Wisconsin football was able to end the season right by keeping Paul Bunyan’s Axe in Madison, and now they can cap it off by taking down Wake Forest in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Monday, coach Chryst spoke to the media to discuss the opportunity and hit on some other talking points.
The presser, of course, opened with the usual: coach Chryst was thankful for the opportunity to be playing one more game. With many programs opting out of a bowl to give their players a much-needed break, Chryst sounded like he and the players were very excited for the chance to play this contest.
"Certainly excited to have one more game... at the beginning of the season we just wanted an opportunity to play. Grateful for the opportunity to play one more week with this group." - Paul Chryst, opening comments— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) December 21, 2020
One of the main topics of conversation was of course around Jack Coan and his decision to enter the transfer portal. Coach Chryst noted that it there was a process in place for Coan to work back to playing. According to Chryst, Coan first mentioned his thoughts of transferring prior to the Iowa game. Many fans were calling for Coan to play in that contest, but one might speculate there was an underlying reason why, and we may just have our answer now.
"The first time anything came up as far as his interest in possibly transferring was before the Iowa game." - Chryst, discussing the decision from quarterback Jack Coan to enter the transfer portal— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) December 21, 2020
Later on, Chryst was asked about the bowl prep and how they will handle the upcoming trip to Charlotte. Normally you have a few weeks to prepare and also work on things with some younger players. With a regular-season going into late December you don’t have as much time, but it sounds like Chryst and company will still take a few days to work on stuff with younger players.
"I think we can sneak a little in and we're gonna. It's more like a long game week. Guys are still able to get a lot of work this week." - Chryst, on bowl prep and working in some younger guys over the next nine days.— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) December 21, 2020
For Wisconsin, a few extra days of practice with younger guys should really help in 2021. The 10-day layoff will also help on the injury front as the likes of Danny Davis III, Kendric Pryor and Graham Mertz are all going to be working back from injuries. Additionally, Jalen Berger will try to be completed with COVID protocol by the game.
With the Big Ten recently changing the rules to allow players to come back earlier Berger could possibly be back, but it’s early in the prep. Chryst also added that as of now no players have discussed opting out of the bowl game and that many of the guys are excited.
At the end of the day, this season is not what anyone wanted but unless you are Clemson or Alabama it all ends the same (yes, I left out OSU and ND for a reason). The extra ten days and game will allow the Badgers to prep, change some things, get an eye on some players, and hopefully springboard them into a strong 2021 season. I know it's been a tough year, but it will be nice to see Wisconsin football on the field one last time in 2020.