Los Angeles, CA (WQOW) -- The 99th edition of the Rose Bowl is just two days away, and for the final time before the game, the head coaches for Stanford and Wisconsin spoke to the media.
Wisconsin's practice on Sunday was closed to the media. On Saturday, the Badgers had only a walkthrough in the team hotel, partly because of rain in the area. But mainly because Eddie Faulkner, the tight ends coach, and a guy who played on Wisconsin's 1999 and 2000 Rose Bowl teams had some advice for Barry Alvarez. The Badgers' players needed a break.
"That's how I normally try to think. What is best for them," says Alvarez. "Sometimes they need to be pushed. But in this case, our guys have done everything that we've asked them to do they needed a little break. They needed to get their legs back and get ready for the game because that's where they were. So that's always very conscious on my mind."
Through this year's Rose Bowl practices, Alvarez has had one consistent message for his team: finish. That's something Wisconsin was unable to do the past two years at the Rose Bowl.
"You know, that's the thing to me. It would really be a great life lesson for these players. I think they'd learn quite a bit about how to deal with things, how to deal with adversity, how to deal with situations and make something positive come out of it, especially after two tough losses. They could have won either game the last two years. They had opportunities to win, but couldn't close the deal," adds Alvarez. "So I think it would be a tremendous lesson for them and very positive if they could win."
Many Wisconsin players have dubbed Alvarez 'the Godfather' -- a term of respect.
"What are my impressions of that? I've heard that before. I take that as a compliment, but the Godfather was Italian. I'm Spanish," jokes Alvarez.
"I think it's awesome. I think it's awesome," says David Shaw, Stanford's head coach. "I think it's a huge sign of respect. I have that respect for him. I have for years since the first time I heard his name since he took over the Wisconsin program and since he went to the Philadelphia Eagles and met Bill Callahan. Bill Callahan told me, I can't tell you how many stories about Barry Alvarez, and building character in that program. Building toughness in that program, how they recruited, how they played."
WQOW-News 18 will have Rose Bowl reports leading up to the big game. Wisconsin and Stanford face off January 1st.
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