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Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Football: Defense prepares for Rutgers’ balanced attack

Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said an emphasis still placed on Leonte Carroo despite questionable status
Marissa Haegele

Although the Wisconsin football team shut out Rutgers a year ago 37-0, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda prepared his unit this week for a much tougher challenge.

The Scarlet Knights’ (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten) record may not show it, but their offense ranks in the top half of the Big Ten in most categories.

They are not the same team that only managed 139 total yards last season, UW head coach Paul Chryst said.


“They won’t give you anything, and I think that they will present some different challenges for our defense we haven’t seen for a while,” Chryst said.

Rutgers’ rushing attack ranks fifth in the conference (185.6 yards per game) and its passing offense ranks sixth, averaging 241 yards through the air per game.

Aranda said the balanced attack is effective because the efficient passing game supplements the strong running game. Rutgers leads the Big Ten in passing efficiency with a rating of 150.2.

Scarlet Knights quarterback Chris Laviano, a redshirt sophomore, completes 67.2 percent of his passes and has thrown 12 touchdowns this season.

Aranda said the numbers come as a result of quick, three-step dropbacks that lead to quick throws underneath, which he called “high percentage throws.”

But because of the rushing attack, a three-man combination of Paul James, Josh Hicks and Robert Martin, the defense will remain wary of play-action passes as well, Aranda said.

Rutgers’ biggest offensive weapon is wide receiver Leonte Carroo. But Carroo, who has nine touchdowns and 527 yards this season, injured his ankle, which forced him to leave the Scarlet Knights’ 49-7 loss to Ohio State last Saturday at halftime.

Carroo has already missed two games this season, but came back with consecutive three-touchdown performances against Michigan State and Indiana.

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood has maintained Carroo’s “game-time decision” status throughout the week. Regardless, the Badgers defense will be ready for him to take the field.

“We’re going to have to plan for him to play because he’s that big of a weapon and that much of their offense,” Aranda said. “We’ll always be able to adjust if he doesn’t play. He’s someone that you definitely need to know where he’s at.”

 Injury Updates

  • Chryst said Corey Clement’s progress continued again this week, with multiple consecutive solid days of work. He’ll still be a game time decision. Against Rutgers last season, Clement rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns, a performance that earned him Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors.
  • Joel Stave cleared the concussion protocol early in the week and practiced all week. He’ll be ready to go for Saturday.
  • Defensive lineman Arthur Goldberg remains questionable.
  • Dan Voltz will undergo knee surgery Friday, Chryst said. The redshirt junior center’s season is over.
  • Rob Wheelwright (left leg) does not need surgery. Chryst said Wheelwright’s injury isn’t as bad as he initially thought, and there’s a good chance the Badgers can have him back by the end of the season.
  • Austin Traylor has been running and began catching passes this week. Doctors will examine his right shoulder for updates on the healing process. Traylor hasn’t played since Oct. 3 against Iowa.

Game Information

Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin

When: 11 a.m.

TV: Big Ten Network (Kevin Kugler, Matt Millen, Lisa Byington)

Radio: Badgers Sports Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas, Mark Tauscher, Patrick Herb). Sirius 118/XM 202.

Red and White Hunger Fight: Bring non-perishable food items to help bring Thanksgiving meals to families around Dane County. Eight locations will be set up around Camp Randall for drop-off.



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