There is so much HATE in my heart this week. So. Much. Hate.
I hated that I had to send emails to Badger fans. I hated writing these questions. I hated reading the answers. I hate how smug Badger fans are. I sort of wanted to like Gary Andersen, but I hate how much Badger fans love him.
Most of all, I hate that you have to read this. Wait... you don't have to! Run away now. Avoid reading more smugness from a Badger fan.
But if you must...
JDMill: Look, we hate you. This has been established. Meanwhile, Badger fans have spent the week insistent that the Gophers are irrelevant to them, and yet, community members from B5Q have been trolling TDG comment sections all week. (Like, textbook trolling.) So go ahead, here's your chance to set the record straight and to be as humble or as smug as you want. Do you, personally, hate us? Why or why not?
Andrew Rosin: Me? I was sincere that there's a lot to love about Minnesota. It's weird that you're using history from when our parents were kids as a fact of your superiority in comparison to the Badgers "new money." But I suppose if I'm rooting for a team that's won 8 games four times since 1967 I'd go with whatever angle that made me feel better, Honestly, you're fans of a team in a fine state. I'll cede the rest of my answer to shout out Fergus Falls.
JD: On a scale of 1 to 10 how much do you love Gary Andersen? What has he brought to the Badgers that Beilema was missing? Do you miss Bert? Why should Gopher fans hate Andersen less than we hated Bielema?
AR: It's a 12. [Editor's Note: The rules were clear. "...scale of 1 to 10." This must be Wisconsin math.]For one, he has shown a creativity with the skill positions. James White was integral to keep the Badgers passing game from being useless until Jacob Pedersen got hot. For two? He's recruiting in some places where it sounded insane only twelve months ago. They've gone into the southeast and got some players you could well be worried about in the next couple of seasons. In terms of the way the coaching carousel goes? We won the breakup. And you miss Bert.
As far as the last question? Hate him. You're adults. He's the sort of coach who won't kick sand in the face of a Tim Brewster, and will call every member of Utah State's football team when he made his decision. But you're adults. I'm not gonna stop you.
JD: The story of Wisconsin is running the football, and the Badgers have done it well in 2013, running for over 307 yards/game. Detractors would say that you've racked up those yards against some pretty poor defenses. In fact, 4 of those opposing defenses are ranked 111th or worse in the country in stopping the run. Those are some bad run defenses. Is Wisconsin's run game that good, or have the defenses been that bad?
AR: Melvin Gordon is the best running back I have seen in my years of watching Badger football. Flat out. I know the defenses have been aimed toward stopping him. But here's the thing? James White's only problem is that he was stuck between two all-time greats. He's a solid running back who has been at his absolute best in the past few weeks. And I tell you, while Corey Clement has racked up his time against tired defenses and in garbage time? They know he's coming. But they couldn't stop him. So yeah, they're that good.
Put it another way? Bielema had this running game, Melvin Gordon would be threatening 2000 yards.
JD: Wisconsin has been held under 220 yards rushing 3 teams this season (ASU, OSU, Iowa), they all came against top 25 rushing defenses, and 2 of them accounted for losses. The Gophers rank 38th nationally in stopping the run. Try to be objective for a moment (I know this is hard for Badger fans): can the Gophers slow down the Badgers run game?
AR: Objectively? I don't think so. Minnesota is allowing the 81st most yards on a per-rush basis. The four teams that Minnesota had the most trouble against the run with are Nebraska (16th rush offense; 23rd per play), Iowa (41st; 57th per play), Indiana (45th; tie for 21st per play), and Penn State (59th; 77th per play.)
Wisconsin has 7th ranked rush offense and is the only team averaging seven yards per run. Even if your hypothesis of "inflated stats because bad defense" is correct? They way your defense has been playing against the run recently, you have to be worried that James White and Melvin Gordon both get past the century mark. Objectively.
JD: The Badgers represent the toughest defense the Gophers have faced in 2013, ranking 6th nationally in total defense. Tell me about how great the Badgers defense is without using the word Borland.
AR: Challenge accepted! They can attack you from all angles. 11 Badgers have sacks, 21 have tackles for loss. Sojourn Shelton is a shut down corner that odds are you won't be able to throw on. (You've struggled passing after all). Michael Caputo's been making plays both at safety and linebacker. Tanner McEvoy is our Donovahn Jones (as a QB recruit who was needed elsewhere), and he's a match-up problem in any secondary. The front three is perfectly stout and allow the linebackers to play downhill.
JD: Recently the Gophers have been showing a lot of creativity on offense and coming up with different ways to move the ball. What is the weakness of the Badgers defense?
AR: I would say that the Badgers secondary was the weakness, but in recent weeks they faced off against a killer mobile quarterback who can complete passes in Taysom Hill and the Indiana Air Raid. They held BYU down for three quarters and forced Indiana into only holding three points. Minnesota's a team that runs 74 percent of the time. This is not something where the Badgers mesh with what you want to do offensively.
JD: I'b obligated to ask you your prediction for the game. I'm assuming you'll come up with some outrageous number that has the Badgers covering double the spread. Anyway, have at it. Who wins? How do they make it happen? What's the score?
AR: The Badgers wear down the Gophers and pull away late. They're not going to win by 33. But they are going to win 31-13.
UPDATE: I was supposed to do a Nugz on Wednesday, but I was getting crushed at work so GN covered for me. Because I missed my Nugz, I didn't get to post the below video... so here it is now. Dirty Badgers.
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