Sports

Gordon still on the run, but new leaders look to shape Wisconsin defense in 2014

  • FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2013, file photo, Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen complains to officials during the second half in an NCAA college football game against  Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. The most noteworthy thing about the Wisconsin defense going into training camp was the players that the Badgers lost from last season, especially top linebacker Chris Borland. Safety Michael Caputo and the returnees are looking to create their own reputation. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2013, file photo, Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen complains to officials during the second half in an NCAA college football game against Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. The most noteworthy thing about the Wisconsin defense going into training camp was the players that the Badgers lost from last season, especially top linebacker Chris Borland. Safety Michael Caputo and the returnees are looking to create their own reputation. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2013, file photo, Brigham Young's Taysom Hill, right, throws away the ball as he is tackled by Wisconsin's Michael Caputo during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Madison, Wis. The most noteworthy thing about the Wisconsin defense going into training camp was the players that the Badgers lost from last season, especially top linebacker Chris Borland. Safety Caputo and the returnees are looking to create their own reputation. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2013, file photo, Brigham Young's Taysom Hill, right, throws away the ball as he is tackled by Wisconsin's Michael Caputo during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Madison, Wis. The most noteworthy thing about the Wisconsin defense going into training camp was the players that the Badgers lost from last season, especially top linebacker Chris Borland. Safety Caputo and the returnees are looking to create their own reputation. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)  (The Associated Press)

Star tailback Melvin Gordon is still on the run at Wisconsin, but new leaders must emerge on defense in 2014.

Coach Gary Andersen's team lost eight defensive starters from a squad that finished 9-4 last year. The most notable loss was star linebacker Chris Borland, who is now with the San Francisco 49ers.

But what helps the returnees is that Andersen rotated a lot of players in and out of the lineup, so there is some experience. The goal this year is to be faster and more athletic, in part to help keep up with trendy spread offenses.

The Badgers are also still sorting through a quarterback competition. Andersen needs to decide between incumbent Joel Stave and dual-threat challenger Tanner McEvoy by the Aug. 30 opener against LSU.