The Badgers got back into the win column this week after knocking off rival Iowa 24-22. It was a good feeling as the last three weeks dragged on for what felt like forever. Now the Badgers are back in the win column and still alive in the Big Ten West race as they look to chase down the undefeated Golden Gophers of Minnesota.
First though, the Badgers must take care of a Nebraska Cornhuskers team that should put up a good fight coming off a bye as they look to keep their bowl hopes alive. Let’s see what Paul Chryst had to say about the last few days and the upcoming week.
The press conference opened as always with the injury and depth chart for the week. The big note was the news that the Badgers will be without Nebraska native Bryson Williams in his first return trip to Lincoln.
Chryst then opened the presser talking about how valuable quarterback Adrian Martinez is to the Nebraska team, similar to what Nate Stanley was to the Iowa Hawkeyes last week:
“You watch him and you see he can do so many things. No play is ever done until its done. I think they got a lot of skill around him... what they do offensively by design, and doing it with a quarterback with his abilities is a really explosive, good offense. It stresses ya. Everyone’s gotta play and do their part, and play assignment football... they’ve got a lot of players and it certainly starts with him.”
After that, Coach Chryst talked about the tight end position and how well Jake Ferguson has done in his role given the injuries at the position group:
“He brings a lot and means a lot to this offense. I’ve appreciated his growth really in all the different areas and certainly been asked to do a lot more this year then he did last year. He’s competitive and he attacks it. He’s been big for us.”
After that, Chryst talked about Nebraska’s spread attack and how similar it is to Ohio State and Illinois and what they learned to have more success than they had in those earlier tests:
“ You learn something from every game. It’s interesting because each team you play and the offense you face...you can take from some of those (other games)... its a new week and a new opponent. You can draw on some things... there’s absolutely take away you can take but its still a different week.”
He later touched on Nebraska’s tempo which is one of the faster attacks the Badgers will face this season:
“Everything starts with communication. The less time you have to communicate to recognize what it is formationally that you’re seeing. Getting the call, all that gets squeezed down and momentum is a real part of football. When they have success they want to keep it rolling. It gives you less time to process what just happened and turn the page... you gotta handle it and you’ve got to deal with it.”
Lastly, Chryst talked about the status of the team in terms of pressure given another Big Ten West match-up and another trophy game late in the season. When asked if the team was feeling more pressure, Chryst had this to say:
“No because every game is important and this is our next one. This is the only game that matters... whatever happens you go out and play. I understand, and our players understand, all the talk and the chatter but all that matters is this game and all that matters right now is that we have a good Monday and a good Tuesday after that. It’s a pretty simple world we live in.”
It appears that despite the season being down to just three weeks that the Badgers are still calm and collected. With only three to go, and being behind by two, the pressure outside of the building feels very tense but the players and coaching staff do not appear phased by it. It’s apparent that Coach Chryst and company are focused on this week, and the chips for later in the season will fall where they may.