Bielema: Paterno Thoughts and Injury Updates

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema shared a few thoughts on Joe Paterno, while giving injury updates for Saturday's contest in Minnesota.

MADISON — Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema was reluctant to talk about Joe Paterno and Penn State Thursday, saying he had a policy of not commenting on issues Wisconsin wasn't involved in.

Still, Bielema eventually shared some thoughts on the removal of the winningest coach in FBS history when reporters persisted.

"The only thing you can do is feel bad for all the families involved," Bielema said.

"It was different at Ohio State without [Jim] Tressel in there and it is kind of one of those things you just have in your head.

"[Paterno] has been a head coach longer than I have been alive."

Injury Updates

Aaron Henry, who was removed from the game against Purdue last Saturday after injuring his ankle, looks good to go this Saturday in Minnesota.

"Aaron Henry practiced today," Bielema said. "He did a little bit yesterday, but not a lot. But today he was in the with 'ones' the entire time today."

David Gilbert on the other hand, who has missed the past five games with a broken foot, is still struggling to consistently stay on the field.

Bielema mentioned that if Gilbert wasn't ready for the Gophers — which seems more and more likely — seeking a medical redshirt for the junior might be the next course of action.

"He went Tuesday's practice, but Wednesday was a bit sore so we backed off of him," Bielema said. "He didn't do much today. It is kind of one of those things where we are getting down to the final hour. We had kind of targeted this, if he wasn't going by this game we move forward with the redshirt."

Louis Nzegwu meanwhile, is still struggling with a foot injury but has practiced all week.

"It is a factor on him," Bielema said of the foot injury. "He has good days and bad days. He has been engaged all this week."

Keeping the Axe

Having defeated Minnesota seven years in a row and no one on the Badgers roster even fathoming what it would be like to not hold Paul Bunyan's Axe, Bielema took an unusual motivational step to keep his team sharp for Saturday.

He allowed one of the last Badger leaders to give up the Axe to speak to the team.

Ben Strickland, a current graduate assistant at UW, gave a speech this week about what its like to lose the Border Battle.

"I wanted him to speak because he was actually on a team that lost," Bielema said. "When you lose a trophy game there is something that you learn from that process that you never really erase or forget."

"I think he made them understand, its not just a regular, routine game. It's a rivalry game."

Extra Points

Bielema said there will be both personnel changes and scheme changes on the special teams units that have struggled the past weeks, but declined to go in to specifics. … With Chris Borland and Mike Taylor currently tied for the team lead in tackles with 95 apiece, Bielema said he has taken to "razzing" each one during the week to help spur on the competition.

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