Kirk Ferentz's Opening Statements
We'll start with the injury situation. Sam Brownlee appears to be OK and we expect for him to be ready to go. Mike Elgin should be ready to go, and hopefully Lee Gray; I think that he has improved a lot the last two weeks, so if he can get through practice, he will be ready to go, as well.
Probably the biggest question mark would be Marques Simmons. We are going to let him try to practice today and see what happens. If he gets through today, we will let him go tomorrow and see where things go from there. He has not done anything since being injured, and Sunday, he was nowhere near 100 percent, so we will see how it goes, but I am not optimistic on that front.
Last Saturday, it was another routine win for us; it was not a problem at all. It really is an illustration to the kind of season we are having right now. There have not been any easy games, and we are not expecting one this week. The bottom line is that our guys are competing, and that is the positive news.
We do have a very stiff test facing us this week. Wisconsin is a top 10 football team and rightfully so. This was one of those things that you could see it coming; they were improving last year during the year, and we have had a chance to watch them on film during the course of this season as we have prepared for other teams, and you can tell they are an excellent football team.
They are very veteran, especially up front on both sides of the football, which gives you a heck of a head start. Four senior defensive linemen, a lot of their offensive linemen have played a lot; both of those guards have been there forever. The center has played and their tackles have played. Getting Anthony Davis back, they took off. Bernstein has been around a long time; he is a big fullback and what a great job he did in their Penn State game filling in for Davis.
They have a lot of weapons. The same thing on the back end on defense; Leonard has been there forever; he is an excellent football player and does a great job on punt returns. Their corners are outstanding as well, and that is a big part of their defensive scheme.
We are going to have a great challenge. Probably as impressive as anything is that they know how to win. That is what happens when you have a veteran team like they have; that is still the bottom line. It will be a great challenge for our team, and it had ought to be a real exciting week of practice and getting ready, and the environment we will have on Saturday will be exciting, as well. What else could you ask for? All we have to do is do our part and play a great game, because it's going to take that to have a chance."
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