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The Voice: Badgers, Gophers storming into showdown


OK, how many of you had Wisconsin holding Indiana to 3 points last Saturday?  I would guess very few, if any, expected such a shutdown performance. After all, going into the weekend, the Hoosiers had scored at least 28 points in 10 straight games.

So much for that streak.

Through ten games this season, Wisconsin has held half of its opponents without a touchdown. No matter the era, that is an impressive stat. In this day of spread-you-out, fast football, keeping five opponents out of the end zone is borderline mind-boggling.

As the Badgers get ready to face Minnesota in the annual Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe, they know another big-boy effort is needed in all phases.

On multiple occasions, I have written and talked about the rivalry, and how much fun it is to watch every year. This time around is even better. Why? Because the Gophers are good, and the stakes are high for both programs.

While the Badgers continue a slow climb up the BCS standings (UW is 19th this week), Minnesota checks in at No. 25. Both teams are 8-2, and both teams are rolling. The Gophers have won four straight, while the Badgers have won five in a row.

Rivalry aside, how can you not appreciate what the Gophers are accomplishing as head coach Jerry Kill works to get his health back in order? There can be very little argument that to this point in the season, Minnesota has been the league's most pleasant surprise.

While not such a surprise, the Badgers deserve a ton of credit themselves. They have managed to overcome two tough losses in September. Since then, they have done nothing but win in convincing fashion. The Badgers are playing as well as anyone in the Big Ten, and to date, continue to state a case -- on the field, and not through the media -- why they should be ranked higher than 19th.

By the way, if you are going to TCF Bank Stadium, bundle up. The forecast for this Saturday calls for a game-time temperature of about 20 degrees, which would be in the top five -- or perhaps bottom five -- coldest temps at kickoff in UW football history.

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Part of what makes watching sports so enjoyable is we never know for sure what is going to happen. In the last week, Badgers football and basketball fans have witnessed history.

First, it was James White's 93-yard touchdown run against Indiana. It is the longest run from scrimmage in program history.

Tuesday night at the Kohl Center, Frank Kaminsky's 43 point effort against North Dakota set a UW single game record. Talk about efficiency -- Kaminsky needed just 19 shots. He made 16, including for 6-for-6 from 3-point range.

North Dakota's Troy Huff wasn't too bad, either. The former Brookfield Central standout dropped in 37 points. Both Huff and Kaminsky did their damage in just 28 minutes of playing time.

It was an entertaining night in what has been a fun start for Bo Ryan's team. An early-season storyline of different players stepping up is continuing. Kaminsky's historic night followed his critical contributions in the three-point victory against the Phoenix, when he scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots.

In the last two games, Bronson Koenig 's minutes have picked up, and he is playing well. At Green Bay, Koenig scored seven points and, on Tuesday, added five more.

Yes, this group wants to be better defensively, but the Badgers have faced good teams and some special individual players. So far, so good as Wisconsin's busy stretch of non-conference games continues.

Better know a Badger: Nate Hammon

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Redshirt freshman Nate Hammon has moved around a lot in his football career. A star quarterback at Milton (Wis.) High School, he moved to receiver his first year at Wisconsin before switching to safety prior to this season. The move is paying dividends, though, as Hammon -- who has 15 tackles and a sack this season -- has quickly become a stalwart in the Badgers' 3-4 defense and made his first career start last weekend against BYU.

What has been the most difficult part of transitioning from offense to defense?
"Tackling has definitely been the biggest thing. Growing up not tackling much and then getting thrown in to tackling in college football takes a lot of reps. You can do all the tackling drills you want, but until you actually get thrown out into a game situation you can't truly get the hang of it."

What have been the keys to your successful transition?

"I'm trying to be more confident and less timid. In the spring I was really timid and, as a result, missed a lot of tackles. I wasn't as physical as I needed to be and was thinking about everything way too much. I had to make everything a lot more natural, become more physical and play with more anger, as Coach (Bill) Busch would say."

Did you expect to be seeing the field this much so early in your career?
"No. After being a receiver last year, I didn't think I would see the field much. I even told my parents this year that if I even made the travel squad I'd be happy. I was just going to keep working and keep grinding. My initial goal was to make special teams, and I did that, so then I set the goal to see the field on defense. I learned from Dez (Southward), Mike (Caputo) and (Michael) Trotter and tried to work my way up."

