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Comedy, drama abound at kickoff luncheon

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Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen put his comedic chops on display -- with some jokes at the expense of South Carolina and Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier -- and seniors Chris Borland, Ryan Groy and James White provided some drama in winning the "Capital One Minute Challenge" over their counterparts from South Carolina at the Capital One Bowl Kickoff Luncheon on Tuesday.

Andersen's one-liners were a hit with emcee Dave Pasch of ESPN and at least half the room -- the side wearing red -- while Borland, Groy and White combined to win two of the three games styled after the game show "Minute to Win It." That included Groy snapping 42 rolls of toilet paper into a basket that Borland held 20 feet away (South Carolina managed 27 rolls in the same 60-second window) and White successfully unrolling a pair of streamers before his Gamecock opponent.

- Photos: 2014 Capital One Bowl Kickoff Luncheon


Badgers meet the media



Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, senior WR Jared Abbrederis and senior LB Chris Borland represented the Badgers at a Monday press conference in Orlando to preview the Capital One Bowl.

Among the highlights:

- Ludwig on the Badgers' offensive game plan for South Carolina: "We're going to play to our strength. We're a run/play-action team. That's the way we're built. So we're going to go into the game with that mindset. I don't think there's any surprise there."

- Aranda on defending South Carolina: "I see great athletes. I see an offense that can go from a power run game to a spread attack. I see an offense that can change plays based upon the defensive structure."

- Abbrederis on head coach Gary Andersen: "I think he just brought back the fun in football."

- Borland on the Badgers being favored in the game: "I was a little surprised. We're confident that we're going to win. It's just this huge SEC, you know, bias out there that they're a great conference -- which they are. But, yeah, I was surprised but still confident -- and we expect to win."

Here's the complete transcript of the Badgers' remarks

Badgers look to score more than points

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The scoreboard will be the focus of the Wisconsin football team during the Capital One Bowl on Wednesday. After the game, however, the Badgers' focus will be on a different tally.

Members of the team will be checking to see how their efforts to get in the end zone on game day helped raise funds for a rare disease through UW's chapter of Uplifting Athletes.

Fans can pledge a specific amount to donate for each touchdown the Badgers score in the Capital One Bowl, with each score multiplying the amount the UW chapter raises to battle the disease Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis X.

Thoese interested can pledge a contribution using PledgePlatform.

"Fans can start by being familiar with the fight against rare diseases and donating. Anything will help," said UW running back and Uplifting Athletes chapter president Jeff Lewis. "Pledges made by our fans and supporters will be compared to South Carolina at the end of the game. 

"Our goal is to have more money raised than they do."

UW's Uplifting Athletes chapter supports fundraising efforts to battle the rare disease Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis X because of the team's friendship with Madison teen Darien Moran, who grew close to the Badgers while receiving treatment for the disease.

Those efforts led to the Badgers to undertake the touchdown pledge drive that will pit UW against South Carolina off the field, as well. The Gamecocks' chapter of Uplifting Athletes raises funds and awareness for Pelizaeus-Merzbacher, an inherited rare disease that affects the central nervous system.

"We started a Chapter at Wisconsin to be part of the good Uplifting Athletes was doing," UW linebacker Chris Borland said. "The desire was strengthened when we met Darien."

Badgers react to Packers' winning TD


The Badgers had a busy day Sunday that began with the Day for Kids at DisneyQuest. Some players stayed at Walt Disney World to enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth, but many were sure to pull up a seat at the team hotel to watch the Green Bay Packers' regular-season finale against Chicago. 

The reaction when Packers QB Aaron Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown? Priceless.

Most in the room were thrilled with the Packers' push into the playoffs by securing the NFC North Division title. Except for Bears fan Vonte Jackson, that is. The running back -- decked out in his Matt Forte jersey -- wasn't as pleased with the result.

The Camp: Orlando - Episode 2


The latest installment of "The Camp: Orlando" goes behind the scenes of the Badgers' preparations for the Capital One Bowl, from the team's chartered flight on a 747 to practice in Orlando to a Best Buy shopping spree and more.

Badgers Give Back: DisneyQuest

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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.

ON WISCONSIN