|« Worth repeating: Stump Mitchell||NCAA, OVC rules TTU-Lane College stats will not count in their tallies »|
Badgers won't rest starters vs. Austin Peay until outcome decided
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and his staff aren’t treating UW’s non-conference game this week against Austin Peay in the same way NFL coaches treat exhibition games.
There are no plans to hold key players out just to give them a week off in anticipation of the Big Ten Conference opener Oct. 2 at Michigan State.
The starters who are healthy enough to start will be expected to do so when UW (3-0) hosts the Governors (2-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday, and they’ll likely play until the outcome has been decided.
“If we do our job, obviously you’d like to do that,” defensive coordinator Dave Doeren said when asked if he hoped to get some rest for his frontline players. “But that is not going to be the mindset. We need to get better.
“Defensively, we did some really good things in the red zone last week but we gave up some runs that we should never give up.
“We’ve got to rectify that and get back to basics and get ready for Big Ten football. We have to have a great week.”
As much as offensive coordinator Paul Chryst would like to get No. 2 quarterback Jon Budmayr work before the league opener, he isn’t going to insert the redshirt freshman into the lineup Saturday unless the game dictates he can.
“I’m not going to say anything,” Chryst said when asked if the prospect of playing a Football Championship Subdivision program would allow Budmayr to get his first action of the season. “I’d love to get Jon in, but I’m not going to (anger) the football gods.
“The best (attitude) is full-speed ahead.”
Chryst added that third-string quarterback Curt Phillips, out since suffering a torn ligament in his right knee last spring, has not been cleared to play.
Austin Peay, with victories over Cumberland and Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee State, has a handful of talented players but is unlikely to challenge UW. The Governors lost 25 seniors from a team that was 4-7 last season under coach Rick Christophel and have had two winning seasons in 25 years.
Nevertheless, six FCS programs have recorded upsets against Bowl Championship Subdivision teams this season. That includes South Dakota scoring a 41-38 victory over Minnesota on Sept. 11 and Jacksonville State, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, winning at Ole Miss in two overtimes in Week 1.
“It is still 11 on 11, and it’s playing football,” Bielema said. “I know our guys can see on film that they play very, very hard.”
By Jeff Potrykus of the Journal Sentinel