You were used in single coverage assignments against BYU. Is that a role you welcome?

"I'm definitely comfortable doing that. I've been taking a lot of coaching from Coach Busch. Last week was the first time that I've ever gone against receivers, so that was a big change. It's a little bit harder because you're matching up with smaller and shiftier players and, if they get by you, it's harder to catch up compared to covering tight ends."

What have you shown the coaches that has you rapidly moving up the depth chart?

"I honestly don't know (laughs). I try my hardest to show what I can do in practice. Coach Busch likes having taller, longer-armed people covering tight ends, so I think my ability to go one on one against tight ends helped. That was my initial role and, from there, they are giving me bigger and bigger roles in the defense. I embrace anything they ask me to do each week. I'm just blessed to be seeing the field so much this early in my career."

How interchangeable are the OLBs and DBs in the 3-4 defense?
"You've seen Caputo do it and even I have done it a couple times. It's pretty interchangeable. DBs can move down in this defense and, compared to DEs, can play one on one and cover tight ends and slot receivers. It's pretty nice."

- Ryan Evans

The Voice: Andersen content to let Badgers' actions speak


While the Badgers slowly move up in the BCS rankings, coach Gary Andersen continues to stay above the fray. It is only natural for fans to be concerned, if not angry, at the lack of movement, but do not expect Andersen to publically campaign for more love from those who vote in the coaches and Harris polls.

"Not my style, not my deal," said the Badgers boss during this week's Big Ten coaches teleconference.

Different strokes for different folks. Andersen is extremely consistent in his stance. I asked him that very question a few weeks ago, and his answer was the same.

Maybe stating his team's case is unnecessary. A number of neutral observers, including ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit, continue to praise the 7-2 Badgers. Maybe it will make little if any difference, but it never hurts to have a national pundit remind fans and voters that one of those losses will always remain questionable (I'm being as nice as possible here), while the other setback was a one-score game at Ohio State.

If nothing else, it is refreshing to hear Herbstreit and colleague Rece Davis suggest that maybe the Big Ten Conference is better than advertised. Unbeaten Ohio State still needs help, but it is very much in the mix for a shot at the national title. Michigan State plays shutdown defense, and to this point is proving to be a very strong team.

Meanwhile, the Badgers are playing some of their best football. In addition to a high-powered offense, they also have one of the country's top defenses. That defensive group proved it again last week by slowing down a red-hot BYU offense for most of the day.

Another challenge is waiting this Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. While Indiana has had a world of trouble trying to stop people, the IU offense is one of the best you will see. It is another team that pushes the pace -- to the tune of running a play every 19.3 seconds -- very much like BYU.

Even if fleet-footed running back Tevin Coleman is unable to go because of an ankle injury, the Hoosiers offense is loaded. Fellow RB Stephen Houston averages 7.3 yards per carry, and there are five players with 1,000-plus career receiving yards. It is the first time in league history that five receivers with those stats have played together.

Knowing that, it probably makes sense that Andersen and his team remain focused on preparing for a game, and not on stumping for votes.

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It was a fun atmosphere Tuesday night for the Badgers basketball team's home opener against Florida. After Wisconsin's 59-53 victory against the Gators, I suggested to one of the players that, with the schedule they have to open the season, it is like jumping into the deep end of the pool.

"But we are swimming," the player responded.

Well played.

The season has just started, but it is encouraging to watch this young group pick off a couple of wins against good teams. Last Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D., Duje Dukan played well off the bench. Tuesday evening, freshman Nigel Hayes gave his team a lift. There has been good scoring balance, and when big shots are needed, the Badgers have made them.

It is way too early to draw any conclusions, but for a team with so many new faces, getting through the first two games is encouraging. Now they head to Green Bay for a Saturday night matchup against the Phoenix, a preseason favorite to win the Horizon League.

Bo Ryan's group will remain in the deep water, but it hopes to keep swimming as a busy month of November continues.

Infographic: Badgers stifle BYU in 27-17 win

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A graphical look at Wisconsin's 27-17 win over BYU at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday:


Better Know a Badger: Vince Biegel

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Redshirt freshman LB Vince Biegel has found a home as a pass-rushing linebacker in Wisconsin's new 3-4 scheme, having racked up two sacks on the season to go along with seven special teams tackles, which ranks second on the team. A highly-touted recruit out of Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, Biegel is trying to follow in the footsteps of his father, Rocky, who was a standout linebacker at BYU in the late 1980s, as well as his uncle, T.D., who played fullback for the Cougars. 

Your father, grandfather and uncle all played college football. What were you able to learn from their experiences? 
"From the start, football has always been a big part of my life. My dad always emphasized football and hard work from an early age. Football has always been there. My father playing at BYU has a lot to do with football being a being a big part of not only my life, but my brother's as well." 

What's it like having your brother, Hayden, playing with you at Wisconsin?
"It's a huge blessing. It's pretty rare for brothers to be able to be teammates at both the high school and college levels. I love having Hayden here. He is over quite a bit and we're always making dinner together and we're going to be roommates next year. I know our mom is happy to have us both in the same spot looking after one another." 

Did you try to influence Hayden's decision to play at Wisconsin?
"I think Hayden knew in his heart where he needed to be and that was right here. But, at the end of the day, it was Hayden's decision, just like it was my decision on where to go to play college football. I wanted Hayden to make the best decision for himself, but I did think that this was the best fit for him." 

You were recruited by BYU coming out of high school. Considering your family's history there, was it tough to turn down that offer? 
"It was a very tough decision. It came down to BYU and Wisconsin and it was a tough decision because both programs are such great programs. Both have good players and good coaches. At the end of the day, though, I felt that Wisconsin was the best place for me and I think that this is where I am supposed to be. I have a lot of respect for BYU, though." 

Is your dad going to feel conflicted at all Saturday? 
"My dad played at BYU and that's his alma mater, but I think at the end of the day he's going to be rooting for his boys and for Wisconsin. I think he's going to be wearing red and white this weekend, at least I hope so." 

What is it like being a pass-rusher in the Badgers' 3-4 defense? 
"First off, Coach (Dave) Aranda is a great defensive coordinator. He puts us in the best spots and we are fortunate to have him here, because he's a great coach. He knows how to utilize his players and, for me, that means being a pass-rusher. That's what I am comfortable doing, that's what I'm good at and that's what I'm going to keep doing for him. This weekend against BYU I know we are going to have a lot of pass rush opportunities, so I am looking forward to that." 

What makes you well suited to be a pass-rushing linebacker?
"Probably my body type. I'm 6-4 with about a 240-pound frame and can get good speed off the edge. I can get the tackles on their toes, which opens it up for the inside (linebackers). Overall this year I have been grooming my pass rushing skills and getting them where they need to be. I think I've really progressed as the games have gone on." 

What have you been working on to see the field more this season? 
"First of all, it was coming out and working special teams and trying to be a dominant player on the special teams and kickoff units. I think the coaches see that, that you're working your butt off, and I think I've been able to progress on third downs and now to the point that I can be a first- through third-down player." 

Who are some of the older guys you've tried to emulate or learn from? 
"Without a doubt Brendan Kelly. BK and I both play the same position and he's been around for six years, so he knows the ropes. From my freshman year to now, and especially this year now that we're both playing the same position, I've tried to learn from Brendan. We're always working after practice and hitting the weights later than everyone else. He and I have the same tough, blue-collar mindset to outwork everyone else. He's a guy that I look up to. I've always been a fan of Brady Poppinga, as well. He played at BYU and for the Packers as a 3-4 linebacker. He's a guy that I still call to this day for advice. He's a good family guy and a good person as well." 

- Ryan Evans

The Voice: They're not Big Ten, but BYU is big time


There are times when a non-conference football game in November can be a difficult sell. In recent years, the Badgers have had a couple. In 2006, Wisconsin closed its regular season against Buffalo. Two years later, Cal Poly came to town and very nearly ruined Senior Day. 

Cal Poly was a very good FCS team that year, but it simply is not the type of opponent fans expect to see during the final month of the regular season.

Which brings us to this week's opponent. Forget that BYU does not play in the Big Ten, or any conference for that matter. The Cougars are very good, and this game is huge for both programs.

After losing two of its first three games, BYU has won five straight, including a convincing 37-20 victory against Boise State on Oct. 25. The Cougars had a bye last weekend, so they come to town rested.

They also will arrive in Madison with at least some hope of getting into the BCS picture. 

Sound familiar?

In the case of BYU, it might appear to be long shot, but in this week's coaches poll, the Cougars are ranked 29th. While not in the BCS top 25, perhaps BYU is not far removed.

