Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Chryst and Cubit meet for the first time as coaches

For the first time as coaches, Paul Chryst and Bill Cubit will meet against one another, but on opposite ends of stability.

Chryst is in the first season of a 5-year, $12.5 million contract for Wisconsin, while Cubit came into this campaign expecting to be the offensive coordinator until then-Illinois coach Tim Beckman was fired on Aug. 28 due to allegations of pressuring players to play while injured.

Cubit was named interim coach the same day, while retaining the offensive coordinator position, but has made the most of his run thus far as the Fighting Illini come into Saturday's game at 4-2 and 1-1 in the Big Ten, while Chryst and the Badgers are 5-2 and 2-1 in league play.

Chryst doesn't see a drastic difference in preparation from being a one-time offensive coordinator to the current head man for the Badgers as he discussed in Tuesday's Big Ten teleconference.

"The essence of preparing a team is the same and it is making sure the players understand our plan and how it fits against the opponent," Chryst said. 

"I think it is the same regardless of what your position is and that is to get the players ready."

Chryst sees the Illini as a stern test given they are a half game behind the Badgers in the Big Ten West standings.

"I have a lot of respect for Illinois and how they are playing," Chryst said. "The players they have, the schemes they run, I think it is a well-coached team with good players and our job is to understand and know their opponent and get them ready for a heck of a challenge."

The respect on the other side of the fence shows as Cubit complemented Chryst for having an eye on talent and keeping his players level-headed.

"Paul has a lot more history there from being an assistant before and he has a great feel about the university," Cubit said. "That's really important because he understands the culture and his kids."

Despite losing its last game on the road two weeks ago against unbeaten Iowa, Cubit believes his team will come out with a lot to prove with an opportunity to pull one game closer of becoming bowl-eligible with a win on Saturday. "We're just trying to play with a lot of passion and emotion," Cubit said. 

"We need to make sure we don't make the mistakes that can kill you in this type of game. The big key for us is that we can't turn the ball over and we will have to be really physical."

Game Planner:

Wisconsin Badgers (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten West) at Illinois Fighting Illini (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten West)

Location: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, Ill.

Time: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. CT

TV/Online: BTN/BTN 2Go

Line: Wisconsin (-7)

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