Coach: Barry Alvarez
84-55-4, 12 years
2001 Record: 5-7
at Oregon LOST 28-31
at Penn State WON 18-6
at Ohio State WON 20-17
at Illinois LOST 35-42
IOWA WON 34-28
at Minnesota LOST 31-42

2001 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

Brooks Bollinger, who is among the top seven on nine different Wisconsin career lists, endured an injury-plagued junior year. - (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Mary Jo Walicki)
2002 Outlook

The Badger faithful are hoping that head coach Barry Alvarez can lead the team from Madison back to their customary spot in the upper half of the Big Ten. Offensively, those chances look remarkable. Unfortunately, the primary difficulties facing the 2002 season involve defense and special teams, units plagued by inconsistency in 2001. A young Wisconsin club registered a 5-7 overall mark last fall after playing against a schedule ranked ninth toughest in the nation. UW last season became the first team in conference history to have two 1000-yard passers, a 1000-yard rusher, and a 1000-yard receiver. All four of those players were scheduled to return until the devastating knee injury to Lee Evans. Even without Evans, those gaudy figures are worthy of turning a few heads and reeking nightmarish havoc amongst opposing defensive coordinators. No wonder Madison is doing cartwheels this off-season concerning the offensive firepower these kids bring to the table. Now the bad news. The defensive ying to the offensive yang will be a group that features eight new starters. In plain and simple terms, the defense has been decimated. Not only that, but last years unit finished 10th in the Big Ten in points allowed, the most since the 1989 season. Coaches have a giant need for finding ways to limit the plethora of big plays by the opposition. Teams ripped off 38 plays last fall for over 25 yards, both through the air and on the ground. The special teams were in shambles last fall. Coverage units struggled, punts were blocked, protection on returns was poor, thus the special teams coach was relieved. Another tough 13 game schedule awaits and there is not much room for relaxation. The big key/question mark as stated previously is the defense and special teams. Improving on a 5-7 record will be a monumental task with Evans down and out at receiver. There are enough weapons at QB, RB, and on the front wall of the offense to get the Badgers bowl eligible. Dreaming of high expectations on road to Pasadena via the conference championship leaves room for high disappointment. Nonetheless a word of caution, opponents better bring their A-game defense.

Projected 2002 record: 8-6

QB - 4 DL - 2
RB - 4.5 LB - 2.5
WR - 4 DB - 3
OL - 5 ..

Passing: Brooks Bollinger, 21-177-4, 1257 Yards, 6 TD's

Rushing: Anthony Davis, 291 att., 1466 yds., 11 TD's

Receiving: Lee Evans, 75 rec., 1545 yds., 9 TD's

Scoring: Anthony Davis, 11 TD's, 66 pts.;

Punting: Kirk Munden, 35 punts, 39.7 avg.

Kicking: Mike Allen, 6-9 FG, 8-10 PAT, 26 pts.

Tackles: Scott Starks, 64 tot., 54 solo

Sacks: Erasmus James, 6 sacks

Interceptions: Mike Broussard, 3 for 33 yards

Kickoff returns: Jerone Pettus, 3 ret., 24.0 avg.

Punt returns: Brett Bell, 1 ret., 0.0 avg.


OFFENSE: Chad Kuhns-FB, Nick Davis-WR, Mark Anelli-TE
DEFENSE: Chuck Smith-DT, Ben Herbert-NT, Wendell Bryant-DT, Delante McGrew-RUSH, Bryson Thompson-LB, Jason Schick-OLB, Nick Greisen-LB, Mike Echols-CB, Joey Boese-FS

By: University of Wisconsin, Official Athletic Site

QUARTERBACK There is no substitute for experience and that is just what the Badgers will have at quarterback in 2002. Wisconsin has the luxury of two 1,000-yard passers from last season in senior starter Brooks Bollinger and junior backup Jim Sorgi. Bollinger returns for his final season sporting a 22-7 career mark as a starter. Bollinger, who is among the top seven on nine different Wisconsin career lists, endured an injury-plagued junior year. He missed all of three games and parts of two others, but is healthy now and primed to become just the third 5,000-yard passer in school history, while building upon the UW quarterback career rushing mark he set last season. Set to appear in relief of Bollinger, if necessary, is Sorgi, who has proven time and again that he is one of the most capable No. 2 signalcallers in the country. Sorgi appeared behind center in eight games, including starts against Oregon, Fresno State and Michigan State, and threw for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns. Neither sophomore Matt Schabert nor junior Scott Wille has seen much action during their careers, but they have been ready when called upon. Schabert, in fact, came off the bench in the third quarter of last year's Michigan State game (his only career appearance) and completed 10-18 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Bollinger and Sorgi who both were injured. Owen Daniels and Devin Hollins both redshirted as true freshmen last season.

