Rose Bowl preview, with two weeks to go
11:25
The Oregonian: 
Welcome, everyone. We will get under way shortly. In the meantime, please feel free to load in your Ducks and Badgers questions, and note whether they are for Adam (Wisconsin-related) or Lindsay (Oregon-related).
Monday December 19, 2011 11:25 The Oregonian
11:28
The Oregonian: 
Lindsay and Adam, holler when you're on board and we'll get started. Meanwhile, readers, go ahead and send us your first questions.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:28 The Oregonian
11:30
Adam Mertz: 
All set from Madison ... glad to be here today. Just wrapped up a lengthy and enlightening press conference with Badgers coach Bret Bielema.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:30 Adam Mertz
11:30
The Oregonian: 
Hi, Adam. Thanks for joining us. OK, let's get started and Lindsay should be with us soon.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:30 The Oregonian
11:31
The Oregonian: 
To set the table, can you tell us about the Badgers' schedule between now and leaving for Los Angeles.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:31 The Oregonian
11:31
The Oregonian: 
The Ducks practice today-Wednesday. Then break for the holiday before flying to Los Angeles on Dec. 26.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:31 The Oregonian
11:31
Adam Mertz: 
Will do. Badgers are front-loading their practices this week but will go through Friday before flying out Dec. 26.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:31 Adam Mertz
11:32
The Oregonian: 
OK, to some readers questions...
Monday December 19, 2011 11:32 The Oregonian
11:32
[Comment From them ducks them ducksthem ducks them ducks: ] 
what did bret have to say.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:32 them ducks them ducks
11:32
Adam Mertz: 
Probably the biggest news nugget to come out is that center Peter Konz, Wisconsin's top lineman and a potential first-round draft choice should he come out a year early, still hasn't practiced with the team after dislocating his ankle Nov. 12 at Minnesota. The outlook doesn't sound great. He MAY get a look this week but might have to wait til L.A. to see if he's a go.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:32 Adam Mertz
11:33
The Oregonian: 
Who is his likely replacement and how does that leave the line?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:33 The Oregonian
11:33
Adam Mertz: 
If he's out, they'll stick with the still very top-notch group they've had the last two-plus games. But they have little for depth.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:33 Adam Mertz
11:33
The Oregonian: 
Beat me to it. Thanks
Monday December 19, 2011 11:33 The Oregonian
11:33
Adam Mertz: 
Coming back with that here.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:33 Adam Mertz
11:34
[Comment From DuckManDuckMan: ] 
over/under on yards the Ducks hold John Clay to this year?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:34 DuckMan
11:34
Adam Mertz: 
Travis Frederick will start at center after moving over from guard, where Ryan Groy takes his place.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:34 Adam Mertz
11:34
Adam Mertz: 
I would put all my money on ZERO. Clay left school a year early. It's all about the Montee Ball Show this year.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:34 Adam Mertz
11:34
[Comment From DuckManDuckMan: ] 
Just how good is Jeff Duckworth?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:34 DuckMan
11:35
The Oregonian: 
Can tell we all have some brushing up to do on the Badgers.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:35 The Oregonian
11:35
[Comment From HankHank: ] 
For Adam: Looking at Oregon, what does Wisc. view as their greatest opportunity to exploit vs. UO defense?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:35 Hank
11:35
Adam Mertz: 
He's aptly named for this game, if nothing else. Maybe a secret agent? He's been off the radar most of the season. I would speculate that 8 of 10 Badgers fans hardly would have known his name before the big catch in the Big Ten title game.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:35 Adam Mertz
11:36
[Comment From DuckManDuckMan: ] 
What uniforms will both teams be wearing?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:36 DuckMan
11:36
Adam Mertz: 
Hank: I would say the interior. Expect a lot of dead-red runs. Ducks' speed on the perimeter is worrisome and TCU exploited gaps on the spread runs last year.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:36 Adam Mertz
11:36
Lindsay: 
Hey everyone, sorry I'm a little late
Monday December 19, 2011 11:36 Lindsay
11:36
The Oregonian: 
Regarding the Ducks uniforms, no word on that yet that we're aware of. Given their history, wouldn't be surprised to see them roll out another new one.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:36 The Oregonian
11:36
Adam Mertz: 
DuckMan: Stunningly, Wisconsin will alter its jerseys for this game. They'll apparently be wearing some fashion of white as the road team, but Bielema said today they'll incoporate a rose theme.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:36 Adam Mertz
11:37
The Oregonian: 
Welcome, Lindsay. Know anything about your favorite question: Ducks unis?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:37 The Oregonian
11:37
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I know no one at Oregon speaks about injuries, but I know from talking to people in the program that the Ducks were very beat up this year, and with numerous starters more or less taped together. This month of no games has to be a huge break for them to heal up. Do you see evidence of this healing, and are the coaches or players making any mention of it?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:37 Guest
11:37
Adam Mertz: 
