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Bielema believes new cut block rule will significantly affect Wisconsin

It’s going to be interesting to see how the new cut block rule changes the landscape of the college football this season.

Big Ten coordinator of officials Bill Carollo explained, “We’ve basically gone to low blocks [cut blocks] are illegal now with these exceptions: Linemen on the line of scrimmage, they can cut block. Backs in the backfield who are stationary and between the tackles, they can cut low. Not only do we put the restriction on the low blocks on the offense, we’re now putting them on the defense.”

“Once the ball leaves the tackle box, that 6 [yards] by 10 area that’s defined, then the defense can’t cut block. So, it’s a huge learning curve for the coaches to teach the players and equally a huge learning curve for the officials.”

On Thursday, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said, “In all of my years as a head coach, we’ve had more meeting with officials than at any other point.  I think the chop rules, offensively and defensively, will significantly affect the game.”

Bielema added, “A lot of it is determined where you are on the field, where you start.  For instance, a lot of times we start with a tight end in a hip position to the right, we’ll move him over to the other side.  He’s never had any restrictions on if he can go low, cut, or if he can go back across the formation.  It’s totally changed.  It’s really going to change the game, especially for a team like Wisconsin.”

Along with the new cut block rule, coaches are concerned with the new taunting rule and the 10 second run-off rule.

Bielema admitted, “I’ve been studying, my main summer project, was the 10-second run-off…when to use it.”

All-Access Video: Zook working the Illini off-campus

Illinois has created their version of Hard Knocks to give the Illini fans an inside look into training camp.

After three practices on campus in Champaign, Ron Zook has taken his team off campus to Rantoul, about 15 miles from the Illinois campus.

The Zooker apparently loves it.

Offensive lineman Jack Cornell said, “It’s kind of amazing how much energy he (Zook) can have at every point in the day.  Doesn’t matter whether it’s 5 o’clock in the morning, 11 at night, or 3 in the afternoon.  He’s always going 100 mph.”

Cornell added, “I think it’s good for everyone to see how hard he’s working is how hard we need to work.”

Illinois opens the season by hosting Arkansas State.  It will be the Red Wolves first game under new head coach Hugh Freeze who tweeted this morning, “So glad I live and coach in a country where we can play music and worship the one true God during our Practice. #PraiseGod."

If it comes down to a Hail Mary, advantage Red Wolves.

Here’s your Hard Knocks, Illini style.

Coaches requiring their teams to know the fight song

Skip Holtz, Jerry Kill, and James Franklin all want to make sure their players know the words to the school fight song. 

As he did a year ago, Holtz will once again ask his team to sing the USF fight song during an evening team meeting during training camp in Vero Beach.

It’s all about creating a sense of pride and paying respect to the tradition of the program.

Franklin recently brought in the Vanderbilt band director to a team meeting to teach the players the fight song.

Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill took it a step further.  Kill brought his team to midfield with the band to practice signing the fight song. (Check out the 4:15 mark in the video)

Kill believes, “This is what college football is all about.”

Dooley turns to William Shakespeare to help Vols

Derek Dooley is looking for results, so he turned to old English poet William Shakespeare, who died in 1616.

Dooley told reporters today that he recently referenced Shakespeare’s “Richard III” in a team meeting.

He explained, “For want of a horseshoe nail: one little horseshoe nail can bring down a whole kingdom. That's what it did back in the 1400s. Just like stepping with your right foot six inches could cause a guy to get on the edge, which causes the quarterback to get a little flustered, the exchange goes bad, fumble, turnover, touchdown.”

"Every little detail of your technique and assignment can impact the game. We've got a long way to go."

Asked how the team responded to the verse, Dooley said, “They were very engaged.”

Boy, can’t you see it right now?  Janzen Jackson engaged in verses from a play written in 1591.

Here’s the video of Dooley explaining what he’s looking for.

1 on 1 drills: Listening & learning vs. Hootin & hollering

Les Miles took the Tigers through “Big Cat Drill” this morning in Baton Rouge.

The one thing that stood out to us was those not involved in the drill were just watching and listening.  There wasn’t much rah rah, hootin and hollering.  It must be designed for that…more of a watch, listen, and learn.

57 miles west of Baton Rouge, UL-Lafayette head coach Mark Hudspeth led the Ragin Cajuns through the same drill.  Let’s just say the atmosphere was a little different.

There’s two ways to skin a cat.  Which one do you like?

By the way, did you see where Les and the Tigers coaching staff hung out after practice?  This is pretty awesome.

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