2018 Wisconsin Badgers Center Around Taylor

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TwinSpires Staff

August 20th, 2018

by DS Williamson
The 2018 Wisconsin Badgers have some unfinished business from last year after a rip roaring, almost-undefeated run where they tripped up in the final game of the regular season. Their 21-27 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in last season’s Big Ten Championship Game is serving as high motivation. If Wisconsin had beaten Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship, they would have garnered a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Badgers didn’t let the loss deter them in their bowl game. They slapped Miami 34-24 in the 2018 Orange Bowl to end their season on a positive note.

Can they win the Big Ten Championship? This program has gone from a silent, spread busting machine in past seasons to an actual contender for the national title. All eyes are fixed on them...and they know it.

2018 WISONCSIN BADGERS SEASON ODDS To Win National Championship +2200 To Win Big Ten Conference +375 Season Win Total 9.5 (OVER -150 / UNDER +120)

Wisconsin’s offense should be electrifying The 2018 Wisconsin Badgers have always been able to rely on a solid rotation of those big ol' boys in the trenches, which has steadied their offensive production. It starts on the offensive line where the Badgers return all five starters on the offensive line. This for a team that averaged over 223.2 rushing yards (23rd) and over 33.8 point per game (28th).

The offensive line will block for RB Jonathan Taylor again. Taylor rushed for 1,977 yards from 299 carries for a 6.6 per rush average. He also scored 13 rushing TD’s. Taylor could post numbers that puts him in the Heisman Trophy race this season behind such a powerful offensive line.

Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook also returns. Hornibrook threw 15 picks last season and only completed 62.3% of his passes. He should improve big time this season. First, he’s a sophomore. Second, he played his best game versus a tough Miami defense in the Orange Bowl, capping his season with a terrific performance that produced 258 yards and 4 TDs. Most notably, Hornibrook completed 67.6% of his passes.

It’s difficult to find any issues with the 2018 Wisconsin Badgers’ offense. There's no doubting that it will be one of the strongest in the nation again.

Badgers’ defense might be a problem It’s a good thing Wisconsin’s offense projects to be so good this season. The Badgers lost eight players from their defense last season. Wisconsin should play decent defense, but replacing eight starters from a unit that only allowed an average of 13.9 points per game won’t be easy.

There’s no way to tell how good the 2018 Wisconsin Badgers will be on defence with such a high turnover. The bar is set very high given that they allowed the 2nd fewest yards and the 3rd fewest points last season. Like the offensive line, defenses need actual playing time to gel. Luckily for Wisconsin, the Badgers take on Western Kentucky, New Mexico, and BYU at home in their first 3 games of the season to allow for a hot start.

The cupcake early season schedule should allow Wisconsin’s defense to gel to the point of being respectable if not a shutdown unit. This school has always been able to find incredible talent, and their recruiting profile has only gotten stronger over the last few seasons.

Outside conference schedule is easy, but Big Ten schedule is tough Wisconsin’s outside the conference schedule is easy. However, their Big Ten schedule is tough. Wisconsin should have no trouble beating Illinois, Nebraska, Rutgers and Minnesota at home.

Check out Wisconsin’s Big Ten road schedule, though. The Badgers battle Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State, and Purdue on the road. Those are all tough games. Wisconsin should win at least 3 of those 5 games.

Even if they do win 3-of-5, that puts them out of the running for the College Football Playoff. A repeat trip to the Big Ten Championship is most definitely in the cards. The 2018 Wisconsin Badgers are one of the best value plays to steal this group, especially with all the problems surrounding the favored Buckeyes.