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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 6 18 desire to win. I think we will meet that, but it'll be test- ed this year. I think our home schedule is tougher this year than it was last year, so that'll present challenges. We'll have to be playing our 'A' game in order to have a chance to win some. "Then we'll have some young guys who haven't played a whole lot. While we think we've gotten them a lot of experience and are going to continue to. Game experience? No, they're not going to have that. "Then probably the last one is I think we have more guys on offense, which is good, but I don't know who the definite playmakers are. I don't know if they've separated themselves yet." Q: You did a lot of work instilling the harder, tougher, smarter mentality last season. So what's the next step there? Just continuing to talk about those? Brohm: "Yeah, we'll stress that. Competing every day. Trying to win the daily battle and push yourselves that way, which I think we do a good job. Everybody buys into that. I think that'll always be there. I think we can push forward and get better, but there's going to be some new faces. Game 1 is going to be important and that team (Northwestern), they're great at those things. So for us to beat them at their own game, we're going to have to be playing at a high level and then the new faces are going to have to play like they've been there before in order to win the game." Q: Anything surprise you about Year 1, now that you've had a chance to reflect on it? Brohm: "No, not really any surprises. I think I un- derstand the league a little more now and what it has, what its strengths are and what its weaknesses are. While I think I had a decent grasp before while study- ing it, going through it now, I do know more of where the league is, what things we need to do to get better and where we could have an advantage if we did it." Q: Now that you've been through it, not just the Big Ten, but your division, what things have to happen now for you to stack up and be a player in your division? Brohm: "I think the Big Ten in general, I thought overall, has very good defenses. They're physical. The defenses are productive. I think the offenses are aver- age. Maybe not quite as explosive, as fast, as high-pow- ered as some other teams. So, for us, OK, how can we get faster and more explosive and give us an edge? Secondly, our defense did step up to the plate as well and got in the mix with the other teams, but we're go- ing to have to continue to do that because if we don't have defense, it's a little harder to score in this league than maybe somewhere else." Q: I think one surprise people would say is that you finished 7-6 and won a bowl game. I know you've never called it a rebuild, but the way your team finished that season, does it change your ex- pectations for this timeline? Brohm: "Behind closed doors, we had a reasonable goal of exactly that — winning our rivalries games and going to a bowl game and winning it. That's what we were shooting for. We did a decent job of finding a way to do that. We had to kind of pull it out in the end, but we found a way to do it. This year, Wiscon- sin is going to be good every year. Iowa is going to be competitive. The other side of the conference is going to be good. Northwestern is going to be solid. We're going to have to inch our way up. I don't know if we're ready to conquer the world, but I'd like to see slight improvement. That would be a plus, if we could find a way to improve." Q: You talk a lot about guys who love football. Those are the kind of guys you want on this ros- ter. How close are you to that ideal makeup with the roster for this season? Brohm: "We like all of our guys, they're good kids, they work hard, they want to win. But, yeah, you want guys who love to win. If you want to compete and win the close games, the guys have to want to love to win. How many of those guys do we have? We have to help develop them. It doesn't just happen. It's not (just) a mindset. You have to make it fun for them, to a certain degree. It can't be drudgery to come over here every day and have to do the same thing over and over again. It takes a lot of hard work, so you have to make it fun and let them enjoy everyone's personality and enjoy competing and then you have to make practices fun as you can and then, hopefully, when you're doing that they buy into, 'This football is better than I thought. It's not quite as grueling as I thought and isn't quite as miserable.' Then when things get going tough, they just stick to it and finding ways to win. It's doing all those small things, which I think we've done a decent

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