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Linebacker

1. Get receivers involved early: UW’s passing game has been pedestrian all season, averaging 162.1 yards per game, second-to-last in the Big Ten and ahead of only Illinois. But the times it was most efficient was when UW passed on early downs, using play-action and quick throws to take advantage of defenses looking for run plays — early in the matchup against Iowa was the best example of this. Against a secondary without two of its key starters, and a defense without disruptive linebacker Darien Butler, UW should be able to get receivers Danny Davis, Chimere Dike and Kendric Pryor freed up. Quarterback Graham Mertz just has to be accurate and give them chances with the ball.

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Gloudeman accepted a preferred walk-on offer from the University of Wisconsin. He played linebacker and running back in for River Valley High School. Last season, Gloudeman was named to the Southwest Wisconsin Conference's first team offense and defense. 

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The tight end/linebacker out of Cambridge high school committed to Arkansas as a long snapper after receiving interest from Baylor, Illinois, Stanford and Wisconsin. Stein was voted a 2022 All-American and will compete in the All-American Bowl.

Much has been made — and rightfully so — of inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell’s importance to the Packers defense, and had he tested positive for COVID-19 during a normal week, the Packers might’ve found out just how different their defense would be without Campbell (above) in the mix. Instead, Campbell contracted the virus during the bye week and was able to return to the team facility at Lambeau Field on Friday, early enough to take part in practice.

1. D-line needs best game: The improvement of the Badgers’ defensive line has been one of the most important factors to the defense being the FBS’ best against the run. That unit needs to have its best game of the season against the Gophers and contain the rushing attack to give the defense added flexibility against Minnesota’s quick passing game.

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