In the following roundtable, the staff of Writing Illini takes a look at who the most dangerous Badger is heading into the Illini’s Week Eight match-up with the Wisconsin Badgers.
Austin: Melvin Gordon is one of the best backs in the Big Ten, if not in the nation. With just under 900 yards on the season and 8 touchdowns, he has shown he can get the ball down the field through the trenches, and he can go north south very well. Last week he threw up 172 on Northwestern, finding holes at will in their run defense. The Illini will have their hands full against this very good, and under-rated, running back.
Rees: Melvin Gordon is Wisconsin’s most dangerous player. Gordon has eclipsed 140 yards rushing in all but one game this year. The Illini have their work cut out for them both keeping the Badgers off the field and containing Gordon.
Ricky: After the performance of Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah against Illinois, I’m gunna have to say that running back Melvin Gordon will be the Badgers’ most dangerous player this Saturday. Although he had an okay performance against OSU, Gordon picked things up in the Badgers’ win over Northwestern. He ran for 175 yards and one score and could easily duplicate those numbers against the Illini in prime time. If Wisconsin can take anything from Illinois’ past games, the teams that ran the ball well are the ones that have beaten the Illini in 2013.
Ryan: While Melvin Gordon will be the name on the lips of every Illini fan this weekend and rightfully so, I think the danger he represents is a known commodity at this point. Wisconsin’s ground game is certainly their bread and butter, and the Illini will be looking to control that rushing attack with every scheme they can dream up. If, and it’s a huge if, the Illini can stop the dangerous Gordon and company in their tracks then Wisconsin will have to find another way to reach the end zone.
Enter Jared Abbrederis, and his team leading 35 receptions for 646 yards and 5 TD. In the Badgers loss to Ohio State, the Buckeyes held Wisconsin to 104 yards on the ground, but in doing so Abbrederis was free to prove just how dangerous he can truly be while hauling in 10 passes for 207 yards and 1 TD. Clearly, the Illini have their work cut out for them Saturday night whether it’s stopping the potent Badger ground game, or limiting the dangerously dynamic WR Jared Abbrederis.
Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.
Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.
Follow Rees on Twitter @ReesISMe.