The battle in the trenches, are often the most forgotten part of college football. With all the speed and atheism around lineman they are rarely ever the highlight of the game. However if you ask any coach’s opinion it’s the battle that happens in the trenches that make the rest of team look elite.
This Saturday inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas the battle between the Wisconsin offensive line and the Alabama defensive line will be one of the biggest determining factors in the game.
At offensive line, Wisconsin is younger than usual. From left to right, the o-line consists of senior Tyler Marz, redshirt freshman Michael Deiter, junior Dan Voltz, junior Walker Williams and sophomore Hayden Biegel.
Honorable Mention All-Big Ten center Dan Voltz will be a key leader for an offensive line and has the previous experience as a starter.
Deiter will be the biggest question mark on the offensive line for the Badgers, as he will be making his first collegiate start. Hayden Biegel a sophomore with very limited amount of playing time in the past another Badger who will be making his first career start on Saturday as well.
For the Crimson Tide the defensive line is heavy with ends. Second-team All-SEC player Jonathan Allen is listed behind A’Shawn Robinson at one the end spots. Both Robinson and Allen earned All-SEC Honors this past season.
Darren Lake and Daron Payne are co-first teamers at nose tackle. Lake is a senior with plenty of experience and 23 total tackles in 29 games with the Tide. Payne is a true freshmen that was one of the biggest surprises when the Alabama depth chart was released.
Weighing in at 315 pounds the former five star prospect has been dominant in practice so far and will look to translate that into impressive Crimson Tide debut.
In this contest, look for the Crimson Tide defensive line to dominate from start to finish. Generating pressure will be crucial for Alabama in forcing Wisconsin to operate behind the down and distance.
The young Badgers’ offensive line will need to communicate, stand firm and try to limit the Tide. Look for head coach Paul Chryst and offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph to run the football early and often, attempting to get its front line on the move frequently against the Crimson Tide.
Ivan L. White is a staff writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Facebook, via @ilwhite1.