Our good "pal" Bret Bielema apparently doesn't know how good his Arkansas team is...but has a range of where he thinks they should be ranked:
"I don't think we're No. 76. I don't think we're No. 1," Bielema told reporters before an appearance at the Little Rock Touchdown Club. "I think we're somewhere in between."
Guess he will find out pretty quickly how good they are:
However, the schedule isn’t kind for the Razorbacks, who open at Auburn, the defending SEC champion and national championship runner-up, and then play at Texas Tech two weeks later. If there’s some saving grace, the Razorbacks do get Alabama and LSU at home.
He is Number 1 for Drunk OMG Shirtless!!! though:
Bielema, on Saban:
"... he can't compare."
That's not all, but it's the best part. You can read the rest here:
What? Is this "feature" still a thing? Yeah, it's still a thing when I have time for it. I admit, I had time last week, but Purdue frustratingly doesn't publish a transcript. I really didn't feel like listening to the audio of the entire presser. Seriously, what's up with that? The previous weeks I was just really busy and didn't get around to doing it. I've got a little time now as I relax while watching Michigan handle Bowling Green (woo basketball empty Crisler Arena!!!).
So this week, we have that big meat-head Bret Bielema and his meaty Badgers (did that just sound really wrong? At least I didn't call them yummy). Anyway, here's the link to the presser, for those who wanna read the thing over. Surprisingly, Bielema is NOT monosyllabic. Whodathunkit.
Holy crap, his intro was long. Spent a lot of time talking about how they played so many guys (11 on DL alone!). He mentions a few players specifically, like JJ Watt (who we know is very good), Aaron Henry (pick six), James White (Fr, RB), and David Gilreath. Now to the substance...
On gameplanning against Michigan...
- Michigan offensive philosophy very different than under Carr. Now have "a little bit more multiple" (I think he's referring to offensive formations?), but really clicking right now.
- Denard and Tate present different challenges (seems like they're preparing to see both). Mentions that Denard is a special runner and has "a live arm," but also that "he's had some picks, some bad decisions." Because of his running ability, gets secondary and linebackers in iso coverages.
- Tate is "savvy" and "shifty." Suggests that you know what you get with Denard, but Tate is more of an improviser, making "a lot of in-play game adjustments and decisions."
- Comparing DR and TF, he says: "They’re not the same, but there are some different play calls, but they don’t get in different sets or different philosophy, and I think they expect them both to know the plan, move them forward." (Yeah, that's just a wonderfully ridiculous sentence. Quick thinking, coach.)
- Talks about Michigan having had 5 TO's Saturday and that their "guys are aware of it." Stresses ball security on their side. Sounds like he thinks there is some opportunity to force a few TO's, what with the TO and Denard "bad decisions" comments.
- They'll use a combination of WR's and RB's on the scout team to play DR. Similar to what they did when playing ohio state (pryor).
On the game/rivalry...
- First time back to Big House since 2008, when UW lost. Have to learn from positives/negatives, but it's a different team with different leaders.
- Mentions that the road loss against michigan state was big and that they took a lot from it, taking confidence from that into the game this Saturday.
On their own team, personnel, other random stuff...
- Doesn't believe John Clay will be at full strength, but feels good about the rotation they have with Montee Ball and James White. Get good rhythm with those two and bring in a 3rd when needed.
- On UW averaging almost 40ppg, really lauds OC Paul Chryst. Says he and the other coaches have done a great job of ingraining the offense, particularly when you see the 3rd stringers coming in and having success against IU.
- Talks about how momentum in road games is huge, particularly for the road team to withstand swings in momentum to the home team. This will be a challenge against UM.
- Someone actually asked him why he thought the computer polls didn't seem to like Wisco as much as the human voters (really?). He basically said, "I dunno, but it'd be neat to find out." Then speculates that maybe it's due to computers looking at W/L and maybe not scoring margin. (So yeah, that's actually pretty close. Except for Billingsley. That guy's just an idiot. I still have no idea how his "computer poll" is in the BCS formula).
So what did we learn? That the media asks a lot of stupid superficial questions. GO BLUE! Beat Bucky!
An interesting perspective below from a team that is well-known for it's own "downhill rushing offense".
From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Wisconsin DC Dave Doeren:
"You see a more true downhill running game when Denard is the quarterback," UW defensive coordinator Dave Doeren said. "They do the same zone read with both of them.
"But Denard will get the ball in the shotgun and they've got two lead blockers plus the O-line and he makes things go.
"Forcier is an accomplished passer. I'm not saying Denard can't throw. But I'm saying there are going to be more route concepts you're probably defending when Forcier comes in the game.
"There are just more drop-back throws. With Denard there are more play-action, sprint-outs and bootlegs. Not a lot of drop-back passes."
UW DL Coach Charlie Partridge:
He is so fast that if you lose him for a second he can make you pay dearly," UW defensive line coach Charlie Partridge said. "You've got to be aware of where he is at all times . . .
"He can make you miss well enough that if he does make a guy miss he can be gone. I've known who this kid is for a lot of years from recruiting down there in Florida. He is a little bit of a local legend. I'm very aware of how fast he really is."
UW HC Bret Bielema on Denard:
"Robinson, everybody wants to talk about him running the football," UW coach Bret Bielema said. "He looks very special doing that . . . I know he's had some picks, some bad decisions, but he's got a live arm. Because of what he can do in the running game, he really throws your secondary and linebackers in isolated coverages.
Just saw a report about a couple of safeties (Aubrey Pleasant, Shane Carter) that got suspended indefinitely from Wisconsin's team for unstated reasons. Carter was suspended for the Bowl game last year so this does not bode well for him.
Both are 5th year seniors and both started all games in 2007 with Carter earning Big-Ten honorable mention with 7 INTs that year. Pleasant only started 1 game last year and Carter started 7. The two starting safeties from last season are back for the Badgers but these guys were definitely in the mix. At the very least both were going to be important contributers this year. Pleasant was their nickleback last year.
It'll be interesting to see if they get reinstated but apparently there is "no chance of being reinstated before camp ends" according to the story. Theoretically our game is late enough that the Badgers should have time to fill those gaps up to a certain extent, but Wisco's D just took a significant hit.
[EDIT: Link fixed]