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November 1, 2010MADISON - When conducting post game interviews following Wisconsin's thrilling victory at Iowa it was obvious the players were plenty excited in regards to their accomplishments.
But with every high comes the crash.
"Physically and emotionally we were very spent," Bielema said at his Monday presser. "I think that would be the right way to say it. We knew it was going to be a dogfight going into the Iowa game. The way certain guys had to respond I knew certain guys were going to be emotionally drained on that Sunday. We really gave them all of Sunday and Monday off.
"On Tuesday when I came into that meeting room I could really just feel the energy."
That energy, one would assume, is an enthusiasm waiting to crescendo through the last month of the regular season. With Michigan State's recent loss, Wisconsin is now one of four teams in the conference with one loss. And on the surface, it seems as though the Badgers have a favorable schedule down the stretch.
But as has been the case over the past five years under Bielema, the goal is to go 1-0 this week against Purdue.
"I'm sure our guys watched or saw it," Bielema said. "That's paying attention to the obvious, but that doesn't affect anything we do. It obviously puts us in a tying position in the Big Ten race. But if we don't take care of our business this week it's all for naught.
"I think this group probably gets that better than years past. The reason they're in that position is because they've taken it one week at a time."
As has been stated repeatedly over the past few days, it seems the injuries that had accrued before, during and as a result of the Iowa game seem to be recovering quickly.
Offensively, guys such as Lance Kendricks, James White and Peter Konz should be set to go.
"Lance Kendricks should return to some form of practice tomorrow," Bielema said. "He's a guy that, if I'm betting him playing, I bet he'd be out there. But he hasn't been through a full speed practice yet.
"I was actually pretty happy with where his injury was at. When you saw it on film it wasn't pretty. So he had an ankle sprain that should be full go."
Konz, who actually suffered an ankle sprain against Ohio State, should have no problems getting back into practice.
"He should be with us full go tomorrow," Bielema said. "He had some limited activity last week."
Though White's injury looked a bit more serious than it turned out to be, both White and his head coach acknowledged that there was plenty of soreness during the following days after the incident.
However, with a bye week to rest, it seems White is progressing at a pretty fast clip.
"Once he got the assurance that there was just a minimal amount of damage and it will heal pretty quickly, he's come back fast," Bielema said. "I saw him run around on Sunday and he won't be in full speed on Tuesday but hopefully he will by the end of the week."
Finally, Nick Toon, who missed the Iowa game with a bruised thigh, should be able to return this week in time for the Purdue game.
"He actually practiced last Thursday and Friday and actually went through pre-game at Iowa," Bielema said. "He was right there on the verge of it. We just felt because of the preparation factor that Jared Abbrederis and the other guys would give us a better picture, or cleaner picture for Scott Tolzien.
"He didn't practice last Tuesday, but he did Wednesday and Thursday and he also practiced Saturday. He should be full go."
Defensively, Mike Taylor, who was nicked up during the Ohio State game but returned to action at Iowa, is feeling pretty strong according to his head coach.
"After playing in the Iowa game he felt really good on Sunday," Bielema said. "He practiced last week. We did give some guys some time down last week particularly at the linebacker position. All those guys should be back and full speed ahead."
Inside the coaches poll:
Though he didn't go so far to rattle off his top 10 in the coaches poll, Bielema did show a glimpse into his thought process when asked about undefeated teams such as TCU, Boise State and Utah.
"I haven't had the opportunity to play TCU, Boise State or Utah, but watching them when they compete and I'm just a fan of college football I've been very impressed with their success," Bielema said. "I think anytime you have success and you stay unblemished that's a big feather in your cap. It's so difficult to win in this league week in and week out, and in college football, I think if you hold that unblemished record that's a significant thing."
Wisconsin checks in at No. 7 in both the Associated Press poll and the Coaches Poll. In the ever-important B.C.S. poll, Wisconsin comes in at No. 9.
Game time set:
Wisconsin's game at Purdue will be played at 11:00 A.M. central time. The league also announced Monday that UW's game against Indiana Nov. 13 will kick off at 11:00 A.M. central time.
The following is the audio file from Monday afternoon.