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Big-Time Changes For Big-Time Programs

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Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis should pair with former Utah State coach Gary Anderson's play-calling to help Wisconsin best its league-worst receiving totals from last year. Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images.
Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis should pair with former Utah State coach Gary Anderson's play-calling to help Wisconsin best its league-worst receiving totals from last year. Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images.

Speaking of passing woes, enter Wisconsin.

It's not like the Badgers have had it rough. They've had at least 11 wins in three straight seasons and advanced to the Rose Bowl to cap those campaigns (although last year it was by default). 

The success helped Bert Bilema jump ship to Arkansas, making way for Gary Andersen of Utah State. But that success also masked an offense that was seventh in the Big Ten at just 393.3 yards a game. And those yards came on the ground through (in order) Montee Ball, James White and Melvin Gordon. 

Behind center, mostly because of injury, three quarterbacks saw snaps and the Badgers' 156.9 yards a game were worst in the league and 111th in the nation. Wisconsin tossed just 15 touchdowns. 

Andersen led a dynamic and versatile offense at Utah State, which finished 11-2 last season. White and Gordon will be feature backs, but look for more diversity  in play-calling. Joel Stave is healthy at quarterback, but Curt Phillips has better legs and Andersen may let him used them. 

Both backs can catch the ball out of the backfield, and both have run out direct-snap sets. All-Big Ten wideout Jared Abbrederis also returns and is as versatile as they come. Andersen is going to have fun with his personnel in 2013 and he has the personnel to do it.