Auburn Outback Bowl Preview: Wisconsin Badgers Defense and Special Teams

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Wisconsin Badgers Defensive Backs

They might not have premium speed, but the Wisconsin secondary has played sound football and limited big plays for the most part this season – except against Ohio State, of course. The Buckeyes victimized the Badgers for touchdown passes of 39, 44 and 42 yards.

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Strong safety Michael Caputo is the team’s leading tackler with 99 total, including 58 solo stops. Caputo has five tackles for a loss, an interception, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. The junior was selected to the All-Big Ten second team by both the media and the coaches. He is also a team captain.

Freshmen Lubern Figaro and senior Peniel Jean are listed as co-starters at free safety. Figaro has 21 tackles and an interception this season. Jean is the team leader with two picks, and has also recorded 50 tackles, two tackles for a loss and a sack.

Junior cornerback Darius Hillary was selected to the second team All-Big Ten squad by the league’s coaches. Hillary will be playing his 41st game for the Badgers and making his 28th career start (more than any other defender).

So far in 2014, Hillary has 37 tackles, three tackles for a loss and leads the secondary with five pass breakups. Sojourn Shelton, a sophomore, will start opposite Hillary. Shelton has 29 tackles and five pass breakups this season. Devin Gaulden and Derrick Tindal provide depth, and quarterback Tanner McEvoy is expected to see some playing time on defense as well.

“It’s going pretty smoothly, so far, and has been awesome,” the 6-foot-6 McEvoy said of practicing with the defense. “I’m excited to get out there on both sides, and hopefully make some plays.”

Next: Wisconsin Special Teams