It didn’t take a dominating performance over Ohio State for Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst to know what his unbeaten team is getting itself into this week.
Chryst called Iowa’s 55-24 rout of the Buckeyes impressive, but the coach of a sixth-ranked team which puts its 9-0 record on the line in a 2:30 p.m. game Saturday against the 25th-rated Hawkeyes said he’s seen it before.
“The score grabs your attention, but I don’t know that it was something that happened all of a sudden. They looked like a lot of their teams have looked," Chryst said Monday at his weekly news conference.
“This group knows what they’ve got to do this week. It’s a big week and that win, it lets our guys know that just that much more. It’s going to be a difficult game, very difficult."
Chryst expects the challenge to be much the same as it has been the past two seasons.
Iowa won a 10-6 game at Camp Randall Stadium two years ago on its way to an unbeaten record during the regular season and last year, the Badgers won a hard-fought 17-9 game at Kinnick Stadium.
“This looks like another really good Iowa team and when we play them, it seems like it is always a big game, a tough game, physical game," Chryst said. “We understand that we will have to put everything into this game to give ourselves a chance.”
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer would advise that after watching Iowa’s offensive front dominate the Buckeyes last weekend.
“This was one of the first games I can remember not controlling the line of scrimmage and just not getting off the field on third downs," Meyer said Monday at his weekly news conference, acknowledging, “… We didn’t play very well."
Chryst saw a lot of familiar looks from the Hawkeyes as he watched tape of the Ohio State game.
“The staples you expect to see from them, they’re there, and that’s why they’ve been a top-level program for a long time," he said.
Chryst said Monday the Badgers will be without their receiving leader, Quintez Cephus, and one of their top defenders, linebacker Chris Orr, against the Hawkeyes after suffering injuries in a win at Indiana last week.
Safety D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin’s leader in tackles, is also listed as questionable on the team’s weekly injury report.