Kirk on the Badgers

Nov. 21, 2003

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Listen to Kirk in today’s Inside Iowa

Iowa versus Michigan. It may not be USC-UCLA or Michigan-Ohio State, but make no mistake. It’s a big game — not just this year — every year. Both teams enter this week’s game looking to add to their post-season momentum. The winner probably elevates itself in the world of college football bowl games.

Iowa will be looking for win No. 9 in 2003 and to pull within one game of evening the series. The head-to-head numbers currently stand at 37-39-2.

The Hawkeyes are looking to add win No. 9 to the 2003 season. Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz says the task is tall, but the Hawkeyes are looking forward to the challenge.

Here’s more of what he had to say about Iowa’s 2:30 p.m. date with the Badgers in sold out Camp Randall Stadium.

“It is hard to believe this is the final regular season game for us. It has been a great season so far. Our guys have really extended themselves and have done a great job playing through adversity.

“Traveling to Wisconsin presents a big challenge for our team and one that we are looking forward to. They traditionally have had a great program. Barry has done a great job with that team over the years.

“Offensively, the Badgers have been a solid running team and will be a solid running team again on Saturday thanks to a strong offensive line and a back who last week had over 200 yards running the ball. They typically have an outstanding receiver and do so again this year in Lee Evans. The big difference this year is that they have a great group of receivers — a group that rivals that at Michigan.

“Toss in a quarterback (Sorgi) that might be the best throwing QB that Barry has had at Wisconsin and you have what the Badgers have: A diverse and explosive offensive team capable of putting up big numbers.

“Defensively, it’s prototypical Wisconsin. They try to shut down the run and make you one-dimensional. They have a big strong defensive tackle up front in Hawthorne and Leonard, their outstanding safety, appears to me to be the heart and soul of their defense.

“On special teams, they hustle and work hard. We are hoping we can make that an area of strength for us again. We rebounded last week and need to maintain the momentum of a week ago.

“It should be another great Big Ten football game. We’re excited to play it and I’m certain Wisconsin feels the same way.”