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October 31, 2013
Andersen expects Borland to play
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen met with the media after practice on Thursday, opting against wearing the mullet he donned for Halloween during practice. Whether that was a good or bad choice is up to you, but I've included a few notes from Andersen's interview below.
-- Inside linebacker Chris Borland (hamstring) practiced for the first time this week today, and Andersen said the senior participated for most of Thursday's session. Andersen said Borland's status for this week's game against Iowa will likely be a game-time decision, since the linebacker needs to respond well from his first day back at practice.
"It's really going to depend on Chris and the trainers," Andersen said. "The trainers have done a tremendous job of getting him to this point, and Chris knows how to take care of his body. Like I said earlier in the week I'm very optimistic and I expect him to play."
-- The Badgers have at least five games left in Andersen's first season at the helm in Madison, but Andersen said he does see the end coming for this particular team's time together. The Badgers are way past the halfway point if you include the time they spent together during fall camp, but Andersen said performing well and winning a few more games will help ease any sadness he or his players might have about moving on to next season.
"I guess if November means anything to me, it's a little bit of a sad part of the whole deal because you only have so many days left with the group of kids that you're with," Andersen said. "I feel like that every year with the teams that I'm with. We want to enjoy it, though. Winning helps you enjoy things."
-- It took tight end Jacob Pedersen a little while to get going offensively, but Andersen said he thinks Pedersen and the other tight ends will play a bigger role in his team's passing offense towards the end of the season. The Badgers are still working more plays and concepts in to their playbook, which could mean that guys like Sam Arneson and Brock DeCicco might get a few more looks down the stretch run.
"I think the evolution of the offense has continually improved with the tight ends," Andersen said. "The good thing is when [Pedersen] has had opportunities he's taken advantage of it, and that's what key players do. But I know it's been a focus to include these tight ends in the game plan more and more each week as we get more of the playbook in in the first year."
-- The Badgers already have to contend with the Iowa Hawkeyes on the field, but Andersen said he doesn't think their famously pink visitor locker room will give his players much trouble during their time in Iowa City.
"I've been to locker rooms where they try and do a lot of different things," Andersen said. "I've heard it's a nice locker room. That's what we really care about. Some locker rooms are not so nice. I don't quite understand it- it doesn't bother me. We played in pink gloves last week and we did fine with those so I think we'll be fine this week."
For more Wisconsin Badgers news, notes and discussion, follow John on Twitter.