On a crisp, Monday afternoon, Wisconsin Badgers head coach Gary Andersen met with the media -- two days after decimating the Nebraska Cornhuskers 59-24.
Here are some highlights from today's press conference:
-- Opened press conference by talking about the big day for running back Melvin Gordon (408 yards, 25 carries, 4 touchdowns) and noted how the offensive line played as well as they have this season. He also gave praise to the other blockers -- tight ends, fullback and wide receivers to help spring Gordon and the running game.
-- Said Iowa will be a challenging place to play, but the team's excited to go down there and play. The rivalry has meaning this year, and the teams are playing for a lot. Andersen called out Iowa's offensive line, tight ends and running backs, but also mentioned the Hawkeyes' wide receivers as having the ability to catch the ball. Along with Iowa's defensive line, Andersen said the Badgers will have a "tremendous challenge."
-- Andersen said the offensive linemen on this team are tough kids, very smart and prepare very well. The tradition of the offensive line at Wisconsin means a lot to them.
-- Andersen said Joe Schobert, who won Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week, is a "patient" player because "things are easy for him on the football field a lot of times." Noted how Schobert makes big plays, is a good pass rusher and has the combination of athleticism and intelligence.
-- When asked about Gordon's productivity, Andersen said his angles this season as "phenomenal" but also complimented his power to break tackles.
-- Andersen said Wisconsin's offense now makes opponents have to now prepare for spread look opposed to just preparing normally to a typical Wisconsin-offense. He also noted how Joel Stave, who took a pretty solid shot from a Nebraska defender last week, can take a hit with the best of them.
-- Andersen believes Gordon will be more driven in last two weeks to 1) win a championship and 2) also be the best player in college football. If there's been a running back comparable to Gordon, Andersen replied, "I don't remember. It's amazing to see what he does. I've never seen a guy like Melvin in college."
-- Andersen said he trust both of his coordinators, offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, to be prepared, and having the team play well "consumes their lives, week in and week out." He mentioned how the coordinators (including the special teams' coordinators) mold their team during the year. Can see pieces moving throughout the season.
-- The head coach said he's embraced the rivalries between Minnesota and Iowa. He has a great deal of respect for both teams.
-- Konrad Zagzebski should be 100 percent for Iowa, as after a couple of series against Nebraska, they held the senior defensive linemen out the rest of the game. That was due an ankle injury suffered the week before that wouldn't allow him to push off.