MADISON, Wis. -- As the Wisconsin Badgers' game with South Dakota draws nearer, it's becoming clear that the coaching staff refuses to take this year's FCS foe for granted. After all, the Coyotes have played giant-killers before: last year, South Dakota beat Minnesota in TCF Bank Stadium. This year the Coyotes also defeated the reigning FCS champion, Eastern Washington, 30-17. So in short, South Dakota is no Austin Peay.
In his weekly press conference Monday, head coach Bret Bielema said his team's formula for success won't change just because the Coyotes play in a lower division.
"One thing that we've been able to establish is that 'we know how to win football games here'," Bielema said. "If our preparation this week changes from what it was last week against Northern Illinois, then we're setting ourselves up for failure."
"The formula is come over Sunday, and get done what we need to get done. Take [Monday], get as much 'overtime' as they want, and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we need to work the way we work. On Saturday we need to execute. It doesn't matter who we're playing."
Bielema described "overtime" for his players as putting in time on their own on Monday, since the coaching staff doesn't schedule anything for them.
"I always tell kids 'If you're a guy that's working a 40 hour a week job, you get paid time and a half or double for overtime, and it's the same thing with football players'," Bielema said. "If you want to put in extra time, the success you're going to have is winning, bowl games, and NFL opportunities."
Bielema also mentioned the Coyotes are excited to play the Badgers on Saturday, and they're nothing if not confident.
"I think they lack nothing in confidence," Bielema said. "You can tell just from comments I read in the paper that their kids are excited to play us. One of their defensive linemen said they were going to come over here and 'hit us in the mouth.' They're going to be in here ready to go."
-- Offensive lineman Josh Oglesby's knee injury might not be serious after all. Oglesby is still listed on the depth chart, and is splitting time with fellow right tackle Rob Havenstein. Bielema said the team is still waiting on an MRI for Oglesby, but signs are pointing towards him playing either this week or next week if the report comes back clean. Either way, expect Havenstein to see a lot of reps on Saturday.
-- A few players are returning this week: Marcus Trotter (hamstring) will return this week, and true freshman Devin Gaulden should split playing time with Darius Hillary as the backup to Antonio Fenelus.
--Defensive end Pat Muldoon (elbow) is recovering much quicker than expected after dislocating his elbow against Oregon State.
News and Notes
-- The Badgers split a few of the week's MVP awards. Wide receivers Jared Abbrederis and Nick Toon took home the award on offense, and linebacker Mike Taylor and strong safety Shelton Johnson split the defensive honors. Fullback Bradie Ewing took home the special teams honors.
Bielema also mentioned Ewing is getting some attention from NFL teams. Ewing has been a utility man for the Badgers this year- in addition to blocking for the running backs, Ewing has gotten involved in the passing game as well.
-- Another week, another coaching connection for the Badgers. South Dakota's co-defensive coordinator, Jake Sprague, is a former Wisconsin defensive lineman and graduate assistant from 2005-2007.
-- The Coyotes also return 18 starters from last year's team; so going on the road to play a BCS team won't be a new experience for them.
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