p class="TEXT_w_Indent"> The folks at the Marriott in Middleton added a nice touch for the Cougars, making up room keys (the electronic deals the shape of a driver's license) with a BYU helmet on them.
At 10 a.m. here, about 4 1/2 hours before kickoff, skies are mostly cloudy and it is 49 degrees, with 15 mph winds. I think the wind is going to be a factor in the game, although both teams will look to establish the run.
Here's my advance for today's game as I call the contest a huge opportunity for BYU to make some noise on the national level. The guys on ESPN's GameDay did a short segment on Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen, the former USU and Utah coach, and Desmond Howard picked BYU to win while the others went with the chalk. Wisconsin is between a 7- and 9-point favorite.
"It is going to take everything we have to beat these guys," BYU quarterback Taysom Hill said. "We made a push to score in every quarter against Boise State, which we did. Hopefully, our mindset is that we need to continue to build off of that. Every time we get in the red zone we are scoring touchdowns rather than resorting to field goals."
The Cougars spent the week in Provo preparing not only for the Badgers, but their loud, raucous crowd. Music and loud noises were pumped into the Indoor Practice Facility.
"It is going to be hard to mimic any sort of environment like that. But it gives us an idea," Hill said. "We have been in hostile environments as well before, and we played at Utah State this year. There were not as many people at Utah State as there will be at Wisconsin. But those guys don't like us [in Logan]. So it was a hostile environment. We have been in situations like that, and we will be OK."
A few more comments from BYU players as they looked forward to the contest this week:
Hill on what kind of opportunities come with playing at Wisconsin:
"Being independent has given us a lot of opportunities to travel and see a lot of different venues and be in different environments. Going to Wisconsin and playing there gives us a great opportunity to make noise on the national level. They are ranked in the top 25, they have been a known program throughout the country. It will give us an opportunity to go into a hostile environment and show what we can do against a very good opponent."