The Wisconsin Badgers will be one of a select few teams in action this weekend as they take on the Ohio State Buckeyes for the Big Ten Title in Indianapolis. The Badgers will be making their sixth appearance in the championship game, this time taking on the No. 1 team in the country, THEE Ohio State Buckeyes. Here’s what Coach Chryst and the players had to say about this week’s game.
Coach Chryst opened the presser expressing his thankfulness to get an opportunity to play another game against a quality opponent. After that, Chryst talked about Jack Coan’s improvement over the course of the season.
“I think he’s improved in all areas. I think he’s smart enough to grow from all his experiences. He can grow from good and negative experiences, he’s done all that. As you grow as a player you continue to gain confidence and trust... through his preparation he’s allowed himself to play. It’s been fun to watch.”
After that, he touched on the rematch with Ohio State and specifically the Ohio State defense which has been tops in the nation.
“They complement each other. There’s no doubt that they’re generating that up front whether its defensive linemen or linebackers... they’re playing really good defense. There’s no doubt, we didn’t do a great job in the passing game consistently. You have to give credit to the whole defense for what caused that... if were going to have success were going to have to do a better job of protection and getting open. All in all we gotta be better.”
Lastly, Chryst talked about whether or not he feels his team is better prepared and more talented for Ohio State this time around.
“There’s no question we are a better team (than last time). I think you can make an argument they're a better team as well. One thing I do feel good about is that we’ve had guys continuing to step up. New names are contributing and helping. Some are new names that are playing and playing at a higher level... its going to come down to playing good football Saturday night.”
Later in the day I joined the Big Ten Championship teleconference to hear what Jonathan Taylor and Chris Orr had to say about the game. Firstly, Jonathan Taylor talked about his motivation to face Ohio State, one of the few teams who’ve shut him down, for possibly the final time.
“I’m very motivated, my team is going to try and lean on me to make plays and I gotta to make sure I am ready this week and have a great week of preparation so when my number is called that I am able to go out and execute.”
After that, he talked about what went wrong the first time against the Buckeyes, and what the Badgers will need to do to have more success this time around.
“I think this week we’ve gotta play with great technique and we’ve gotta capitalize on mistakes or missed opportunities. We’ve gotta make sure we are at our best.”
Lastly, Taylor touched on the motivation to get back to the Big Ten Championship after losing to the Buckeyes the first time around.
“One of the biggest things was that we wanted to do was play our best football going into November. They say the games you remember are in November. It’s championship football so we needed to do whatever it took to make sure we’re playing our best in November and get to where we want at the end of the season.”
After JT, Orr joined the conference to give his thoughts on the game. Orr was first asked about the first game, and what they need to do better the second time around.
“They did a good job of getting us in deep. They also came up with a new play that we hadn’t seen all year that was specifically designed for us. They just had a really good scheme for us to be honest.”
After that, Orr talked about Ohio State’s prolific offense, and if they’re the best they’ve faced this season.
“I would put them up there. they can do everything really well. They have good players in the right positions. It’s going to come down to all 11 on 11 handling our business.”
While this game will certainly be the biggest challenge of the season, it appears that both the players and coaches are ready and wanting to step up and face the challenge that the Buckeyes bring. They’ve worked hard to get this point, so why not leave it all on the field on Saturday and see’s what happens. Upsets happen all the time, and I believe the Badgers are ready to give it their best shot under the bright lights of Lucas Oil Stadium.