Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Frogs' D presents unique test for Badgers
By ESPN.com staff
LOS ANGELES -- TCU's complex and effective 4-2-5 defense provides a unique look for opposing offenses.
So has Wisconsin seen anything like the scheme the nation's No. 1 defense will use in the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO? It's hard to tell.
Tight end Lance Kendricks and running back Montee Ball both see shades of Michigan's defense in TCU's scheme. The Wolverines often operate from a 3-3-5 alignment.
"[TCU is] a little smaller but obviously more athletic and faster," Kendricks said Tuesday.
When Wisconsin guard John Moffitt studies the Horned Frogs' defensive front, it reminds him of a different Big Ten foe.
"In their defensive line front, I saw more Ohio State," Moffitt said. "Just the way they move out the tackle toward the defensive end and the way they give a lot of looks. They can start down there with two tight techniques over the center, a 'dogg' front we call it. It's a two-linebacker set and their linebackers are talented and they come downhill hard, which reminds me of Ohio State."
So which is it: Michigan or Ohio State? Neither, according to Badgers quarterback Scott Tolzien.
"I see a completely separate deal," Tolzien said. "I'm not trying to be politically correct, but they're different. They do some different stuff and obviously, it works. They're 13-0."
Tolzien paused, realizing he'd already given TCU a win in the Rose Bowl.
"13-0? What am I saying?" the signal caller said.
Sounds like the Badgers are a bit confused by the situation.
But Tolzien, whose preparation methods are legendary, enjoys the challenge.
"That's what makes it fun," he said. "Quite frankly, I'd get a little bit bored if we were spending three or four weeks preparing to play a defense that we'd seen all year long. Each Big Ten team's got their own flavor on defense, and the same goes for TCU."