.

Additionally, former freshman linebacker Alex Ingold has officially been moved to running back and there is a chance he gets some reps over the course of Saturday’s game.

What will the right side of the offensive line look like?

With starting right guard Walker Williams still battling an ankle injury, it is likely redshirt freshman Micah Kapoi will remain the starter at that position.

And while Kapoi has struggled at times through the first three weeks of the season, offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph continues to see improvement out of the lineman.

With that said, even if Williams, who participated in individual drills on this past week, is ready to go against Hawaii, Kapoi is still expected to get the start at right guard.

The growing chemistry of the offensive line has been a major component to the increase in production from the running game, and Saturday will serve as one final tune up for the line as non-conference play comes to an end and the Big Ten season beings.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *