Some fun for a good cause

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With a day off from practice, the Badgers traveled to Walt Disney World on Sunday. The first stop was DisneyQuest, where the Badgers and South Carolina teamed up to have some fun with Orlando area children in need. The players and the children they were paired with spent nearly two hours enjoying three stories worth of games and activities at the giant interactive arcade.

The impact was easy to see, with smiles on the faces of both the kids and the players.

- Photos: Kids Day at Disney


Under the Sea

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The month of November can be rough on kickers in the Big Ten, what with the cold temperatures, hard footballs and windy conditions. For UW kicker Jack Russell and punter Drew Meyer, the 70-degree weather in Orlando is very welcomed.

Mike Lucas caught up with both kickers after a couple days in Florida to get their thoughts on the Capital One Bowl and how the improved conditions will affect their games.

"It's like Christmas all over again," said placekicker Jack Russell on the day after Christmas.
"The ball is definitely jumping off the foot a little more, we're excited," said punter Drew Meyer.


Russell has made eight of his last nine field goal attempts over the last four games.

"Jack is playing now with much more confidence," Meyer said of Russell. "He's kicking the ball great; it's really jumping off his foot. I'm excited to see what he's going to do in the bowl game."


Meyer, on the other hand, is looking to build off a solid performance in the Badgers' last bowl game, the 2013 Rose Bowl.

In last season's Rose Bowl, Meyer averaged 44.6 yards on seven punts. He had three downed inside the 20. It was his first appearance on the postseason stage and he acquitted himself well.


Read the entire story: Specialists warm up to kicking in Capital One Bowl

Photos: Practice #3

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The Sunshine State brought rain Saturday as the Wisconsin football team practiced for the third time since arriving in Orlando. The Badgers' 14-period session at Freedom High School started off on a damp note before the rain gave way to some stray rays of sun.

- Photos: Capital One Bowl Practice #3

UW will take Sunday off from practice and head to DisneyQuest at Walt Disney World to join Capital One Bowl foe South Carolina for a special charity event involving area children. The team will then have several hours to explore the Disney grounds on their own before returning to the team hotel for a brief walk-through.

Quoting the Badgers: Caputo, Southward

FB_131228_Southward_Dez.jpgThe Badgers were back on the practice field at Freedom High School in Orlando on Saturday, drilling through some light rain as they continued to work toward Wednesday's Capital One Bowl matchup against South Carolina. Here's a sampling of what safeties Dez Southward and Michael Caputo had to say after practice:

Senior S Dezmen Southward
On Badgers' approach to bowl prep: "We've been preparing for a month. You don't need to come out here and practice for three hours. If you're not understanding and getting better at this point, it's probably not going to happen. We have the game plan. It's about getting us fresh -- getting our legs ready, getting our minds ready -- to go out and play a four-quarter game."

Sophomore S Michael Caputo
On ending season on high note: "We definitely know we can compete in this game and know we can do better than we did in our last performance."

On the loss to Penn State:
"It's one of those where you learn from it and you move on. I'm not dwelling on it. I'm not standing here harping on it. It's one of those things where you look at it and say, 'I know I can do this better, do this better, do this better.' You learn from it and move on."

On how Penn State loss affected team: "Nothing really changed. Our demeanor didn't change other than we're a little angrier and a little hungrier to get back out there. After the announcement came out that we were going to play South Carolina, we zoned in and got right into the playbook and watching film."

Capital One Bowl: Around the Web

Quoting the Badgers: Hammock, White

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Members of Wisconsin's offense met the media following Friday's practice at Freedom High School in Orlando. Here's a sampling of what the Badgers had to say, from senior RB James White and assistant coach Thomas Hammock:

Running backs coach Thomas Hammock
On South Carolina's defense: "They're certainly as good as advertised, I'll tell you that. Their defensive line is really, really stout. Jadeveon Clowney is as good of a player as I've seen on tape (this year) and we have to be ready to step up to the challenge."

On being in Orlando: "The weather is nice. It may be raining right now but I don't mind being out here. It's been a good experience. It's a great bowl trip. Everything has been first class. We're just excited to get to the game. As a coach you get antsy and you're ready to play, put this work behind us and play against great competition."

