With spring practices ending for the Wisconsin Badgers, it’s summer break. Fall camp will begin early August in preparation for the season opener September 2 against Buffalo at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers still have some work to do in the transfer portal, but it will remain quiet for the most part over the next few months. Before fall camp kicks off, I figured I would share three early season predictions for this team in 2023.
Wisconsin Has Two Receivers Record 800 Yards
It’s going to look a lot different this year compared to past years. The Badgers will feature an air raid offense led by new offensive coordinator Phil Longo and SMU transfer quarterback Tanner Mordecai. We should see explosive plays and a much quicker pace of play. The running game will still be a factor, but there’s no doubt we will see the ball thrown a lot more. With that and a new quarterback who has thrown for a ton of yards, I think Wisconsin has a good shot to have two 800 yard receivers.
The wide receiver room is pretty balanced so it could be a list of six or seven receivers who could record 1,000 yards. If I had to guess right now, I would say Chimere Dike and C.J. Williams have the best shot. Dike is the veteran of the group and has the ability to get open on the outside and in the slot.
Williams might be a little bit of reach because it’s hard to say how much he will play. However, throughout spring practices, it became clear he was the most explosive receiver and has the highest upside.
The Badgers Will Have A Top 10 Defense
It’s no easy task to replace players such as Nick Herbig and Keeanu Benton. With the amount of secondary players that have left as well, Mike Tressel has his work cut out.
At the same time, there’s a ton of talent and experience coming back that did not leave in the portal. Wisconsin returns their two top tacklers from last year in Jordan Turner and Maema Njongmeta. On the defensive line, Rodas Johnson, James Thompson Jr, and Isiah Mullens all return too. It’s a new system that will take time to learn, but Wisconsin has a lot of returning players that I think they can get back to being one of the top defenses in the country by the time the regular season ends.
Wisconsin Wins The Big Ten West
I seem to say this every year because on paper, this has been the best team in the Big Ten West. Between poor quarterback play and a stale offense, it was Wisconsin that would get in their own way. I think with the culture Luke Fickell has brought in as well as his understanding of the program, I don’t see much of a transition period.
When I look at the rest of the Big Ten West, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Purdue will all have new signal callers week one. Only Northwestern will have the same starting quarterback (or at least I assume). I would not sleep on Iowa as I think that is the team the Badgers have to get through. Luckily, that game is at Camp Randall.
I also believe the Badgers have the best quarterback, running back, and wide receiver group in the West. I believe that is the difference here. This team should be able to put up points. The defense has never been the issue against West opponents. If Wisconsin can score the way they are capable of and they way we expect them to, I think the Big Ten West runs through Madison in 2023.
Follow me on Twitter @DylanBuboltz and follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here! Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!