The Wisconsin Badgers rolled to 5-0 last Saturday, and now dive head first into Big Ten play with another important contest against the Michigan State Spartans. The focus is now fully on conference play, and the team appeared ready for the grind of conference play week in and week out. The Spartans have not been as strong as they appeared to be in the preseason, but the team and coach Paul Chryst still see them as a challenge, like every opponent.
Paul Chryst on success on both sides of the ball. Offense is averaging 40 ppg, defense has 3 shutouts —— Melissa Y. Kim (@melissaykim) October 7, 2019
“Only at the end, can you write the narrative.” #Badgers #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/U5cUvWhD9S
The press conference opened as it always does with this week’s injury and depth chart. This week fullback Mason Stokke, linebacker Leo Chenal, and safety Madison Cone are all listed as questionable for the game against MSU. All will have status updates later in the week, but for now the Badgers have zero players listed as “out,” which is always a welcome sign this far into the season.
After the injury and depth chart, Chryst talked about the matchup against Michigan State and what Mark Dantonio usually brings to the table. Chryst noted the respect he has for coach Dantonio, and said the thing he remembers most is the physicality and toughness of Michigan State teams.
He mentioned that being tough on both offense and defense crucial, but added that “special teams mattered a ton”. With the Badgers struggling in that phase of the game, it will be interesting to see the role it plays in Saturday’s contest.
After that, coach Chryst touched on Kendric Pryor’s involvement in the offense. Obviously the wide receiver group has a lot of depth, which Chryst noted, but also added that they’ll need everyone and he’s proven to make plays when called upon. Chryst added that he is confident his time will come and that he will do his job when his number is called.
PC on if offense can get Kendric Pryor the ball more: They do have more depth there, but you'll need everyone. Has proven to make plays and confident it will come. There is confidence in him.— Jake Kocorowski (@JakeKoco) October 7, 2019
After that the conversation was directed to special teams, more specifically Zach Hintze, who has been huge in the Badgers kickoff game. Chryst called Hintze a “weapon” noting that you can never take a touchback for granted. With all the struggles that the Badgers have had on special teams, it’s certainly nice to have a bright spot in that phase of the game.
It will be interesting to see how the Badgers continue to use the strength of Hintze in both the kick off and field goal game should they look to make a change at place kicker.