Preview & Picks: Wisconsin at Illinois

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters is conscious sufficient and truthful sufficient to recognize the truth of Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff at Memorial Stadium: it is going to mark the primary time Illini head trainer Bret Bielema will trainer in opposition to this system he unusually left 9 years in the past following 3 directly Big Ten championships. That makes this sport between Illinois (2-4, 1-2 Big Ten) and Wisconsin (1-3, 0-2 Big Ten), two groups with a mixed one Big Ten victory, a tad extra compelling to outsiders.

“I know everybody will say it’s just another game, but come on, man, we can’t ignore the elephant in the room: Coach B was there,” Walters mentioned all the way through his weekly media availability on Monday. “Go ahead and talk about it. It is what it is. I don’t think that adds added pressure. I just think that’s something to be aware of and to pay attention to.”

For his section, Bielema graciously spoke back a number of questions on his time at Wisconsin and enjoying the Badgers. But he made transparent on Monday that this sport is extra in regards to the avid gamers than him, Paul Chryst — Bielema’s Wisconsin offensive coordinator who now has been the Badgers head trainer for seven seasons — or Barry Alvarez, the person who constructed Wisconsin right into a Big Ten energy best at hand this system to Bielema after which used to be compelled to search out his substitute because the then UW athletic director.

“I know I’m going to get the question but this game is about the University of Illinois football against the University of Wisconsin football and that’s what it’s about,” Bielema mentioned. “My preparation for any game is the exact same. I get the question, I get understanding but really the attitude that I carried into Nebraska preparation to next week against UTSA and then to Virginia, to Maryland, to Purdue and last week against Charlotte and this week against Wisconsin has been the exact same. I’m not going to do anything more or less.”

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