RUNNING BACKS There was speculation at the start of last year that Wisconsin's streak of consecutive seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher might end at eight, but that proved to be far from reality. Anthony Davis saw to that. Davis, a redshirt freshman in 2001, led the Big Ten and finished fifth nationally with 1,466 yards (133.3 per game). A Doak Walker Award semifinalist, Davis broke Tony Dorsett's NCAA record for 100-yard rushing performances by a freshman with 10. For his efforts, he was voted Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was a consensus first-team all-conference choice. Finding depth behind Davis is an objective for the Badgers. Sophomore Jerone Pettus (255 yards) and junior Broderick Williams (38 yards), who returned from knee surgery last spring, saw limited action in 2001. Behind those two are several redshirt and true freshmen who will be vying for playing time. Chad Kuhns provided the Badgers with steady and consistent play at fullback for the past three seasons, so his departure leaves a hole to fill. Senior Russ Kuhns, Chad's younger brother, and senior Erik Bickerstaff have little game experience at the position, but will battle for the starting spot. Also in the mix will be redshirt freshman Matt Bernstein.

WIDE RECEIVERS Everyone in the Wisconsin football program breathed a sigh of relief when flanker Lee Evans announced in January that he would be returning for his senior year. All Evans did in 2001 was become one of three finalists for the Fred Biletnikoff Award, break the Big Ten single-season record for receiving yards (1,545), earn all-America and consensus first-team all-Big Ten honors and elevate himself into one of college football's most dangerous offensive threats. Now Badger fans will have to hold their breath once again as Evans tore the ligaments in his knee during the spring game. Hopes are that he can return at some point this fall, the prognosis is an unlikely early return if at all. Though split end Nick Davis has departed, the Badgers have a host of talented, young pass-catchers to complement Evans. Foremost among them is sophomore split end Darrin Charles, whose 6-6, 205-pound frame makes for an inviting target. Charles caught 14 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns as a true freshman last season. Senior David Braun and junior Byron Brown have game experience, while sophomore Travann Hayes and redshirt freshmen Jonathan Orr and DeAndre Kemp all will look to get into the mix.

OFFENSIVE LINE Wisconsin's skill-position players will have a solid, veteran line behind which to operate. The Badgers' starters at center, both guards and both tackles all return from last season. Senior Al Johnson, considered by Alvarez to be one of the nation's best centers, returns for his final season after earning honorable-mention all-Big Ten honors in 2001. He missed the second half of the Indiana game due to injury, but did not miss another play during any other game. Sophomore left guard Dan Buenning earned fourth-team freshman all-America kudos from The Sporting News after starting all 12 games and missing only 13 plays (all in the season opener) the entire season. Senior left tackle Ben Johnson, Al's cousin, was a consensus second-team all-Big Ten selection in 2001. He started all 12 games and missed just one snap the entire season. On Al Johnson's right, guards Jonathan Clinkscale and Kalvin Barrett each started six games as redshirt freshmen. Clinkscale also filled in at center for Johnson in the second half of the Indiana game. Senior Jason Jowers started all 12 games at right tackle, missing just nine snaps in the process.

TIGHT END All-Big Ten tight end Mark Anelli is gone and with him go 35 catches for 357 yards and three touchdowns in 2001. Though no current Badger tight end has caught a pass in college, the next generation is a good-looking unit. Bob Docherty played in all 12 games (as a true freshman) as a backup to Anelli and started twice in two-tight end formations. Fellow sophomore Tony Paciotti had been Anelli's primary backup until a shoulder injury at midseason. Sophomore Mark Bell, redshirt freshman Jason Pociask and junior Matt Mialik also will look to get in the mix.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Brooks Bollinger-Sr Jim Sorgi-Jr
FB Russ Kuhns-Sr Erik Bickerstaff-Sr
RB Anthony Davis-So Jerone Pettus-So
WR David Braun-Sr Byron Brown-Jr / Lee Evans-Sr (injured)
WR Darrin Charles-So Travann Hayes-So
TE Bob Docherty-So Tony Paciotti-So
OT Ben Johnson-Sr Morgan Davis-So
OG Dan Buenning-So Andy Ulrich-So
C Al Johnson-Sr Donovan Raiola-Fr
OG Jonathan Clinkscale-So Kalvin Barrett-So
OT Jason Jowers-Sr Mike Lorenz-So
K Mike Allen-So Adam Espinoza-So