On staying fresh with a month between games: "We've spaced practices out. We've had shorter practices. I think the kids are mentally sharp. We've got some good practice time for our developmental guys that we expect to contribute next year. But we try to get them in and get them out (of practice)."

Senior RB James White

On losing the last three bowl games: "It's tough. You definitely want to send the seniors out on a high note. I haven't won a bowl game so I'm anxious to get out there and get a win. It motivates me a lot, and I know it motivates those guys (other seniors) as well. With a new coaching staff, we definitely want to get Coach Andersen a bowl win in his first year. It's a lot of fun coming down here for a bowl game but at the same time it's a business trip."

On closing out his senior season: "You just have to stay focused. A lot of guys here have a lot of big things ahead of them and some dreams to capture but right now you have to focus in on this week. We have one week left, a couple days left and you have to stay locked in and prepare the right way."

Photos: Practice #2 and a visit to Best Buy

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The Badgers were back on the practice field Friday morning for their second on-site session at Freedom High School in Orlando. Afterward, the team traveled to a nearby Best Buy store to make use of the gift cards the players were given by the Capital One Bowl. Here's a look at practice and the Best Buy visit in photos:

- Photos: Capital One Bowl Practice #2 / Best Buy Visit

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What they're saying about the Capital One Bowl

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Each year when the bowl matchups are announced, media outlets scramble to make a list of the best, most watchable and most intriguing games.This year is no different and the Capital One Bowl between the Badgers and South Carolina ranks high among the 35 bowl games this year. Here's a rundown of what people around the country are saying about this Big Ten-SEC matchup:

- Athlon - No. 5
- SI.com - No. 6
- ESPN.com - No. 6
- CBSSports.com - No. 6
- SBNation - No. 7
- USA Today - No. 9



Packer's Perspective: Friedman's holiday break recap

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I hope everyone had a great holiday and is looking forward to the New Year! Another treat for the holiday is another guest blogger, senior goaltender, Ilana Friedman!

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Greetings Badger Fans!
 
This is Ilana Friedman, one of the goalies on the women's hockey team.  I'm writing from a distant location in relation to Madison...well actually not really.  As a Middleton, Wisconsin, native, my holiday travel plans are not as exciting as a lot of other members of the team this year.  A quick ten-minute drive west on University Avenue gets me home!  Downtown is usually very quiet during the various breaks, and this break has been no different thus far, especially with the recent snowfall that's forced many to stay inside!

Break has been very relaxing thus far.  My plan usually revolves around sleeping in, trekking over to the rink and working out, sitting in our amazing hot tub or sauna, and then relaxing the rest of the day.  Over break the team likes to pick up new TV shows as we have a bit more free time than during the semester, so I'm currently catching up on Scandal (a team favorite) and just started a new biography about the Kennedy's (one of my favorite topics as a history major). 

Winter break also includes another not so fun activity: law school and internship applications.  I took the LSAT in October and am now applying to various schools and internship positions.  Although they're not too difficult to complete, they are time consuming.  I'm mainly looking at schools out east either in Boston, New York, or Washington D.C. but as our recent trip to Vail forced me to fall in love with the state, I might apply some places in Colorado too.

My holiday plans were probably a little different than many of the members on the team, as my family and I do not celebrate Christmas. I was raised Jewish, so our holiday traditions have a different little spin.  Christmas Eve was spent with my family playing various different board games like Settlers of Catan and Tripoli.  The fun continued on Christmas day, which included a movie at one of the local Madison movie theaters and Chinese food for dinner (that's why I have to continue working out over break!).  In years past we usually saw one of the Lord of the Ring's movies, and this year was no different with The Hobbit!  The rest of the day was spent with the famed pets in the Friedman household: the puggles (pug-beagle mixes).  They're names are Jem and Scout and they are divas just as their big sister is!

Although Christmas is not a holiday that I personally celebrate, I do love this time of year and I would like to extend my holiday greetings to all of our supporters!  Thanks for being the best fans in the country and enjoy the rest of the holiday season!  

Seasons greetings and On Wisconsin!
 
- Ilana Friedman

ON WISCONSIN