December 21, 2014

McEvoy back at safety with the Badgers

Tanner McEvoy

Tanner McEvoy

Tanner McEvoy played some safety last season for the Wisconsin Badgers.  It would appear defensive coordinator Dave Aranda liked his work because McEvoy is back at safety as the Badgers are preparing for the New Years Day Outback Bowl against the Auburn Tigers in Tampa, Florida.

McEvoy is getting work this week in practice on both sides of the ball, at QB and at safety.  He’s played all eleven games at quarterback this season.  Last season, McEvoy intercepted one pass, broke up three others and finished with 27 tackles.  He said Thursday that he believes he can help defend Auburn.

AUDIO: Tanner McEvoy thinks he can help defend Auburn :17

The Tigers enter the bowl game ranked 11th nationally in rushing (258.5 ypg), 17th nationally in offense (489.2 ypg) and tied for 22nd in scoring offense (35.8 ypg).  Quarterback Nick Marshall has thrown 18 touchdown passes and averages 192.9 yards per game.  Auburn also has four receivers with 20 or more receptions.

McEvoy is still working at quarterback and wants to continue to play the position.  But he said that decision for next season will come in discussions with new coach Paul Christ after the bowl season.

Report: Aranda is expected to stick with the Badgers

Dave Aranda

Dave Aranda

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said last week that he hoped Badger defensive coordinator Dave Aranda would return.  According to Andy Baggot in the Wisconsin State Journal, it appears Aranda will stick around for a third season.

There’s no deal in place at this time, but the report says coach Paul Chryst wants Aranda to stay in Madison.

Assistant coaches aren’t available to the media until Friday after practice.  Aranda hasn’t been available since Wisconsin’s 59-0 loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game.

Under Aranda this season, the Badgers defense finished 4th in total defense, 13th in scoring defense, 17th in rushing defense and 5th in passing defense.

Former players heaping praise on UW’s Chryst (AUDIO)

Paul Chryst takes over in Madison

Paul Chryst takes over in Madison

Paul Chryst is returning home.  The University of Wisconsin and Athletic Director Barry Alvarez is hoping he won’t have to hire another head coach during his time in Madison.

Alvarez targeted the former Badger assistant coach as his number-one choice to replace Gary Andersen, who left to take the head coaching job at Oregon State.  When he contacted Chryst about the vacancy in Madison, it became pretty clear that Chryst would be returning to Madison.

Those that played for Chryst previously, know the Badgers are getting an excellent coach.

Quarterback Scott Tolzien, who is currently a backup in Green Bay with the Packers, said he doesn’t think he’d be in the NFL if not for Chryst’s work.  The two spent five seasons in Madison together with Tolzien starting his final two seasons in Madison. [Read more…]

Paul Chryst named new Wisconsin football coach

Paul Chryst

Paul Chryst

Madison native Paul Chryst returned to the city where he grew up, played his college football and eventually served as an assistant coach, before being hired by the University of Wisconsin to take over the head coaching job today.

Before spending the last three seasons as head coach at Pittsburgh, where he led the Panthers to three consecutive bowl appearances, Chryst oversaw the most explosive offenses in Wisconsin history.  During his last two seasons as UW’s offensive coordinator (2010 and 2011), the Badgers set a multitude of school and Big Ten records.

With current Green Bay Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien at the helm in 2010, UW averaged more than 40.0 points a game for the first time in school history, ranking fifth in the country with 41.5 points a game.  On their way to their first Big Ten title since 1999, the Badgers scored at least 70 points three times.  As a team, Wisconsin set a Big Ten record with a .732 completion percentage while also tying the conference record for rushing touchdowns (48).

Chryst was also the offensive coordinator during Russell Wilson’s only season in Madison.  Wilson set the FBS record for pass efficiency (191.8) while setting school records for passing yards (3,175) and passing touchdowns (33 – second-most in Big Ten history).

Junior running back Montee Ball also tied Barry Sanders’ single-season record with 39 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,923 yards.

During his three seasons in Pittsburgh, the Panthers improved from 83rd in the country in scoring offense (24.3 ppg) the year before he arrived to 47th (31.7 ppg.) this season.  He helped stabilize a program that had five different acting head coaches in a span of 12 months.  Chryst led the Panthers to a 19-19 overall record and three straight bowl appearances.

(We’ll have audio from Paul Chryst, Barry Alvarez and a pair of former players shortly).

Borland likely done for the season

Chris Borland

Chris Borland

Former Wisconsin Badger linebacker Chris Borland’s rookie season at San Francisco is likely over.

Borland suffered an ankle injury recently and with the 49ers being out of playoff contention, it’s likely that they won’t push Borland to return.

Borland was the NFC’s rookie of the month in November.  He was injured on the final play of the first half against Seattle last Sunday and was scheduled to undergo an MRI.

Filling in for the injured Patrick Willis, Borland led the 49ers in tackles with 107.  That number ranked 12th in the NFL this season.