Mike Lucas has more than 38 years under his belt covering Badgers sports for the Madison Capitol Times. Along with national, regional and local writing awards, Lucas has been twice named the Sportswriter of the Year in Wisconsin. He also has more than 15 years as color analyst on Wisconsin Radio Network for Badger football and basketball. You can see Mike hosts his weekly television show, Sidelines on WISC TV (Ch.3-Ch.14). Lucas has authored five books: Barry's Badgers, the chronicleof the 1993 Rose Bowl Season; Five Golden Rings; the Saga of Wisconsin Hockey; The 25 Greatest Moments in Camp Randall History; Don't Flinch, the Barry Alvarez autobiography; and Another Hill to Climb, the Bo Ryan autobiography.
Matt Lepay is a native of Dayton, Ohio and is a graduate of Ohio State University (degree in journalism). He is the radio voice of Wisconsin Badgers Football and Basketball(football since 1994 and basketball since 1988-89) and a five-time Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year (as selected by state media members). You may have seen him on TV as the host of the Badgers Sports Report with UW coaches Bret Bielema and Bo Ryan. He also co-hosts Badgers Sportstalk radio shows with Mike Lucas.
Wisconsin Badgers head football coach Gary Andersen joined the show in lieu of Saturday’s upcoming spring football game.
We will see a bit of a new format during Saturday’s spring game, with defensive players being able to score points for creating turnovers, blocking a field goal, etc. On this new spring game format:
“We did it last year like that. The year before we felt like we had enough numbers to break up into a team, and ideally I would like to break up into a team… We came up with this system to try to make it be competitive, and it will be competitive. It will be very, very close… But it’s fun. It’s a fun tempo for the kids to be able to know that if there’s a big play like I just talked about, that’s 20, 25 yard run, you’re going to get points as an offense… You obviously will score in the traditional ways on offense and on defense, but the defense gets awarded for sacks and things like that. It is a game-like environment. We’re going to split the teams up. The kids will be in opposite locker rooms, and we’ll do everything we can to make it be a quality experience. And again, this is an important day for these young men that haven’t played a lot of football with the University of Wisconsin. To play in front of their fans, that’s a big responsibility, and I’m excited to see how they’re going to handle it.”
On the new tradition of singing “On Wisconsin” after games:
“I think we should be able to learn that thing and get it knocked out. But we are going to sing that after every game, whether we’re on the road or whether we’re at home… It’s a tremendous tradition. It’s a very powerful, powerful song.”
1 or 2 things that jump out to him from spring practice:
“Their consistency and their ability to want to learn… Overall I think we’re a team that wants to get the information from practice and evaluate themselves along with their unit and move on. On the flip side… football’s a hard game to play when you gotta do everything exactly right, and we need to be more explosive on offensive, and that’s hard sometimes when you don’t have Jarred out there and James doesn’t get as many carries as you want. At the end of the day, those are just excuses that can happen. We need to be more explosive as a football team.”
How will they go about becoming more explosive?
“Well, we need to make the big plays… Offense is very difficult, especially when you’re playing against a defense that’s aggressive and moves around and does some things, and if you can’t get yards and chunks you’ve got issues… We need to get some throws over 25 yards, and we need to get some runs over 15 yards consistently. When you do that, you’re a good offense.”
How does he best motivate a player?
“Through trust, through competitiveness… There’s tough love just like a parent, and there’s easy love that you can give out. And coaching, to me, is no different than being a parent and the way I believe in parenting.”