UW Health Sports Medicine 

Postgame Quote: Wisconsin football Spring Game



April 20, 2013

Postgame Quotes
Cardinal vs. White Spring Game
Camp Randall Stadium -- Madison, Wis.
April 20, 2013

Senior DT Ethan Hemer

On what made this year's spring game different from past years:
"There was music playing during the game, which was strange and fun, and doing the fun stuff with the fans was cool. The other thing was we had a lot of people there compared to years past, which I thought was really neat."

On how he's feeling about where the team is at:
"Everyone is feeling really good about where this is and where we can go. Obviously, there are still things to work on. Young guys have to come along and it's still a process of everyone buying in to the system and getting better every day."

On the change to a 3-4 defense:
"It's a pretty radical change. We're still getting the bugs worked out and getting a feel for how it works, but that was what the spring was all about. Now guys have a good feel for it and we're going to go into fall camp and really attack the system."

On the young guys who have stood out to him on defense this spring:
"Guys like Jake Keefer and Conrad Zagzebski have made huge improvements. They've really grown as individuals and as players and I am really excited to see where they can go and how they can help us in the fall."

Freshman CB Sojourn Shelton

On his growth as a player this spring:
"I think I've grown a lot. When I first came in everyone used to clown me about my weight and that brought my confidence down a bit. But once I started to see myself progress in the weight room and putting on weight and getting on the field and making plays, my confidence level definitely went back up. As a corner you have to have that. With confidence comes not thinking as much and just making plays. Overall this spring, that's the biggest tool I got back and that showed today."

Senior LB Chris Borland

On how he evaluates where the team is at this point:
"We've made a lot of improvements. We've got a high ceiling still, but we're on the right track. We've done a lot of things well over a short period of time. If we keep on improving like that, we should be a great team."

On if the team will look different in the fall:
"Yeah, I think so. Especially on defense, we had a lot of guys out. Coach was being smart, pressing guys, but we should have many more come fall."

On how the linebackers have adjusted to the 3-4:
"We've done a good job, especially it's been transition for those defensive ends to stand up, but they've worked at it and they've improved. We're well on our way."

On if the defense is going to hold their win over the offense:
"I'm sure the argument will come up, but a lot of guys were out, so that will be their contention. But yeah, we'll absolutely hold it over their heads."

Senior TE Jacob Pedersen

On what he got out of the Spring Game:
"It was a really good day. Defense came out on top in the end there, but I felt like the defense was getting points for everything they did. Guys were playing hard. Guys were making plays who really needed to step up. Kenzel Doe had a really great day. I don't even know how many catches he ended up having, so it was good to see our receivers step up. We had a lot of tight ends that made great plays today. That was promising to see. Melvin (Gordon) was running hard. Overall, it was just a great day."

On how he would evaluate the spring practices:
"It was a lot of back and forth. Some days the offense would beat up on the defense. Other days they'd get us, they'd make us look like fools. It was back and forth. We have to find consistency for sure, but we're really promising. Guys have a grasp for both the new offense and defense going in. This year, coaching wise, a much bigger change than what it was last year. I don't know if we're just used to the transition, but I think it went a lot smoother this year. Guys are getting along a lot better with the coaches and I'm excited for fall."

On how he thinks Joel Stave and Curt Phillips are playing:
"I feel bad for the coaches. They've got so many quarterbacks and a lot of them are playing really well, doing a lot of good things. Both (Stave and Phillips) had some really nice plays today.  Both maybe had a mistake or two, but that's going to happen. We're only in spring and especially with this new offense. When the new guy gets here this summer we'll see, but I'm really pleased. Either one of them could lead us going into next fall."

Sophomore QB Joel Stave

On how the team played today:
"I thought it was a good day. Offensively, we were able to move the ball and score points, so I was happy with it."

On how he thought he performed in the game:
"I felt like I was able to throw the ball pretty well today. The first throw came out really, really poorly, so it was nice to recover really quickly on the drive and finish it."

On being able to play in front of the fans at the Spring Game:
"It's fun always getting to play in front of fans. It was a really nice crowed today. Usually depending on the weather it can really affect the number of people that come, but we had a pretty nice day today so it was a pretty nice crowed. It's always fun to throw in front of people like that."

On what he was looking for out of his performance today and if not running all of their plays changed his performance:
"You always want to just play to compete hard. Make the plays that you need to make. Regardless if we're running everything that we've put in throughout the spring or if we're just keep it pretty vanilla and running some of the basic install plays, you just want to complete the balls that you get and be smart with it."

On the biggest difference between this spring and last year:
"Obviously the coaching staff change is different for us. Just different terminology in the offensive playbook. The defensive is completely different too, so it has a completely different feel to it when you're trying to look out there and get a feel for what they're doing. A lot of really good learning came from this spring. It was a really good building block for the team we can be this fall."

On Kenzel Doe's performance today:
"Kenzel had a really good spring all around. He just continues to get better. He's a very athletic kid, so when he can get the ball in a space he can really make some good things happen."

Senior QB Curt Phillips

On his performance in the spring game:
"It was average. I didn't do anything special, but there weren't any big mistakes either, so I think it is just something to build off of. Obviously, being able to really dive in head first with the offense this spring and then build on that this summer."

On the quarterback rep situation:
"I think everybody wants as many reps as they can get, but at the same time, all you can ask for is a chance to compete and competition brings out the best in everybody."

On if the quarterback battle will last until the season opener:
"I'm sure it will. Obviously if you asked either of us (Joel Stave), we would say our goal is to separate ourselves as soon as possible, but at the same time, I'm sure it will be a battle and that's something I'm looking forward to."

On what he has to do to separate himself from the other quarterbacks:
"I just need to continue to improve. I think I have a good grasp of the offense. Just limiting those mistakes and keep playing my game. I can't push and be something that I'm not. I just need to make the most of it."

On if he feels better about where he is at than he did in March:
"I don't know, I mean, just proving that I can be healthy is something that's big. Obviously I was kind of limited coming into spring ball and now I couldn't be more excited to go into summer workouts and just build off of what we did this spring and actually be healthy and show that I can continue to do that."

"It's fun. Anytime you get a chance to be out there it's exciting. Just trying to make the most out of that and the further you get away from those injuries, the more confidence you get back."

Sophomore RB Melvin Gordon

On his performance in the spring game:
"I never think I do good enough, so I think I could have did better. (I could have) broke a couple more tackles and made a couple more explosive plays, but overall I think we did good on offense. Our receivers stepped up, definitely, and they made plays, so I'm happy."

On if his ankle injury set him back at all during spring practice:
"I think it set me back a lot. My mindset, I worked real hard this summer in the offseason and I came in with my mindset that I was working hard, it kind of hindered me a little bit. I wasn't able to make cuts that I could usually make, burst through holes that I could usually get through and being as powerful, pushing off. But it is a little adversity, you might have that during the season so you have to learn and push through it. So that's what I did and the outcome wasn't too bad."

On how much better he can be when healthy:
"I think I'm a lot better. I worked on my pad level a little bit. I still need work, obviously, but I think I can be really good."

On the likelihood of playing with injuries during the season:
"I just want to show them (the coaches) that I can push through. I want to be out there bad because we had a couple practices and our offense, I felt like they needed me out there to help make plays and just get them going. So I try my best to get out there, and even though I was hurt, sometimes you just have to push through it. Hopefully I showed my coaches that I can do that."

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