Honolulu awaits football team

first_imgBarry Alvarez and the Badgers play their final regular season game this Friday in Hawaii, ironically at Aloha Stadium. Wisconsin is looking to solidify a prestigious bowl berth with its ninth victory of the year. Many pundits have speculated the Badgers are headed to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando to play an SEC team.However, Alvarez is well aware of the importance of Friday’s matchup with Hawaii, despite the Warriors’ 4-6 record.”The Capital One Bowl [committee] would expect us to win, before they extend an invitation,” Alvarez said.A win at Hawaii would not only end Wisconsin’s current two-game losing streak, but also give it nine victories for the season, a mark that the team has reached in five previous seasons. This will be the third time Wisconsin plays in Hawaii during the Alvarez era, and the fourth overall meeting on the island.The Badgers lead the overall series 3-1, and while the matchup is far from a rivalry, the 1996 contest is renowned in UW’s football history. The 59-10 Badger conquest featured Ron Dayne’s school-record 339-yard rushing performance.Despite the Warriors struggles this year, and a bye week replete with rest, the Badgers are now thoroughly preparing for a competitive game against Hawaii. Lately conditioning is more intensive than usual, as the team attempts to acclimate itself to the Hawaiian heat. “There is no way we can simulate the heat … we started hydrating our players yesterday and we’ve been conditioning more,” Alvarez said. “We will land [in Hawaii] tomorrow night and go right to the stadium and get a light workout in.”According to weather reports, game day in Honolulu will reach a high of 82 degrees, and low of 70.A finale for Palermo as well: Just like Alvarez, defensive line coach John Palermo will be enjoying the beautiful Hawaiian weather for the last time as a Badger coach. His close relationship with Alvarez dates back to their coaching days at Notre Dame.”I think everybody recognizes how good a football coach he is particularly with the defensive line … he has had opportunities to leave here, but he chose to stay,” Alvarez said. “He has been very loyal, and very instrumental in our success.”Palermo’s contribution as a coach is unmistakable. Last year his entire defensive line was selected in the 2005 NFL draft. In addition, he has been on staff for 107 of Alvarez’s 108 victories at Wisconsin.Injury Report: Senior left guard Matt Lawrence practiced this week, and is expected to return to the starting lineup after missing the Iowa game with an aggravated ankle injury suffered in the fourth quarter against Penn State.On defense, freshman standout Matt Shaughnessy, who was carted off the field in the third quarter of last week’s game against Iowa, is out indefinitely.”He did not have a lot of swelling, which is good,” Alvarez said. “I have a feeling that he will be the type of person that will work very hard to rehabilitate.”The good news for the banged up defense is redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jason Chapman is scheduled to start after missing the entire Penn State game, and most of last week’s game against the Hawkeyes.last_img

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