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Badger Bits: Wisconsin secondary buys into new philosophy

Fridays really are the best, aren't they? Without further ado: I present your Badger Bits for Friday, October 22nd.

As the Wisconsin Badgers entered the 2010 football season, one of the biggest question marks for the team was how well the secondary could play. According to Tom Mulhern of Madison.com, the Wisconsin secondary finally played up to its potential during their strong showing against Ohio State.

Mulhern attributes much of the recent success to first year secondary coach Chris Ash, who spoke about what he tries to convey to the players:

"Effort has never been an issue with the guys," Ash said. "The willingness to pay the price to do things the right way has never been a problem. It's transferring what we do in the meeting room, to the practice field, to the game field is the process we have to keep getting better at."

Wisconsin's secondary will face its second big test in as many weeks when they travel to Iowa City for their game against the Hawkeyes. Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi ranks third in the nation in passing efficiency with a 180.5 rating. Stanzi also seems to have gotten over that nasty (but helpful) interception bug: he has 13 touchdowns this year to only two interceptions. Needless to say, the Badgers will have to capitalize on turnover opportunities tomorrow and build on last week's consistency.

More Badger Bits after the jump!

Football

You can check out Bret Bielema's post-practice notes from Thurdsday on UWBadgers.com by clicking this link that I have underlined.

The Wisconsin offensive linemen definitely appreciate the gesture running back John Clay made last week by shaving the numbers of the starting line into his hair.

Speaking of the offensive line, a new "Odd Couple" is emerging on the line: center Peter Konz and right guard Kevin Zeitler.

Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says that the UW coaches have done a good job lighting a fire under Clay, but they'll need to keep the fire burning against Iowa.

ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg mentions the Wisconsin/Iowa game in his post "What to watch in the Big Ten: Week 8."

Tight end Jacob Pedersen is developing nicely, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

Madison.com also featured Mike Taylor in their on-going series:"5 good minutes."

Hockey

Andy Baggot thinks that there will be many goals in the future for Jordy Murray.

Don't forget: The men's team opens their WCHA season tonight against Denver at 8:30 PM! The second game of the series starts Saturday night at 8 PM.

Basketball

We're getting closer to the start of the men's basketball season, and you can watch head coach Bo Ryan's press conference from Thursday here.

Tweet of the day

From Wisconsin's own J.J. Watt:

Just got off the phone with Jaxson... His message this week: "Sack Ricky Stanzi".

In conclusion:

Not that you would forget, but the Battle for the Heartland Trophy kicks off tomorrow on ABC at 2:30. Keep it here at Bucky's 5th Quarter for predictions, game threads, and post game reaction.