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Still on run, but Badgers look to spice up offense

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 18, 2014 at 5:47 pm •  Published: June 18, 2014
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Coach Gary Andersen is thinking about spicing up the Wisconsin offense this fall.

Fans of Wisconsin's power-running game need not worry — things aren't changing that much in Madison. Running back Melvin Gordon remains the star attraction.

But Andersen would like to give opposing defenses something more to think about given the attention expected to be heaped on 1,600-yard rusher Gordon. Wisconsin isn't going vogue and turning into a spread team, but Andersen said he's looking at working in "dynamics" of the spread as part of the offense.

"We have pieces of that ... and they did it with Russell," Andersen said in a recent interview at Camp Randall Stadium, referring to former Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson. He played under Andersen's predecessor, Bret Bielema.

Power and zone inside runs are still very much in the playbook. The fly sweep — perhaps Gordon's signature play — isn't going anywhere.

But spread looks may offer more options running outside the tackles. Or maybe Wisconsin runs more play action off run formations; or use more spread run and pass plays out of different personnel groups.

But it is one thing to have a future NFL quarterback like Wilson — who won the Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks — operating your offense.

This season's Badgers will likely be led by either Tanner McEvoy, a quarterback-turned-safety who returned to quarterback in spring ball; or incumbent Joel Stave, whose 2013 season ended with a shoulder injury at the Capital One Bowl.

The injury lingered into March and limited Stave in the spring. Andersen said this week that Stave returned for summer workouts and had pronounced himself ready to go.

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