MADISON, Wis. - In case you didn't hear, a few comments by some Oregon Ducks players caused a stir when they suggested that they "Weren't concerned" about going up against the Badgers' large offensive line and powerful running game. Fans and the media discussed how much impact the comments would have on the Rose Bowl preparation. But how did the members of the Wisconsin offensive line feel about the statements?
As it turns out, they didn't really care.
"I read about it the other day," sophomore lineman Travis Frederick said after practice Friday. "Whether or not that's really what they meant, or if they're misquoted, everybody talks, and everybody does their thing. What's important is what happens in the game. For us, it's about going out and playing our game."
In fact, Frederick felt like comments like that just end up happening, and that people shouldn't set much store by them.
"I'm sure there's a quote from me [somewhere]," Frederick said. "I do my best not to say things about other teams, but I'm sure that at some point somebody said "Oh, I caught Travis saying this.'"
And for the most part, the Badgers have always tried to refocus questions about their weekly opponent on what they can control themselves, and now worry about what the other team does or says.
Fellow offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler, who is generally tight-lipped anyway, echoed Frederick's thoughts after practice.
"People can say what they want to say," Zeitler said. "It does no good for us to say stuff. We just don't let it bug us, because we have to prepare, try to stay with our plan here, get mentally ready."
"It is what it is."
It could be that the Oregon comments stuck out because the Badgers so rarely talk about their next opponent in anything but a respectful tone. Frederick feels like that comes from being good at internalizing those thoughts, and re-focusing on what they have to do to be successful.
"I think that's something special [about] Wisconsin, that we really keep everything in house, and what matters to us is just what we're doing," Frederick said. "It's not about talking about what they can and can't do or who they are, that's not for us."
"For us, it's just a matter of focusing on our things ... we don't have to be distracted by something somebody else is saying."
News and Notes
-- I am very certain I saw former Notre Dame quarterback at the Badgers practice Friday. Crist was huddled with offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, current starter Russell Wilson, and senior quarterback Nate Tice. We knew Crist was supposed to be on campus around now, so it's not exactly a surprise he was there, but if he's thinking about transferring to Wisconsin, he's talking with the right guys.
-- Frederick also said he's been taking reps at both center and left guard, and that he thinks the offensive line will be fine no matter if he or Peter Konz is lining up at center.
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