The Cougars certainly can help themselves down the stretch. Two weeks after facing the Badgers, ranked 24th in the BCS, BYU will play at 23rd-rated Notre Dame.

The Cougars already have punched their ticket to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, but should they stay hot, who knows what could happen? Much like Wisconsin, BYU wants to keep winning and at least give the voters something to think about. Both have work to do to get into the top 14, but it never hurts to roll through November.

All the possible scenarios can be fun to talk or write about, but Saturday's game will feature two teams that are playing good football, and it will feature some of the nation's best players.

Badgers fans know all about the home team's stars. You might not know as much about some of BYU's top players, but you will by this weekend.

Chris Borland says he expects to be good to go this Saturday, which means we will see a couple of the nation's premier linebackers. BYU's standout is Kyle Van Noy, an All-America candidate who has 26 career sacks, second best among active FBS players.

Offensively, the Cougars play fast. Very fast. They run nearly 90 plays per game, and sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill appears to be improving by the week. After a choppy start, the dual-threat QB is rolling. In his last five games, Hill has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,455 yards and 11 touchdowns.

It is worth noting that Hill also leads the team in rushing with 841 yards and eight touchdowns.

When Hill throws the ball, there is a good chance that Cody Hoffman will be the target. He has the BYU record with 31 career touchdown catches, and he is on the brink of breaking the school mark for receiving yards.

Fans in Big Ten country might not be familiar with BYU, but Badgers coach Gary Andersen knows the Cougars well. "They seem to follow me wherever I go, so here we go again," he said with a smile.

When asked to describe BYU, Andersen called it a "Tough, mature team. Blue collar. Hard workers. Tough guys."

Sounds a lot like Wisconsin. The style of offense might differ, but these teams could be very much alike in other areas.

Both Wisconsin and BYU are 6-2. Both are good teams with aspirations of being among the elite. It will make for an interesting, and most likely, highly-entertaining afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium.

If you are lucky enough to have a ticket, I hope you use it. This is a non-conference game, but it figures to be big-boy football with two big-time programs.

Better Know a Badger: Drew Meyer


Punters rarely get the credit they deserve, but nonetheless play an important role in any team's success. Luckily, the Badgers have a pretty good one on their side. In just two seasons, Wisconsin's Drew Meyer is already among the top statistical punters in school history, joining the likes of former Ray Guy Award winner Kevin Stemke, along with one of the heroes of the last Wisconsin-Iowa matchup, Brad Nortman.

How did you get your start as a punter? Is it something you always wanted to do?
"I played soccer through fourth grade and then football started in fifth grade. Football was always my first love. I was the one kid in fifth grade who was able to kick the ball over the goalpost, so I started kicking then and ran with it. When I got into high school my coaches saw something in me and worked with me on everything from drops to steps and swinging up through the ball. They really helped me to develop into a punter and it ended up working out when I got the opportunity to come to Wisconsin."

Who are some of the punters you try to emulate?

"There are so many good ones that have come through Wisconsin. Guys like Kevin Stemke, Ken DeBauche, Brad Nortman, all of them. Brad was huge for me when I got here and really helped me during my first year. He really helped me with pooch punts. I had never really done that Australian-style, nose-down type of kick and Brad helped to introduce me to that."

As a punter, what defines success for you on the field?

"One of the biggest stats that we look for is net yards. It's not easy to have a big average, but net yards include hang time in the equation. You're helping your coverage team and you are helping your team as a whole with net yardage, which is the yardage from the line of scrimmage to where the ball ends up after the return. Because if you kick it into the end zone, or a guy has a big return, you have a big average, but you're not helping your team. So, net yardage is what you look for because that's how you're helping your team."

You've employed a rugby-style punt at times this season. What are the advantages to that?
"The rugby punt is a great tool to have because if teams try to load you up, you can game plan for that or check to that. So, if a team comes out and looks like they are going to be coming off one way you can roll the other way. It changes the game a little bit, too. You are able to get the ball on the ground and have it bounce around a little bit, which can make it harder for the return man to handle. It's always great when you are punting into the wind. It just opens up the playbook a little more."

What adjustments do you have to make to be able to execute a rugby punt?
"It's a little bit of a different leg swing. I kicked back in high school so it's not as difficult for me because I am used to that type of leg swing. It's kind of like a soccer swing. You have to swing up through the ball, but also have to make sure you're keeping it out there so you get a nice end-over-end rotation."

