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2017 Cotton Bowl

The University of Wisconsin’s main priority on offense is to run the ball effectively and allow that to open up the passing game. With a young offensive line, that hasn’t always been easy this season. The group up front includes two redshirt freshmen, two redshirt sophomores and a first-year junior who transferred from Division-III UW-Stevens Point and has improved steadily throughout the season. They now lead an offense that ranks 42nd nationally in rushing yards per game and have continually improved in pass protection as well. Some have projected that junior transfer, left tackle Ryan Ramczyk, as a first-round pick in the NFL if he opts to forgo his final year with the Badgers. Senior running back Corey Clement, who missed nine games last year in his first season as a starter, has rushed for 1,304 yards and 14 touchdowns on 292 carries and has reached the 100-yard mark in seven of his last eight games. He’s also scored eight touchdowns in the past five games. Fifth-year senior Dare Ogunbowale complements Clement well, excelling in third-down situations with a good set of hands and solid pass-protection skills. Redshirt freshman Bradrick Shaw has emerged as the running back of the future over the second half of the year, showing flashes of possibly being UW’s next great running back once Clement and Ogunbowale finish up their senior seasons in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The Badgers have shifted between fifth-year senior Bart 20 | 81st Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Houston and redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook as their starting quarterback. Houston began the year as the starter before Hornibrook replaced him in the second half of UW’s 23-17 victory over Georgia State on Sept. 17 and took over as the starter a week later. Over the last six games of the regular season, Hornibrook continued to start but Houston rotated in on a regular basis. In a Big Ten Championship game loss to Penn State, however, Houston started once again and played the entire game, although Hornibrook was just returning from a head injury. Combined, the two quarterbacks have completed 61.4 percent of their passes for 2,329 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Junior Wide Receiver Jazz Peavy leads the team with 43 catches, 635 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns. Junior tight end Troy Fumgalli also serves as a threat in the passing game. He’s recorded 41 receptions for 497 yards and a touchdown this season. The Badgers use a number of other tight ends and fullbacks, mainly for their blocking ability in the run game. It’s not uncommon to see UW line up with three tight ends or two fullbacks on the same play. While defense has carried the Badgers to their 10-3 record, their offense has shown major signs of improvement over the last month of the season. UW has scored at least 31 points in four straight games after only reaching that mark just once over its first nine contests. Scouting Reports Wisconsin Offense By Jason Galloway Wisconsin State Journal dare ogunbowale


2017 Cotton Bowl
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