Bret pointed out that this is a Nike vs. Adidas battle, and I'm not surprised that Adidas wanted to step it up against the flagbearers of fashion.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:37 Adam Mertz
11:38
Lindsay: 
Haha, someone stopped me in the mall the other day and asked me this same question. I'm not sure. They'll aim to surprise us all again, though, that much we can count on.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:38 Lindsay
11:38
The Oregonian: 
Adam: Similar deal happened last season with Oregon (Nike) vs. Auburn (Under Armour)
Monday December 19, 2011 11:38 The Oregonian
11:38
Adam Mertz: 
Hopefully, adidas will be more tasteful than Under Armour. I hate those things. And I admit to digging Oregon's threads.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:38 Adam Mertz
11:38
The Oregonian: 
We'll let Lindsay hit that injury question and then press on to some other topics.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:38 The Oregonian
11:39
The Oregonian: 
Meanwhile, here's one for Adam.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:39 The Oregonian
11:39
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Is it safe to assume no team compares in team speed (offensively) in the B1G like Oregon?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:39 Guest
11:39
Lindsay: 
Re: injuries: Yes, players have mentioned it quite a bit (though I was off last week, so I'm not sure if it came up then) just that the rest will be good for them. I think you're right that lots of guys were pretty banged up, though I'm not convinced it was any more than usual. That being said, taking all this time to heal is definitely going to help. Kenjon Barner also mentioned something one day about how much it helps for players to be able to sleep in a little bit, and how far that can go in terms of restoring their bodies.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:39 Lindsay
11:41
Adam Mertz: 
Correct. Nothing equivalent. Although Michigan State's receivers and DBs are amazing athletes and were a great test -- often to good results for the Spartans. Speed is certainly an area of concern for Wisconsin, but so is Oregon's penchant for slipping tackles in tight spots. Form and finish is a huge emphasis.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:41 Adam Mertz
11:41
[Comment From darkwing duckdarkwing duck: ] 
If UW is having Melvin Gordon impersonate LaMichael James, who is impersonating Cliff Harris? Who is the Badgers' best troublemaker?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:41 darkwing duck
11:42
The Oregonian: 
In regard to Darkwing's question, is everyone academically eligible for Wisconsin, Adam?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:42 The Oregonian
11:42
Adam Mertz: 
Darkwing: Great question and I don' t have a great answer. Antonio Fenelus isn't fast but he's feisty and a great cover corner even in the air despite being 5-8. They have to match up with him every day.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:42 Adam Mertz
11:43
[Comment From Boise JimBoise Jim: ] 
Rahsaan Vaughn's playing time seems to be getting shorter. Is there an injury issue?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:43 Boise Jim
11:43
[Comment From HankHank: ] 
For Adam: Is there as much joy/excitement in Madison about returning to the Rose Bowl, or is it tempered with urgency to win and maybe concern about a tough opponent that may ruin the fun again?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:43 Hank
11:43
Adam Mertz: 
In terms of being eligible, there's been no indication that Wisconsin will be without any players because of grades/off the field issues.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:43 Adam Mertz
11:43
Lindsay: 
No injury that I'm aware of (though it's always possible with these guys, given how quiet they keep everything) I just think other receivers have emerged. I still think he can come in and make some big-time catches, though, if needed.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:43 Lindsay
11:44
[Comment From DuckManDuckMan: ] 
If Oregon loses, would it be the longest BCS losing streak to date? Would they even want to go back to a BCS bowl after that?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:44 DuckMan
11:44
Adam Mertz: 
Hank: I think people are pretty psyched about this game. There was a HUGE letdown after the two late-game losses because this was Wisconsin's best chance to put itself into the national title conversation that anyone could ever imagine. But the chance to play Oregon has been a great sell in these parts. Doesn't hurt that Badgers are underdogs for the first time this year -- that's a role the team, and its fans, embrace.
Monday December 19, 2011 11:44 Adam Mertz
11:44
[Comment From PurdueduckPurdueduck: ] 
Adam, most of the Oregon faithful I talk to are guardedly optimistic about our chances in the Rose Bowl. What's your impression of the attitude among Badger fans?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:44 Purdueduck
11:45
Lindsay: 
DuckMan, I'm not sure about losing streaks but I don't know why on earth they wouldn't want to go back. They have to break through at SOME point, right? If not this year (and I think it will be this year, for what it's worth) why not next year? Barner admitted shortly after the Pac12 title game that the Rose Bowl is a slight disappointment after the title game last year, but like he said, are you really going to be upset about going to a BCS bowl?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:45 Lindsay
11:45
The Oregonian: 
Adam: To Purdueduck's question, what's the perception of Oregon there?
Monday December 19, 2011 11:45 The Oregonian
11:46
[Comment From PurdueduckPurdueduck: ] 
(Thanks Oregonian, that's what I was getting at)
Monday December 19, 2011 11:46 Purdueduck
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