What do you like about the rugby punt?

"It's just a great strategy because it keeps the defense on their toes. They might be able to game plan on how to stop you in the regular formation, but the rugby punt gives us the ability to check out of that, which throws the defense off."

Brad Nortman had a crucial fake punt conversion in 2010, the last time Wisconsin and Iowa met. Would you welcome the opportunity to run a fake punt?
"It's always fun as a specialist when you have the opportunity to do something like that. It got Brad a lot publicity when he did it, which was funny because he is such a humble guy. But it's always fun. Anytime you see a team across the country run a fake, your eyes get big and it's always something you wish you'll get the chance to do in your career."

- Ryan Evans

The Voice: Now here's where it gets interesting...


Let me start by offering a round of applause to UW and all the fans who were at the Kohl Center for Saturday's Red/White Scrimmage. That was one of the best turnouts I can remember for the men's basketball team's intrasquad game, and as scrimmages go, it was a high-quality show.

From the creative player introductions, where each of the Badgers had the chance to show off a move or two with a member of the UW Dance Team, to Vitto Brown's excellent performance of the national anthem, to the down-to-the-wire game itself, it was a fun way for Wisconsin hoops fans to spend a couple of hours.

As I wrote last week, the scrimmage included one of my favorite words -- free. It was a good weekend for that word. Last Friday, UW Athletics hosted its annual Kids Day at the Kohl Center, where young boys and girls had the chance to meet a number of student-athletes. As usual, the players seemed to enjoy the day as much as the youngsters.

The cost of attending sporting events is well documented, but we also should note that UW offers a number of low-cost or no-cost events. Hopefully you were able to take advantage of at least one of those outings last week. If not, hopefully you will in the future. After all, the price is right, and those who do attend have a great time.

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For this observer, November is when the Badgers' sports world kicks into high gear. Basketball season is here. After Wednesday night's exhibition game with UW-Platteville, Bo Ryan's Badgers set their sights on the regular season opener one week from Friday against St. John's. 

The Badgers and the Red Storm will help break in the new Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.. It is a 3,200-seat facility with a parquet floor that might remind you of the old Boston Garden. A couple of weeks ago, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves played an exhibition game there.

This game counts, and it will be fun to see coach Steve Lavin again. During his days as an ESPN analyst, Lavin was the keynote speaker on two occasions for Bo's Coaches vs. Cancer gala in Madison. This season will be Lav's fourth as St. John's head coach. 

*  *  *  *

Now to football, where after two bye weeks in October, the stretch drive begins. In an odd schedule, the Badgers will play nearly half of their slate in November, starting this Saturday in Iowa City.

It is good to see Wisconsin crack the BCS rankings at No. 24. I am biased, but I believe they deserve a higher ranking. At least they broke into the Top 25, so I will spare you the complaining -- for now.

The Badgers have five games remaining, and while none features an opponent currently in the BCS rankings, this month will be anything but easy. 

Iowa is coming off an emotionally-charged overtime victory against Northwestern and most expect a very physical battle this weekend. The Hawkeyes-Wildcats game had an old-school feel to it, and I would think it will be more of the same when the Badgers roll into town.

BYU is playing well, and it has a bye this week before visiting Camp Randall a week from Saturday. The Cougars have a very good dual-threat quarterback in Taysom Hill, who leads BYU in rushing and has accounted for 20 touchdowns so far this season.

On and on it goes. Minnesota is looking better and better. Indiana can score in bunches, and while Penn State had a long Saturday night in Columbus, the Nittany Lions can be a dangerous team. Just ask Michigan.

The hectic month of November is about to begin. Yes, it can be crazy, and it also has a chance to be special.

I am looking forward to it. I am guessing you are as well.

Better Know a Badger: Corey Clement


Running back Corey Clement has burst onto the scene as a true freshman for the Badgers. He already has a pair of 100-yard games and five touchdowns on the ground to go along with a Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor. With his string of strong early season performances, the Glassboro, N.J., native appears well-equipped to carry on Wisconsin's proud tradition of elite runners.

Being from New Jersey, what made Wisconsin the right fit for you?

"The football tradition here, especially the tradition of running backs at Wisconsin. In high school we were all about downhill (running) and coming out of Power-I and that's what Wisconsin is known for, as well, which is what drew me here. UW has a great business school, as well, which I was attracted to. Both school and football made it a great package for me. It's a great blessing to be part of the Badgers now."