By: University of Wisconsin, Official Athletic Site

DEFENSIVE LINE Though Wisconsin lost starters Wendell Bryant, Ben Herbert and Chuck Smith to graduation, the Badgers should still be able to field a more experienced and solid defensive line than the aforementioned departures might suggest. Sophomore Darius Jones, who redshirted with a hand injury last season, will be joined at right end by sophomore Jonathan Welsh, who appeared in nine games as a freshman in 2001. Freshmen Jeff Lang and Andres Lezama will also compete at that spot. Jason Jefferson, a sophomore who played in two games in 2001, will battle for the right tackle spot with junior Nick Cochart, who appeared in all 12 games a year ago, and redshirt freshman Lyle Maiava. The left tackle spot will be manned by up-andcoming sophomore Anttaj Hawthorne, who started three of the final four games in 2001 as a true freshman. Joining Hawthorne at that position will be junior Jesse Mayfield (three games played last season), along with redshirt freshman Mike Kleber and junior Matt Gajda. On the other end of the line, senior Jake Sprague returns for his final campaign. Sprague played in the Rose Bowl as a freshman and gives the Badgers a solid, experienced presence up front. Sprague will battle for the starting spot with junior Erasmus James (his six QB sacks last season were second on the team behind all-American Wendell Bryant). Freshman Tim Ovadal and sophomore Traison Lewis also are in the mix.

LINEBACKER Wisconsin will need to do some rebuilding at the linebacker positions. The three players who started five of the last six games in 2001 were seniors, including national tackles leader Nick Greisen. The Badgers will not be totally devoid of experience, however. Junior Jeff Mack will move back inside after starting eight games at OLB and making 34 tackles last season before a back injury sidelined him for the remainder of the campaign. Sophomore Howard Boye-Doe, who saw action in seven games a year ago (primarily on special teams) is listed as Mack's backup heading into spring workouts. The other inside linebacker spot is slated to be manned by redshirt freshman John Gillen. Gillen will be joined at that spot by junior transfer Kyle McCorrison. The Badgers have a number of talented recruits coming in at the linebacker spot, including junior college transfer Alex Lewis. Sophomore Kareem Timbers, who saw action in eight games in 2001, will move to outside linebacker to better take advantage of his abilities. Sophomores Jerron Smith and Chris Catalano, both of whom saw limited playing time a year ago, will join Timbers at OLB.

DEFENSIVE BACKS Wisconsin's defensive backfield lost all-Big Ten cornerback Mike Echols and a solid free safety in Joey Boese, but the Badgers do return two starters as well as a number of talented young players who got valuable experience a year ago. Sophomore cornerback Scott Starks will start at one corner after starting the last 10 games of the 2001 campaign as a true freshman. He had a team high-tying three interceptions, was second in pass breakups with 10 and finished sixth on the team in tackles with 64. Redshirt freshman Johnny Sylvain and sophomore Chuckie Cowans also will vie for playing time. Senior B.J. Tucker, who has starting experience, will man the other cornerback spot and will be joined by sophomore Brett Bell at that position. Bell played in 11 games as a true freshman. Sophomore Robert Brooks, who made 21 tackles in 11 appearances as a true freshman on special teams and at nickel back last season, is slated to start at free safety heading into the spring. Behind Brooks at FS is junior Ryan Aiello and Pat Ellestad. Junior Michael Broussard, the starter at strong safety for all of 2001, returns to that position in 2002. Broussard registered a team high-tying three interceptions a year ago. Along with Broussard, the Badgers will have the services of freshman Dontez Sanders, a converted wide receiver, and senior Ryan Simmons, a fixture on special teams in 2001.

SPECIAL TEAMS Special teams play will be an area of concentration for the Badgers this spring and next fall, and Alvarez believes the pieces will be in place for the club to improve in all areas of the special teams. Sophomore punter R.J. Morse displayed a strong leg as a true freshman, compiling a 41.6- yards-per-punt average on 28 attempts. He had six punts of 50 yards or longer. Junior Kirk Munden averaged 39.7 yards per punt and took over when Morse was injured for five games. Wisconsin used three different kickers throughout much of the season and the Badgers will be looking for more consistency at this position. Sophomores Mike Allen and Adam Espinoza return and will be joined in the fall by junior college all- American Scott Campbell in competition for that position. The loss of return specialist Nick Davis is significant. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in both career punt and kick return yards. The race to replace Davis is wide open heading into spring workouts.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Jake Sprague-Sr Erasmus James-Jr
DT Jason Jefferson-So Nick Cochart-Jr
DT Anttaj Hawthorne-So Jesse Mayfield-Jr
DE Darius Jones-So Jonathan Welsh-So
OLB Kareem Timbers-So Jerron Smith-So
LB Jeff Mack-Jr Howard Boye-Doe-So
LB John Gillen-Fr Kyle McCorison-Jr
CB B.J. Tucker-Sr Brett Bell-So
CB Scott Starks-So Johnny Sylvain-Fr
SS Michael Broussard-Jr Dontez Sanders-Fr
FS Robert Brooks-So Ryan Aiello-Jr
P R.J. Morse-So Kirk Munden-Jr
A Doak Walker Award semifinalist, Anthony Davis broke Tony Dorsett's NCAA record for 100-yard rushing performances by a freshman with 10. - (AP Photo)