In terms of linear play specifically, I would point to continuity and experience as the main reasons for improvement. Center Joe Tippmann and right-back Jack Nelson have not started a game until this season. Tyler Beach did not start off left tackle for his first leg against Penn State and most of training camp was injured.
Once these players had more representatives – and when offensive line coach Joe Rudolph found a group he liked and stuck with it rather than changing it, the results were much better. The line played more confidently and this led to improved performance in both run blocking and pass defense.
How will this affect recruitment given the extra COVID year? Squad juggling and difficult discussions with some players are inevitable?
– Todd (@pilprin) November 15, 2021
This was a good question for UW coach Paul Christ, so I asked his version at his weekly press conference on Monday.
“You come in and talk, you have an idea, a feeling of it with the guys,” he said. “And yet you don’t want them to feel obligated to make a decision. This is how we approached it last year. And it largely depends on where they go to school and at what stage in their life. How many years do you want to attend college? And what are you trying to get out of it?
“And so I think that it can be managed in this way. I think you always sort of hide behind different goals, but I’m sure you know what you have to offer. Of course we were lucky, this is also a big part of it, we never worried, “We have one scholarship that we did not sign.” We have a lot of guys who come here and move on and give us the opportunity, if we can take care of one of them, do it. So I don’t think it … it really wasn’t, it wasn’t that hard last year, and I don’t expect it this year. ”