- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The 2013 college football season sadly is over, and the seemingly interminable offseason is upon us. To get started on the lonely months ahead, we're taking a look at three items each Big Ten team must address before the 2014 season kicks off in August.
Wisconsin is up next.
1. Settle on a quarterback: What would the offseason be without a quarterback competition at Wisconsin? Although Joel Stave started every game in the 2013 season and has two more years of eligibility, he won't simply be handed the top job. Stave, who left the Capital One Bowl with a right shoulder injury, will be pushed by Bart Houston, Tanner McEvoy and early enrollee D.J. Gillins. Quarterback play has limited Wisconsin in each of the past two seasons, and it seems like coach Gary Andersen and his staff want a different type of quarterback (more mobility).
2. Find help at receiver: No position has less depth for Wisconsin, which loses standout Jared Abbrederis to graduation. Abbrederis led the team with 78 receptions this fall, and no other wide receiver had more than 12 catches. No returning receiver had more than 10 receptions in 2013, and Wisconsin loses reliable pass catchers at both tight end (Jacob Pedersen) and running back (James White). This is a fairly desperate situation, and the Badgers need young players such as Robert Wheelwright to blossom in a hurry.
3. Bolster the defensive front: Talented defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has some work ahead as Wisconsin loses five senior linemen along with linebacker Chris Borland, the Big Ten's defensive player of the year. The Badgers struggled to generate pressure in their final two games, losses to Penn State and South Carolina, and haven't been the same up front since losing All-American J.J. Watt. The development of the defensive ends and outside linebackers such as Vince Biegel and Joe Schobert will be critical for UW.
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