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Badgers looking for revenge in Ann Arbor

first_imgBEN CLASSON/Herald file photoAfter 13 straight days off, the No. 9 Wisconsin football team (3-0) travels to Ann Arbor tomorrow to take on the Michigan Wolverines (1-2). The two-week hiatus allowed UW to heal some of its wounds and prepare for the grueling part of the season: Big Ten play.“We try to keep things rolling; we didn’t get too much rest,” offensive guard Kraig Urbik said. “We had some things to work on on offense, things we needed to get better at. We definitely got a lot of work in, got a lot accomplished, but we’ve got to keep rolling.”The Badgers are coming off a thrilling 13-10 road victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs Sept. 13, a game UW hopes to feed off of to continue its winning ways.“It definitely gave us some confidence, knowing that we can go on the road and beat a very quality opponent like Fresno State,” Urbik continued. “It gave us confidence, but it makes us hungry for more. We want to be perfect on the road.”Under new head coach Rich Rodriguez, Michigan is only 1-2. But to Wisconsin, the Wolverines’ record makes no difference.“It’s not about Michigan at all,” fullback Chris Pressley said. “It’s not about Coach Rodriguez or their 1-2 record; it’s about us going in and playing in their home, taking the lessons we learned from Fresno, come out, start faster, start better. It’s about the things that we can do, how we can better our performance in an away arena. It’s about Wisconsin.”With home night games against Ohio State and Penn State on the horizon, could this be a trap game for the Badgers?“Forget Ohio State, forget Penn State,” wide receiver Kyle Jefferson said. “We can’t go anywhere before we beat Michigan, so Ohio State will have to wait. After the game Saturday, then we can think about those teams coming into our house. “They’re Michigan,” he added. “Last year they started off bad but ended up really well. The record doesn’t mean anything to us. We got to play the game and get a victory.”Although the Michigan offense has experienced some growing pains in its opening non-conference affairs, the UM defense — especially its run defense — is still among the best and most experienced in the Big Ten.“They’re a very good Michigan football defense,” Urbik said. “They return five of the starting front seven, and they’ve got very quality players up front.”The Wolverine defense has held its first three opponents to just 65.3 rushing yards per game and a meager 1.8 yards per carry.“It’s going to be one of those football games where you’ve got to just grind it out,” Urbik continued. “We’ll stick to our game plan, run the ball, pass the ball when we have to. It should be a grind-it-out game.”Although hard-fought, hard-nosed contests may play into Wisconsin’s strengths, the Badgers are anticipating a tough battle from the hosts.“I’m expecting them to play hard, for everybody to be on,” Pressley said. “They’re a 1-2 team, they’re going to come out fighting. We should expect them to play better than we see on film, just like they should expect us to play better than they see us on film. We’ve played some games, but none of them were Big Ten games.”“This is what we’re fighting for. It starts with Michigan.”Two seasons ago — the Badgers’ last trip to the Big House — the teams were deadlocked at 10 going into halftime. But it was the Wolverines who dominated the second half, finishing the Badgers off 27-13.“We just came out in the second half, and we were flat,” Urbik said. “They kicked our butts up and down the field because we weren’t playing our game, we weren’t playing physical, we weren’t on our targets.”This time, Wisconsin is looking to complete the mission and remain undefeated.“I’m looking forward to it, the first Big Ten game against Michigan, a good opponent,” Jefferson said. “We haven’t beaten them in a few years in their house, so we’re ready.”Jefferson, a sophomore, wasn’t on the UW roster two years ago but says his experience in big stadiums last season will help him in tomorrow’s showdown.“I’ve had my fair share of big houses,” he explained. “Last year I played at Penn State and Ohio State. You’ve got to treat it like home and go out there and play.”Jefferson has only caught five balls for 93 yards in the Badgers’ first three games. But being the deep threat that he is, he says tomorrow might be his day.“If we know Michigan, they’ll have seven people in the box to stop the three-headed (running back) monster that we have,” Jefferson said. “So by them doing that, it opens up the passing game for everybody, opens up the play action. I can’t wait — it’s our time to shine.”last_img read more

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NEC Unwilling to Comply with Supreme Court’s Mandate?

first_imgIt appears that the NEC is insisting that there is nothing to clean up on the Final Registration Roll (FRR), contrary to a mandate by the Supreme Court.As preparations for the runoff election get underway, it appears that the National Elections Commission (NEC) seems unwilling to comply with the Supreme Court’s mandate to cleanup the Final Registration Roll (FRR) before the holding of the runoff election. NEC Chairman Korkoya’s continued insistence that the FRR is flawless and needs no cleanup was rebuffed by the Unity Party (UP) as well as the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) according to reliable sources.Sources say a meeting convened over the weekend by NEC with representatives from the UP and the CDC ended inconclusively as the NEC Chairman had no prepared agenda — as would have been expected — outlining procedures to be agreed and adopted  by both parties for the cleanup of the FRR, as mandated by the Supreme Court of Liberia in its recent ruling.Further, according to sources, the NEC Chairman, when requested to produce the FRR for scrutiny by the parties, failed to do so insisting outrightly that the FRR was indeed clean and stood in no further need of any cleanup as recommended and mandated by the Supreme Court. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, NEC Executive Director Lamin Lighe had repeatedly said that despite the public outcry, there was nothing wrong with the FRR.In his words, “We have respect for the Supreme Court but it is good for us all to firstly establish the fact that there is actually a need to clean up the FRR. Is it not established today that the names of many voters which could not be found on the FRR earlier due to their wrong queuing for the October 10 elections later found? We have said and continue to say that that there is nothing wrong with the FRR.”Mr. Lighe has further argued that the few lapses the FRR has do not amount to a need for its nullification, more so in the name of a cleanup. He said the same multiple ID numbers used by voters across the country came due to some technical problems but promised that the Commission has put in place mechanism to curtail the many challenges experienced. He noted further that NEC is a law abiding agency and as such it is willing to follow what is right.But the inclusive results of the meeting held over the weekend with representatives of UP and CDC during which Chairman Korkoya refused to provide for scrutiny, copy of  the FRR which he claims is spotless, clearly contradicts any claims whatsoever by NEC Executive Director Lamin Lighe that NEC is a law abiding agency.When contacted for comment on the matter, a representative of the UP/Boakai campaign team (name withheld) informed the Daily Observer that the meeting was indeed held but no decisions were reached because the Chairman had no agenda which would have formed the basis for discussion. He said that attempts to convince Chairman Korkoya to produce the FRR in NEC’s possession proved futile as he (Korkoya) refused to accommodate their request.When contacted for comment, NEC spokesperson, Henry Flomo confirmed that the meeting was indeed held but he refused to divulge details of the meeting for fear of his comments being taken out of context by people he did not name. He suggested instead that the Daily Observer contact others who attended the meeting.For his part, the CDC national chairman, Nathaniel McGill when contacted said he was not at the meeting but had Moses Kollie, an executive of the party, was represented the CDC there. He declined to submit Kollie’s cell phone number for inquiry and as such the CDC’s official reaction to this latest development could not be addressed.Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether the CDC and UP, jointly or singly would again seek the intervention of the Court to have its decision and mandate enforced. Some legal experts believe that any of the parties could elect to exercise such option and, even if the Supreme Court under the circumstances does grant relief, enforcement will ultimately fall on the shoulders of the Executive whose impartiality in this matter has been questioned and in some cases openly chastised.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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