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Wisconsin football: UW players discuss upcoming Indiana game

Six, count ‘em six, Badgers spoke to the media this week about the Hoosiers, Rachad Wildgoose and film study among other things.

Wisconsin v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

While we aren’t always able to attend player or coach Zoom press conferences live we promise you this: sometimes we will listen to them later and then recap them for you. That’s the B5Q guarantee.

This week, QB Graham Mertz, WR Kendric Pryor, CB Faion Hicks, OLB Nick Herbig, S Collin Wilder and OLB Noah Burks spoke to the media about the upcoming game against the Indiana Hoosiers, the departure of CB Rachad Wildgoose and film study. Strap in, baby!

Graham Mertz

  • On IU’s defense, who force a lot of turnovers, “They’re a physical, fast defense who loves to pressure.”
  • On the offensive line gelling, “Those are my guys. They’re doing great...they keep getting smarter, keep getting better. I’m proud of those guys and I love ‘em. Love ‘em to death.”
  • On what he worked on after NU game “The big thing was timing (timing his feet and his eyes together) and working progressions.”
  • On what the Indiana defensive line does to wreak havoc, “They do a great job of getting to the QB and holding their blitzes and bringing them post-snap. A majority of their interceptions and turnovers have been due to the quarterback being pressured.”
  • On how much film he watches, “It’s a lot [laughs]. Close to fix-six hours a day of watching film. It’s what a quarterback has to do. It might be a little crazy saying that number now that I think about it, but that’s the reality of it.”
Wisconsin v Northwestern Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Noah Burks

  • On playing his home state team, “There’s definitely some more excitement with this one, but we’ve got to treat it like every other game. Going back and playing the Hoosiers is definitely something I get a little more excited for.”
  • On what will change with Indiana QB Michael Penix’s injury, “I don’t think it’s going to change too much. But we’re going to try and see what’ll be different with him (backup QB Jack Tuttle) in the game.”
  • Burks mentioned that he thought the difference between IU’s teams over the past few years and this year is: “Their defense has been a lot better this year.”
  • On other OLB who are stepping up “I think that C.J. Goetz has done a really good job stepping up to the plate.” He also mentioned freshman Aaron Witt showing great stuff at practice.
  • On the wildcat look they might see against IU, “You have to be aware and take account of who is playing QB. Make sure that everyone has their gaps held...especially out on the edge. You know, most likely, that we’re going to be seeing run.”

Faion Hicks

  • On his roommate and friend Rachad Wildgoose going pro, “We talked about it...everyone in this program is in support of it. We are all happy for him.”
  • On UW defensive backs going against IU’s wideouts, “I think we matchup very well with their receivers. It’s going to be a challenge. Receiver No. 3 [Ty Fryfogle] has been showing a lot of good things on tape. It’s going to be fun.”
  • On who will step up with Wildgoose out of the lineup, “That’s been the key thing with this group all year, the depth. If they’re on the field they can make plays for us.”
  • Hicks really wants to play Minnesota, noting, “Most definitely want to make that happen. I’m pretty sure [the Gophers] wouldn’t be upset about that either.”

Kendric Pryor

  • Pryor noted that it was always a battle going up against Wildgoose in practice.
  • On if he can tell that Mertz watches a lot of film, “[laughs] I can definitely say that I don’t want five or six hours of film a day. The quarterback has to really know what the whole offense is doing.” He went on to say that he prefers to watch film in shorter clips, go work on what he saw on the field, then watch more film.
Wisconsin v Northwestern Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Nick Herbig

  • On why the rush defense is so good, “They (d-line) make my job so much easier...everyone can attest to that. Those three guys in the middle do a lot for our defense.” He shouted out Isaiahh Loudermilk, Garrett Rand and Keeanu Benton specifically.
  • On what he did with his brother, Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Nate Herbig, back home, “Training with my brother is great, it’s kind of a love/hate kinda thing, because he pushes me so hard. He’s really smart. Football-wise he knows what he’s talking about.”
  • On the overall OLB group, “It’s a great group. I’m so glad that I came here. Burks is the leader of our group. Even though he’s out I look to [Izayah Green-May] for advice.”

Collin Wilder

  • On playing against the talented Hoosiers wide receivers, “The big key is winning our matchups. It’s a great challenge for us. I’ve got the utmost respect for their wide receivers.”
  • On missing Wildgoose, he sees it as a next man up mentality, “We’re going to miss Goose. He brings a lot of energy every day, a lot of athleticism.”
  • On different wildcat looks the Hoosiers might give them since they’re starting a backup QB, “You definitely have to respect the run a little more in those situations. It goes back to film study and see if they’ve run a pass out of it [wildcat formation].”
  • On how he’s feeling this year, “I feel like I’m playing a lot faster. I’m not as phased by certain formations or motion. I feel like I’m having so much more fun this year because I’m more confident.”
  • Wilder started off his time by answering a question about a friend of his from the Houston football team (where Wilder started his college career) who was murdered a month ago. If you follow Wilder on Twitter or Instagram you’ve seen him post about it. He was thankful to discuss what happened and even more thankful that one of the suspects had been caught.