Wisconsin Football vs. Alabama: Position-by-Position Matchups

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Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland (19) reacts in the fourth quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports


Dave Aranda recently said that the linebacker group was the strength of the team. Outside linebackers Vince Biegel and Joe Schobert are one of the strongest pass rushing tandems in the Big 10. Biegel especially will turn some heads this season. In the middle, Leon Jacobs and T.J Edwards are very talented, but inexperienced. I’m expecting a lot of big plays with a few growing pains mixed in.

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Alabama’s linebacker group is also very good, especially inside. Senior Reggie Ragland is one of the best linebackers in all of college football. He is a tackling machine that makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage. His partner in crime is Reuben Foster, who is a very large, very talented player. On the outside, Alabama has a few young, unproven pass rushers. One breakout candidate is dangerous pass rusher Tim Williams. But Alabama’s outside linebackers are equivalent to Wisconsin’s inside linebackers. And Alabama’s inside linebackers are like Wisconsin’s outside linebackers.

Edge: Draw (3-2 Alabama)


Led by tackling machine Michael Caputo, this Wisconsin secondary has the potential to be elite. Tanner McEvoy is going to be a very athletic, ball hawking centerfielder. Darius Hillary is great in coverage. If Sojourn Shelton can bounce back from his rough sophomore slump, Wisconsin’s secondary will be a force.

On the other hand, Alabama’s secondary is the weakness of their defense (which isn’t saying much). They were shaky last year, and now they have lost safety Landon Collins. Some experts say that Alabama’s secondary will be better this year, but until I see it, I have to put the proven group on top.

Edge: Wisconsin (Tie 3-3)

Next: Special Teams/Coaching