Football notebook

Ron Lee a frequent traveler; Badgers deal with humidity; injury update; Colorado reunion; player of the week wrap; No. 17 BCS

HONOLULU — University of Wisconsin defensive backs coach Ron Lee is visiting Hawaii this week for the sixth time in his football career. He made the trip once as a player at Washington State and four previous times as a coach.

What can he share with the Badger players about his past experiences?

"One thing I've been telling them is just get ready for humidity," Lee said. "I remember when I was at Washington State, went there for the '88 Aloha Bowl against Houston. Was in Pullman and it was like 10 degrees. We got there it was 85. So got to get ready for the humidity.

"And got to be ready to play the University of Hawaii over there because they play hard when they are at home."

Beat the heat

Tuesday morning UW left the freezing temperatures in Madison for 80-degree days in Honolulu.

Dealing with the heat and humidity could be a challenge. The Badgers will look to avoid the fate that befell the Michigan State men's basketball team in a 22-point loss at Hawaii Saturday, when its four best players had to leave the game due to cramps.

"We started hydrating our players (Sunday)," UW head coach Barry Alvarez said. "Now there's no way we can simulate the heat even in the McClain (indoor practice facility), but we'll try to hydrate. We've been conditioning more than we normally would at this time of year."

"It is going to be real important to make sure they are hydrating, 24 hours before we leave and continue to hydrate on the plane, because that very easily can happen," Lee said, referring to the Spartans' cramping issue.

MSU flew into Hawaii last Thursday night, practiced Friday and played Saturday. The Badgers practiced after arriving in Honolulu Tuesday, and were scheduled to practice Wednesday and Thursday at Aloha Stadium.

"That'll give us three times that we'll be out in that weather to get some type of practice in," Alvarez said.

Injury update

Left guard Matt Lawrence, who missed the Iowa game with an ankle injury, is back practicing and will play Friday.

Defensive tackle Jason Chapman is expected to return to the starting lineup for the first time in five games. Chapman has been limited by injuries for the past month, though he has only missed one game in its entirety.

Matt Shaughnessy, who started seven games at defensive end, is out for the season after suffering a knee injury in UW's loss to Iowa two weeks ago.

"He didn't have a lot of swelling, which is good," Alvarez said. "… Hopefully when he (has surgery) it'll be a good surgery. I have a feeling that he'll be the type of person that will work very hard to rehab it and get back to his form."

Wide receiver Jarvis Minton is out with an undisclosed injury.

Short bench at defensive end

Though Shaughnessy's injury depletes the Badgers' depth considerably, Bielema squashed any thought of playing offensive tackle Joe Thomas at defensive end. Thomas started at defensive end in the 2003 Music City Bowl and played well.

The possibility of Thomas serving a role on defense has been brandished from time-to-time this season, but Bielema said he could not see that occurring this week.

"The reasons we had talked about that were more (for) bigger-type teams we were getting in where we needed a real big body," Bielema said. "(The Warriors) don't put any tight ends on the field, let alone two."

With Shaughnessy's injury, sophomore Kurt Ware is set to join Joe Monty in the starting lineup. Freshman Travis Beckum, who has played sparingly as a designated pass rusher in UW's 30 front defenses, is listed as the top reserve at both end spots.

"Travis in particular is a guy that can rush the passer and we think he can do good things," Bielema said. "But we're not going to take away from what we do and what we've been able to have success at this year so far defensively."

Travel notes

Defensive tackle Gino Cruse did not make the trip to Hawaii… third-string quarterback Bryan Savage, who is reportedly transferring to another Division I program after this season, did travel to Honolulu with the team.


Two years ago, Colt Brennan was redshirting as a freshman quarterback at Colorado. One of his intramural basketball teammates was Brian Calhoun. Brennan spent last season at Saddleback Community College in California before transferring to Hawaii. Calhoun transferred to UW in the summer of 2004.

"We were actually really good friends," Calhoun said. "… So that was kind of a small world when I saw that he was the starting quarterback…

"He's a good competitor. It will be good to see him."

UW player of the week wrap

Senior center Donovan Raiola was named Wisconsin's offensive player of the week for his performance versus the Hawkeyes.

Other team players of the week from the Iowa game were Joe Stellmacher (defense), Brandon Williams (special teams), Garrett Graham (scout offense) and Phil Arnold (scout defense).

This is Williams' fifth special teams honor of the season. He also has earned two offensive player of the week awards.

Badgers 17th in BCS

The Badgers moved up three spots in the Bowl Championship Series standings, from No. 20 to No. 17, despite sitting idle over the weekend. Penn State is the highest Big Ten team, coming in at No. 3. Ohio State is ranked No. 6 in the BCS standings, Michigan is No. 22 and Northwestern just cracks the top 25 at 25.

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