Wisconsin football kept it rolling last weekend as the Badgers picked up their fifth straight victory in blowout fashion against Rutgers, 52-3. It was a dominating performance on all sides of the football, and in turn the Badgers now sit in the driver’s seat of the Big Ten West if they can win out.
This week the Badgers take on the Northwestern Wildcats who have fallen hard after their Big Ten Title game appearance a year ago. What did coach Chryst have to say about the contest? Let’s take a look.
Chryst started his presser discussing the injuries of Chez Mellusi and Jack Nelson. Both injuries appeared they could be serious, but both players are listed as questionable for Saturday’s Northwestern contest which is a positive sign.
“Last I had learned from the doctors we’re just kinda waiting to find out exactly what it is (for Chez). Regardless, you hate seeing it for him and truly appreciate what he’s brought to this team, obviously from a production standpoint. That’s not easy to come in with a whole new group of teammates, new system, new place. I’ve appreciated from the get go how he’s come and dove in... we’re always hopeful it’s not as bad as what your mind sometimes takes you to. The same thing with Nelly (Jack Nelson) just kinda make sure of things. We had more upbeat conversations about him and hopefully, we’ll know for sure in a short time here.”
Later on, Chryst touched on wideout Chimere Dike who had a great game Saturday both as a pass-catcher and blocker. When talking about his play Chryst mentioned Dike looks to maximize every opportunity.
“What I love about Chim and the way that he approaches everything is he is gonna maximize every opportunity every day to keep honing his craft... because he does that, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s a better player for having done that. He’s got a great makeup that way... no question in my mind he’s so much better this year and to his credit he came in and set a high bar early.”
On Thursday's podcast, I said we hadn't seen a game where all three of the #Badgers top receivers got going at the same time this season.— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) November 7, 2021
Well, it happened against Rutgers:
Kendric Pryor -- 72 yards, 1 touchdown
Danny Davis -- 72 yards, 1 touchdown
Chimere Dike -- 55 yards
Later on, Chryst touched on his team’s confidence and how he has seen it grow over the course of this five-game winning streak.
“I hesitate a little bit because I don't think our team lost their confidence. I think they had great confidence in themselves and great confidence in each other and they knew the areas where we had to get better... they’ve done a great job of approaching the week. That’s why I come in here on a Monday and say I am excited because I like where they are at.”
After that, Chryst touched on the Badgers upcoming contest with Northwestern. When asked what makes them a tough team to play against Chryst had this to say.
“I have a lot of respect for Fitz and their staff. Talented players, well-coached, they’re a tough football team. They do a great job of playing good football. They’re not gonna give you much, you’ve gotta go earn it. It’s a team you look forward to playing because you know you’ve gotta earn what you are gonna get... it’s always a physical game, and it’s a team that you’ve gotta go out and play and execute against.”
Overall, there was not a lot to take from today’s presser but when you’re riding a five-game winning streak and just beat your last opponent by 49 points the questions are a bit easier to answer.
The Badgers are playing some great football, and it’s clear their confidence and focus is on the next contest with the Northwestern Wildcats. It seems as though things are business as usual for Paul Chryst and his squad, which is exactly what he probably wants heading into the back quarter of the season.