Michigan week has come and gone, and boy what a week it was. All the lead up, all the talk and hype and of course the dominating win. It’s good to soak it in, but now its time to refocus on the next task at hand. Whenever you rest on a win too much, you can be in a trap the following week.
Attention was all on Northwestern at this week’s presser, which is a good sign for a team that just won a huge football game. Opening this week, the conversation was of course on the injuries and depth chart at the safety position after both Eric Burrell and Reggie Pearson were kicked out of the game for targeting.
In this week’s depth chart, both Burrell and Pearson are listed as the starter, but they will not be able to play in this contest until the second half. That means Collin Wilder will get the start at one position, and Madison Cone will get the start at the other, which brings us to the injury report.
Cone is listed on the two deep, but he is also listed as questionable for the game with a left leg injury. How Cone comes along will be a big focus point as the Badgers attempt to get through the first half without feeling the brunt of the targeting calls. Bryson Williams is also listed as questionable, which is a welcome sign after missing last weeks game.
Chryst opened the presser talking about the development of outside linebacker Zack Baun who had a huge game last Saturday. When asked about him, Chryst said he’s grown in so many different ways. He said he first grew as a person and is now playing with confidence and trusting himself in his role. Obviously that is apparent on the field, as Baun has been a wrecking ball so far this season.
Chryst then talked about Northwestern and raved about their defense. He claimed the team will have to earn everything they get and work hard for it. The Wildcats will be eager to prove that narrative correct after suffering a 31-10 drubbing by Michigan State at home.
Chryst touched on the targeting rule and the impact it had on the game as a whole. He mentioned that nobody wants to see injuries, and that there are times where there are unintended consequences from the happenings.
Obviously the targeting call was a main discussion point from Badger players, fans and media alike. Burrell and Pearson’s plays were incredibly different, but resulted in the same penalty and four quarter suspension. That to most people just doesn’t make sense. The definition of targeting is always in question, and this week it impacted the Badgers more than anyone. However, now gives the opportunity for guys like Wilder and Cone to step up and get some reps.
Chryst lastly touched on the kicking woes for Wisconsin, saying “we know the stat”. He also noted that a few of the misses have come from long distances. Despite the low percentage, Chryst noted that he has confidence in Collin Larsh. As the season goes on, the kicking game will continue to be a focal point for the Badgers. Obviously, we all hope it turns around for the sake of Larsh’s confidence and the team.