MADISON, Wis. - Just over a year ago, cornerback Allen Langford suffered a season ending torn ACL when Wisconsin was playing at Ohio State. Fast-forward to this season and the senior has not only recovered well, but has had one of the better seasons of his career.
The following is a question and answer with the defensive back as he heads into his final regular season game:
You aren't going to go against a bunch of 6-foot-6, 230-lbs guys, what's the key going against a guy that big?
Langford: You got to be physical with him, you got to get your hands on him at the line of scrimmage, you've got to be able to disrupt him. He's a guy, when the ball's up in the air, he definitely feels like he's got to go get the ball, so I got to do the same thing. When that ball is in the air, I feel like I've got to go get that ball.
They run a lot of plays where it looks like they're in a run option or something, but then the quarterback drops back and passes. How disciplined do you have to be?
Langford: Very disciplined, if you don't read your keys in this game, you can get caught with a big play. They lull you to sleep, they run, run, run, then play-action pass. That's how he (Ramses Barden) gets a lot of his yards. We have to be very disciplined, we have to read our keys every single play.
Were you surprised how good they are when you saw them on film?
Langford: I didn't know what to expect. I had no idea, before I didn't watch film. But, when sit in the film room, they're a very athletic team, have a very unique offense but their offense is definitely productive.
Is it tough to prepare for in a week?
Langford: I wouldn't say its tough to prepare for. Our coaches have had experience stopping this type of offense before. They came in and they're giving us a great game plan, we just have to go out there and execute.
Are you treating this like a playoff game this week?
Langford: Well we have to, it's definitely a game that we need to win. We got to take this game and play for everything that we have, especially for our seniors. We would love to go out there and make this a win.
Has there been any mention this week that last year, two 6-6 Big Ten teams didn't get into a bowl?
Langford: Obviously that's something that we've known from last year. Right now, we're just so focused on Cal-Poly and going out there trying to focus in and beat those guys. We know that the rest of our season is not guaranteed to us. The only that guaranteed to us right now is to play Cal-Poly and go out there and execute.
You guys have been pretty much perfect in non-conference since 2003, how much pride do you guys take in beating the teams outside of your conference and representing the Big Ten that way?
Langford: Representing the Big Ten is something that we want to do as a university. We want to show that the Big Ten conference is an athletic conference and a competitive conference. To go out there and be able to compete against other non-conferences, we definitely take pride in that. For the University of Wisconsin, we want to go out there and win every single game we go out there. So that's the main objective, to go out there and try to win.
You are a senior, it's your last go around in Camp Randall, has that hit you at all?
Langford: No, not really. It might hit me when I go out there, but right now I'm just looking forward to going out there and playing against a good offense and a great receiver.
Do you guys worry about what the environment might be in the stands?
Langford: Oh no, not at all. Right now, we're focused on trying to stop their offense. Like I said, they have a very unique offense and it's going to take a lot of willpower, a lot of discipline to try and stop those guys.
Bret Bielema said on Monday that they are unlike any offensive team you have seen. What makes them so tricky?
Langford: Well, their the first team I've seen in a long time that runs the wing-T offense. Of course, that's definitely hard to defend considering how many way different ways they can run the ball, then you throw in their pass concepts. They're a very difficult offense to defend I would have to say, but our coaches had experience with this type of offense in the past so that has allowed them to put together a great game plan for us.
When was the last time you saw a wing-T offense?
Langford: The last time I saw a wing-T offense was in high school, in 2004. That was the last time I saw a wing-T offense. It was a playoff game when I seen the wing-T offense. Wing-t offenses are very productive offenses.
What do you remember about seeing that attack four years ago?
Langford: It was how effective they could run the ball and how effective the holes would open. A lot of holes would open right there and they were able to run the ball. That type of offense allows you to be very developed in the run. The misdirections, the iso's, they could do so much stuff. They do a lot of motion and stuff like that. That stuff can be very confusing if you're not very disciplined.
Did you guys win that game?
Langford: No, we lost. We weren't that good.
But you were in the secondary, so you weren't to blame were you?
Langford: Right, right, it wasn't on my end. I was just trying to play the deep ball. (Laughing)
As far as you guys as seniors, have you guys kind of reminisced a little bit this week, or is there too much business that has to be had still?
Langford: Yeah, I think there's still so much business that we still have to take care of. Obviously after the game that's something that we look forward too. Hopefully we go out there and do what we're supposed to do. We'll probably think back and look back at our careers over these last four years, five years.
When that time comes, what do you think you'll be most proud of?
Langford: That I finished, that I went through all four years, five years. A lot of people don't actually make it through so I'll be proud that I made it through once that time comes.
How hard is it to win in this day and age of college football? You guys are one division, and they're in another division, but it seems nothing really comes easy anymore.
Langford: Definitely not, there are athletes everywhere. They're definitely still there. Just because you're supposed to be in a Goliath type of conference, doesn't mean the little David can't compete with you. It's very tough now a day to get a win in college football. So that makes us to have to be very disciplined, we have to be on. To be on, but to be able to go out there and do everything that we're supposed to do and I think we've been preparing that way this week.
Has it been any mention the pipeline of talent from Cal-Poly? They've had four players that have been drafted in the past four years. That's not two or three a year like Wisconsin churns out, but that still shows they have some talent.
Langford: Right, definitely. I had no idea about that. There are athletes everywhere, it doesn't really matter what school you go to. There's going to be a player there and if he signs good enough, he's going to get an opportunity to play at the next level. They have some guys there now that are capable of playing at the next level and they're probably looking forward to playing this game to showcase. We just have to go out there and do our job.
For you as your career is winding down, is it just kind of funny how fast time has gone by?
Langford: Yeah, time goes, time flies. Sometimes I feel like I've been here forever and other times I feel like it's almost over. So, I'm just looking forward to going out and playing my last game in Camp Randall.
Is there any sort of disappointment that your final game, and this isn't a knock on Cal-Poly at all, comes against a team that you have never played instead of a conference opponent?
Langford: No, definitely not at all. I look forward to it. Like I said, Cal-Poly is a great team, they have a great quarterback, great offense that us as a defense have a great pride in going out there and doing the best we can to limit them.
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