The Badgers thrust themselves into the national spotlight (again) with an eye-opening win at Michigan State, shocking the Spartan faithful as well as many experts across the nation. A big part of that win was starting QB Alex Hornibrook, who showed impressive on the field instincts.
Head coach Paul Chryst was asked about Hornibrook’s off the field likeability in Monday’s press conference.
“That's why we offered him,” said Chryst while chuckling.
He also praised Andrew Endicott’s performance, who filled in at kicker for the injured Rafael Gaglianone.
“He worked and was really good all week. He was a big factor for us,” Chryst said.
Chryst then elaborated on how he “loved” it when kids stepped in and played their part, instilling a next-man-up style of play that deep teams have the luxury of falling back on in the wake of injuries. The Badgers now turn to a top-ten team for the third time this season in Jim Harbaugh’s No. 4 Michigan Wolverines.
“This is a good team we’re getting ready to play. Every unit, offense, defense, special teams is going to get tested and it's gonna be challenged,” Chryst said. .
He talked specifically about Jalill Peppers, Michigan’s dynamic offensive and defensive threat.
“He's a special football player. There aren't a lot of players that can impact the game in all three phases like he does,” Chryst said. “I mean he's gotta be the best player in college football right now.”
He also praised his coaching counterpart Harbaugh.
“Jim’s a good football coach, hes got a good staff and good players,” Chryst said.
Chryst has outcoached two strong coaches in Les Miles and Mark Dantonio so far this season, so don't look for him and his crew to back down this Saturday in Ann Arbor.
Head coach Tony Granato came out excited about the prospects of his team’s upcoming season.
“They're chomping at the bit to play someone else,” Granato said. “The energy that they’ve shown, the work ethic that they’ve put in over the summer to be ready for this, is really exciting.”
The new coach acknowledged the learning curve that not only the team will be on, but also the one that he and his coaching staff will be on.
Granato also said that his team has “good players,” pointing to their past first round and NHL draft success as a whole.
“They're hungry,” Granato said. “For me, I was surprised when they jumped on the ice, and I was out there at the first practice, their offensive ability, and how to make plays, and how to use each other was far more advanced that I thought.”
The Badgers’ coach seems determined to bring the storied Wisconsin hockey legacy back with the talent he has inherited.
“We’re gonna work hard, and compete and it's gonna be exciting,” Granato said.
A new horizon awaits for the Men's Hockey team, and look for the Badgers to back up the talk with their play come Saturday at 7 p.m. as they take on Victoria in an exhibition game at the Kohl Center.
Head coach Kelly Sheffield’s team strung together two impressive Big Ten play wins this weekend at home. The Badgers took down No. 19 Ohio State 3-0 on Friday, then dismantled Maryland 3-0 on Saturday.
“That's the loudest i've ever heard [the UW Field House,” Sheffield said of the game Friday. “That's what great effort will do, the fans here, you can't fool the Wisconsin fanbase”
Credit goes to the coaching staff for preaching effort from the first play, to not only build team momentum, but also to get the crowd amped up.
Sheffield now turns his No. 3 ranked team’s attention to a showdown on the road at No. 14 Purdue.
“It’s another great environment, another incredible opportunity in front of us, against a great opponent,” Sheffield said.
He went on to repeat Coach Chryst’s sentiments about Big Ten play.
“It’s the same about this conference with any sport. Uou feel like you're giving the same answers every week, it's another ranked opponent,” Sheffield said.
With nine Big Ten schools ranked in the Top 25, conference play will feature some of the best teams in the nation squaring off. The Badgers will hope to continue their Big Ten streak of 14 straight wins this weekend against Purdue Friday and Rutgers Saturday.