Edds Talks Team Defense

A.J. Edds was able to watch Illinois-Wisconsin this weekend, and he saw that the Badgers corrected some mistakes from last year's game against Illinois. Mainly, it was playing sound assignment defense, something Iowa did against Illinois last year and definitely something that will be a must on Saturday.

b>Q: How was the bye week?

A.J. Edds: It was nice to take a break mentally, and physically. It was nice to get some guys healthy, and take that mental break, relax and watch some games for a change and not think about football as much.

Q: Did you watch the Illinois game?

Edds: Yes. They played well. They did some things to hurt themselves, but they are a great team and we have to be ready on the road. They are .500 right now, they are probably looking at this game just as important as we are. Especially being on the road, it's a big game for us.

Q: What did you think of all that scoring going on around the nation?

Edds: Basically, from the outside looking in there have been some shootouts in the big games. Makes you wonder what the defenses are doing. You also understand that those guys on offense can score on each play someone gets the ball. It seems more that way with some of those teams that have the speed. Anytime anyone touches the ball, those guys can go the distance.

Q: What kind of problems does Juice pose?

Edds: Outside of Kellen Lewis, he is the best quarterback we will see running and throwing. He has gotten a lot better as a thrower. He threw for over 400 against Minnesota. He is very able as a passer and we all know what he can do with his feet. He has guys making plays for him on the outside as well. It will take a complete effort. This isn't a one dimensional team. They can beat your throwing and running. We have to be able to play a full game and know that they are capable.

Q: You guys have given up 13 points against Illinois in just two games. What is the secret?

Edds: My freshman year, Juice was a freshman quarterback and didn't have his feet on the ground. Last year we played as well on defense as we had the whole year. We had a great game plan and executed well and that is what we want to do this week as well. We know what we need to do. We can't play one on one defense, we need to get guys to the ball and do their job. Some guys have to do extra, because that is how big plays happen.

Q: It seems like after the last two games, a lot of fans are talking 9-3, Outback Bowl. Is that tough for you guys to not get too far ahead of yourselves?

Edds: Yes and no. It is in the fact that you look at the schedule, we could lose each game as easily as we can win. If we focus on that stuff, we will look at ourselves in a few weeks and still have five wins. We have to focus on things one game at a time. Do what we can do and take the things we can control, which is how we play, and let things play out.

Q: What did Wisconsin do to slow down Illinois?

Edds: They played good team defense. They got guys to the ball. Juice made a few errant throws, trying to make too much happen. But Wisconsin was playing good team defense and they rallied the troops. They are not counting themselves out, they played with fire. We will have to do that. If we show up half effort and going through the motions, they will put 50 on us like they have to other teams.

Q: It looked like the Badgers did a good job of keeping Juice between the hash marks.

Edds: I think they played assignment football for the most part. I watched their game last year against Wisconsin. There were a few plays when Illinois won where guys were unaccounted for. You didn't have the quarterback, and he ran for 60, then Juice ran for 60. There was busted coverage last year, and they cleaned that up. They were focused on their keys. Illinois had to earn everything they had. With as many weapons as they have, they will have some plays. But you can't give up the easy stuff to a team like this, you have to make them earn it.

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