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October 20, 2011

Notes: Suspension, playing on grass

MADISON - The Big Ten conference levied a one-game suspension on Michigan State defensive end William Gholston Thursday afternoon. He will miss Saturday's game against No. 6 Wisconsin.

The Badgers, meanwhile, don't plan on changing their approach and they don't plan on Michigan State changing anything schematically, either.

"You kind of just treat it like an injury situation," UW head coach Bret Bielema said. "You thought he was going to be there and he's not. I know our kids were looking forward to the challenge of playing him."

Gholston was suspended for punching Michigan's offensive lineman Taylor Lewan during last weekend's game, one MSU would eventually win 28-14.

"I don't know who will get the start," Bielema said. "But they play three or four defensive ends. I don't see a change coming schematically."

The Badgers and Spartans are set to play Saturday night on national television.

Health-wise, it seems as though UW is inching closer to 100 percent. Senior wide receiver Nick Toon has been practicing all week and is expected to play. Bielema went as far to say the playmaker was 100 percent.

Senior defensive tackle Patrick Butrym will likely be a game time decision.

"He ran around a little bit today," Bielema said. "We'll probably rest him tomorrow. Hopefully we'll be full go for Saturday. He didn't practice the full week."

Bielema made it clear earlier in the week that he'd feel comfortable playing Butrym against Michigan State even if the senior leader didn't practice all week. If he's healthy enough to play he will.

The grass factor:

Michigan State is one of the few programs in the Big Ten that still plays its games on a grass surface. Normally UW practices on a nearby soccer field when playing a grass opponent.

Bielema took a bit of a different approach this time around.

"We'll be out at U-Bay fields tomorrow (Friday)," Bielema said. "We did a Friday walk through in Chicago (earlier this season), but East Lansing won't let us on the turf. I wanted to go over there and practice on Friday, but they won't let anybody on the field.

"So we're going to do it here and then fly over."

Wisconsin hasn't won a game at Spartan Stadium since 2002.

'Depth Chart' response:

Because his team was practicing during the debut of 'Depth Chart: Wisconsin,' Bielema only caught the final five minutes of the program. That didn't prevent the sixth-year head coach from receiving a multitude of text messages, phone calls and emails about the showcase.

"My phone was blowing up left and right," Bielema said. "Just about the positive side of it. I know the kids were giving Russell and everybody grief about it after what they saw on the show.

"It was a fun thing."

Bielema also insisted he had nothing to do with the glowing recommendation Russell Wilson gave UW to end the show.

"I didn't lead one kid," Bielema said. "It's just another example of what that kid thinks, what he believes and what he says."

Oglesby: The prophet?

If you remember back to a time when Josh Oglesby was one of the more hotly recruited players in the nation you will probably also remember his prediction for Wisconsin football.

After he had committed to the Badgers the five-star recruit essentially promised that UW would win a national championship by the time his career was over.

Well, now five years and a host of knee surgeries later, it seems as though Oglesby was on to something.

"I think it was a couple of weeks ago when somebody interviewed him for the (game) program," Bielema said. "Somebody asked him about that quote and Josh said that was an 18-year-old kid that was a little full of himself. That probably was the case.

"The thing I appreciate about Josh is that he's always thought big, he's always dreamed big. Hopefully it will pay off."

Gordon update:

-Freshman tailback Melvin Gordon will be out 3-to-4 weeks while recovering from a groin procedure. Though Bielema made it clear that Gordon would like to play once he's cleared, there is still a chance he could seek a medical waiver for an extra year of eligibility.

"They did some things to relieve the area that was stressing him," Bielema said. "We may get him back, but they're not going to really know until they see how it takes to his body. (The medical waiver) is there because he only played in three games.

"You're allowed four in the first six. Hopefully that will come through."

Quotable:

Bielema on what he remembers from UW's 2004 trip to Michigan State, one UW wound up losing by a large margin after entering 9-0:

"They had designed some plays they had never shown on film. That was a tough one. That was probably one of my more…..Just because you had grandeur. We were ranked No. 4 or 5. That was my first year (as defensive coordinator) and you're kind of feeling good about everything. Didn't we get stopped like four or five times inside the 20? Yeah."


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