After an ugly loss to Oregon State, Bret Bielema made a big statement. He fired Badgers’ offensive line coach, Mike Markuson, on Monday.
Bielema stated that he was not happy with the play of the offensive line. Who could blame him? There may be some new faces, but Wisconsin is know for having one of the best offensive lines in the country year after year and last Saturday, they were dominated against Oregon State. Ball only mustered 61 yards on 15 carries. The play calling was definitely to question, as he did average 4.1 yards per carry, but after watching the game, it was apparent that the offensive line got pushed around by an undersized Oregon State defense.
Here’s the comparison in size:
Oregon State defensive line, on average, is 6’ 3”, 293 pounds, with both defensive ends under 270 pounds.
Wisconsin’s offensive line averages 6’ 6”, 327 pounds and is without a lineman under 315 pounds.
The Pac-12 and the Big Ten are two completely different conferences. The Pac-12 is much more focused on speed and that’s why a lot of their players are smaller and quicker. But this is not an issue of speed, the defensive line for Oregon State, giving up three inches and thirty-four pounds, pushed the Badgers’ offensive line backwards into Montee Ball and Danny O’Brien on several occasions.
I’m not saying that the Bielema should have fired Mike Markuson this early in the season, but the offensive line certainly needed a wake up call and they got it.
I hope this move fires up not only the offensive line, but also the entire team for tomorrow’s night game against Utah State. I have a feeling they will get back to running the football and win the game in convincing fashion.
Many questions will be answered as Camp Randall plays host to a pivotal non-conference game for the Badgers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm central time on the Big Ten Network.