Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst will go back to calling plays in 2021.
Offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Joe Rudolph took over those duties in 2020, with Chryst citing an abnormal offseason, trust in his long-time assistant and an effort to not shortchange the rest of the team in giving up play-calling. But, according to Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Chryst and Rudolph spoke after the season and agreed for the head coach to reclaim the call sheet.
#Badgers coach Paul Chryst said he had productive talks with OL/OC Joe Rudolph. With a full/somewhat normal off-season planned, Chryst plans to coach QBs and go back to calling plays.
According to Potrykus, Rudolph thought his coaching of the offensive line suffered as a result of his responsibilities as a play-caller. With Chryst taking the duties back, it frees Rudolph to focus on his position group.
Wisconsin’s offense struggled mightily in 2020. After averaging 47 points in the first two games of the season, the Badgers scored 10 or fewer in three straight games for the first time in 30 years. While the play-calling took the brunt of blame, COVID-19 and injuries to key players were also major factors in the lack of success.
Chryst made his name as an offensive coordinator with his play calling. He has been the play-caller for five of the top eight scoring offenses in school history, including the top two. Chryst will also coach the quarterbacks, something he did during his time as a coordinator.
The Badgers should be in a better place to succeed on offense in 2021 than they were last season. Quarterback Graham Mertz will return in his second year as a starter and will have top weapons back at wide receiver in Danny Davis, Kendric Pryor and Chimere Dike. All-Big Ten tight end Jake Ferguson is also back, while running back Jalen Berger is in position to play a bigger role after a solid freshman season. Four starters are back on the offensive line and Wisconsin just landed its highest-ranked recruiting class in school history.