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October 18, 2010

Updated: Shifting gears toward Iowa

MADISON - Bret Bielema went through a long list of players that made Saturday night's list possible for his Badger football team.

As he does following every win, though, the fifth-year head coach coming off his biggest win, had to narrow it down when selecting MVP's.

Offensively, after becoming the first running back to eclipse the 100-yard mark since George W. Bush was still in office, John Clay earned the distinction. He wasn't alone, however, as freshman phenom James White continued to make his presence felt with a 75-yard rushing, one touchdown performance against the Buckeyes.

Together, White and Clay are one of just two running back tandems in the country averaging more than 80 yards per game each. They were instrumental in UW's win over OSU.

"In that game, you can't give out enough recognition to guys that made things happen," Bielema said at his Monday presser. "Offensively our MVP went to John Clay and James White."

That doesn't mean the offensive line, which played its best game of the season, didn't garner any attention from the head coach.

"I thought John Moffitt and Gabe Carimi, especially against the heart of their defense, played extremely well," Bielema said. "Nick Toon played well. Scott Tolzien played well."

On the defensive side of the ball, there were a number of standouts.

"Blake Sorensen played his best game at linebacker," Bielema said. "He had a very productive day and made a key interception at the end of the game to ice it down. J.J. Watt up front was also given the MVP. Antonio Fenelus played really well.

"Actually, Antonio and Niles Brinkley played their best game probably together as corners that they've played this year."

In watching the special team's film, it becomes evident that Manasseh Garner was all over the field. But he wasn't the one tabbed MVP.

"He was a terror on kickoff coverage and kind of ignited that whole unit," Bielema said. "But the guy that we gave it to was David Gilreath. To see him get rewarded for his perseverance and execution, he was excited to run that play. I know there are a lot of guys on that sideline (Ohio State) that are pretty fast. I don't think anybody could have caught him.

"He was headed to the end zone and that was very fun to watch."

-Warren Herring was awarded defensive scout of the week.

-Both Jeff Lewis and Drew McAdams earned the distinction as offensive scout of the week for their job mimicking Terrelle Pryor.

Injury report:

-Mike Taylor, injured in the first half of the Ohio State game, suffered a knee injury but will be back next week for Iowa.

"We got some X-Ray information this morning," Bielema said. "All things structurally were fine. What he kind of did was roll his ankle a little bit which caused him to hyper-extend his knee. That made it a little sore, but there's no structural damage there."

-Lance Kendricks was suffering from cramps late in the game, but he returned to practice Sunday and didn't have any problems.

"He was cramping and that compounded some things," Bielema said. "He also had a knee that was a little sore, but he was moving around yesterday and should be full go today."

-Toon's upper leg was hit by someone's knee, but he also returned to Sunday's practice.

"He was moving around and should be good to go in practice tomorrow as well," Bielema said.

-Jordan Kohout, who looked to be injured pretty bad at the time, eventually returned to Saturday's game against the Buckeyes. He should be good to go at Iowa this weekend.

"The good news is that all the guys that kind of had some issues Saturday will be back for this Saturday's game," Bielema said.

Shifting gears:

If anything will ground a team after a monumental victory, it would be looking at the schedule to see another Big Ten powerhouse coming up to bat. UW, after celebrating the win over OSU Saturday night, has shifted its focus towards the Hawkeye's in what amounts to being a critical Big Ten showdown.

"They are a very talented football team that's playing very, very well," Bielema said. "They came off a bye week and went up and handled their business at Michigan. It's a trophy game for us, one of two that exists on our schedule and one that's very important to our kids."

This time around, the battle for the Heartland Trophy will carry some extra bragging rights.

"It's a trophy that's going to remain in somebody's locker room now for three years because we don't play for two years after," Bielema said. "That's a big deal. Now it's not just bragging rights for a year, it's bragging rights for a number of years.

"I know as a head coach it's a big part of recruiting, a big part in where we stand in the Big Ten and a national level."

Odds and Ends:

-David Gilreath was tabbed Big Ten Special Team's Player of the Week for his performance against Ohio State. With his 97-yard touchdown return, Gilreath became the Big Ten's all-time return yardage leader. That was also the first kick return for a touchdown the Badgers enjoyed in 10 years. Lee Evans, who ironically enough was in attendance, was the last Badger to do it in 2000.

-Since compiling four rushing touchdowns against Austin Peay, James White has scored at least one touchdown in every game since. For the year, White ranks seventh in the Big Ten with 560 yards rushing. His nine touchdown runs is tops amongst all Big Ten freshman and second only behind his teammate John Clay.

-With the win over No. 1 Ohio State, UW moved up to No. 10 and No. 11 in the A.P. and Coaches Poll respectively. In the first BCS standings of the season, Wisconsin came in at No. 13.

-UW's game at Iowa is set to kickoff at 2:36 central time and can be seen on ABC. Iowa is ranked No. 12 in the Coaches Poll and No. 13 in the A.P. Poll. BCS-wise, the Hawkeyes rank No. 15.

The following is the audio file from Monday's presser.
Bielema, 10/18/10

The following video features highlights from Monday's presser.

Bielema press conference, Oct. 18 from Jordan Schelling on Vimeo.






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