Monday, November 28, 2011

Notes from Big Ten players teleconference

Yesterday, we got the coaches, today we got three players from each team in the Big Ten Football Championship game.

Surprisingly, each player was excited to be playing in Saturday's game and wants to go to the Rose Bowl. We got team captains for MSU and Russell Wilson, Montee Ball and defensive lineman Patrick Butrym from Wisconsin. Here are some more specific topics from each team.


--Trenton Robinson stole the show with his typical emotional answers. Among them, he said the feeling leading up to this game is the most excited he has ever felt at MSU.

--Pat Narduzzi should include Robinson as a reference on his resume. Robinson called him, "a genius," saying any mistake the defense makes is because of the players, not the coach. Robinson said Narduzzi always keeps things simple and does a great job preparing the players for anything they will face.

--Robinson called games against Wisconsin, "how football is." When Ball comes through the hole, Robinson knows it's going to be a collision and said he loves that.

--Robinson was not surprised the Badgers are as much as a 10-point favorite. He said MSU is used to the underdog role. Joel Foreman didn't know who was favored, but said the players wouldn't care. Kirk Cousins said there shouldn't be a need for anymore motivation other than the Rose Bowl.

--Foreman said the game will be determined by physicality, surprising from an offensive lineman (sarcasm). He said games against Wisconsin will always come down to that.

--Cousins told Wilson after the first meeting that he thought the teams would see each other again. He also called Wilson "the real deal" after the game.

--Cousins said he thinks MSU is playing its best football of the year and that Wisconsin doesn't have a weakness. He had better hope the second part isn't true.


--Montee Ball said he took himself out of the first game when he got banged in the second quarter. On TV, it didn't look like Ball knew where he was, but Ball said he remembers everything and the trainers ran all the tests and determined he was good to go.

--Ball echoed everyone else on Wisconsin saying MSU deserved to win the game, but he added that the Badgers shot themselves in the foot. Some missed tackles, turnovers and special teams errors are what he's talking about. After stubbing their toe last year, the Badgers seem to be having foot issues.

--After the loss to Ohio State, Ball said the Badgers thought all their goals were gone. "We're human. We thought all of our hopes, all of our dreams, were out the window."

--Russell Wilson said the Badgers expected to face adversity in the first meeting, and was proud of how his team fought back to tie up the game in the fourth quarter.

--Asked if MSU/Wisconsin was becoming a football rivalry, Butrym said he thought so, although this series' recent history has been determined by home field.

--Ball said the game isn't about revenge, rather, it's about redemption.

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