What's your relationship like with fellow New Jersey native Ron Dayne?
"He has been a great connection for me since day one. I met Ron before I came to Wisconsin, actually. He's been showing me the ins and outs of why I should come here, the benefits of here compared to other schools and what to look for, basically."

What have you been able to learn from James White and Melvin Gordon?

"A lot of patience within the hole. They are a great film study. We always study film together. It's all about making defenders miss, and James and Melvin both do a great job of that. I just want to fall in behind them and try to match them, but try to compete as well."

What's the competition like between you three?

"It is very competitive. Within our running back room and every day in practice we have to go out and try to be better than the next back, because if you're not going to push one another, then you'll be stuck in the same place as where you started."

What do you think makes the two-back system successful at Wisconsin?
"It all starts in practice. Coach (Thomas) Hammock always says that what you put out in practice is what you put out on the field. James and Melvin both do a great job of acting like it's a game every day in practice and that's the example that I want to follow."

What has Coach Hammock been working with you on this season?

"Everything, because I am not a perfect back. He is going to try and correct any flaw that he sees within me. It's all about getting vertical and making the right cuts. It's all about getting better each week. Coach Hammock and I actually joke a lot and everyone jokes a lot. It's all about love in the running back room."

Did you expect to play right away as a freshman this season?
"That was my main goal. I want to get in and show what I can do. I don't want to waste any time. My redshirt is burned up, but I want to keep it moving and show that I didn't take a redshirt year for a reason."

What has the transition been like from high school to college football?
"It all started back at home. I started running a lot of miles to get some wind under my belt. Still, though, when I got here I still wasn't really into college football speed because it moves a lot faster and I had to get adjusted. Week one and week two of camp were probably my roughest weeks, but as week three kicked in and towards the end of camp, I got into the groove of things. It's all about a mental process."

- Ryan Evans

Better Know a Badger: Warren Herring


Among the players that have benefitted the most from Wisconsin's new 3-4 defensive scheme is junior NG Warren Herring. The Fairview Heights, Ill., native had to transition from defensive tackle in the offseason to fit the new alignment, but the move has paid dividends. It took just six games for Herring to set career highs in tackles for loss (4.5) and sacks (2.5) and he already has a two-sack game to his name.

What was the transition from tackle to nose guard like in the offseason?
"I have had to make a couple transitions since coming to Wisconsin. When I came in I was a defensive end and had to gain weight when they moved me to defensive tackle. It was tough trying to gain and maintain weight while playing inside against bigger guys. But my weight came along and my strength came along and I was able to feel more comfortable. Now this year, at nose guard, they wanted me to gain a little more weight and I was all for it. I am all for new challenges. But it has been a process. There are a lot of things that I need to work on, but I have a lot of encouragement from my defensive line teammates."

Which teammates have helped you the most?
"I watch Beau Allen a lot. There aren't many guys that get to play as a true freshman, but he was one of them and he earned it. Being able to watch him and communicate back and forth with him at nose guard has helped me out a lot. Guys like (Ethan) Hemer, (Pat) Muldoon and Tyler Dippel all push me to get better, too. Those upperclassmen have high expectations for all of us. Going into my fourth year now, there is an expectation put on me to play to the best of my ability."

How has the new 3-4 scheme benefitted you?
"The 3-4 defense has benefitted me a lot. I've been able to utilize my quickness. That's a testament to all of our coaches for helping us and running everything with us this offseason. I have been working on my hands, which I think have gotten a lot better. It has been a good transition for me. I've seen nothing but upside. I am constantly trying to get better, but I am still far away from where I want to be."

You made a half court shot at the Shooting Down Cancer event last season. Do you plan to go again this year?
"I will be there again, but I have to make the free throw this time. I missed the free throw -- by a lot -- last year. I've been practicing. Before practice I open up the gate where the balls are and step back a little bit and start shooting footballs into the little (cart) thing."

You are widely regarded as the best dancer on the team. Which of your teammates do you think could give you the best run for your money?
"Walker Williams. He's pretty decent, but he's not better than me yet. There are a lot of guys with good talent. Ethan Hemer is coming along really well. I have been teaching him some things in the dance world. But I still have a lot of moves that no one has seen yet. I can't tell my secrets. People might try to steal them." 

- Ryan Evans