Sept. 1, 2011
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Wisconsin vs. UNLV
Sept. 1, 2011
Camp Randall Stadium - Madison, Wis.
Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema
“I told the kids in the locker room there are two things that excited me, the way we came out to start the game and the way we came out in the second half with our (number) ones. I thought they both came out ready to play and challenge them at halftime to come out and make a statement on film. I thought they did that.
“Some positives were obviously on the offensive side, our quarterback, our two running backs, a couple of wide receivers and our offensive line did a nice job. We really did some positive things defensively, they surprised us with some stuff like the pistol but the coaches did a nice job of adjusting, gave us some yardage in the first half. But we have to get a lot better on tackling, make sure we have all of our assignments, run support, and all those good things. I think we have a real good week of work for us. We got a lot of guys in there.
“We really want to come out in the second half, stay with our ones, play a couple series, see where we’re at. But to get our two running backs get in at the end, Melvin (Gordon) and Jeff (Lewis), to see Joey Brennan get out there, some of our second team line and see them gain a little bit momentum finally on that third series at the end of the game was positive. I don’t think we had a turnover, which was good. I was really excited about our kicking game. Brad Nortman has just had a great camp. If there is a better punter in the country I’d like to see him. He really has done a nice job for us. Doesn’t get a lot of work sometimes but his first punt was outstanding. Kyle French came in. He missed the one PAT, could’ve went south on us, but did nice job, every kick after that looked to be pretty centered. Alec Lerner did a nice job on the kickoffs, though there was the one where he got a bit under it.
“Enough positive to be excited but yet enough teaching points, coaching points. I am not going to be the head coach of a team that commits that many penalties, there is no excuse. We have to clean that up, in a tight ballgame that’s going to cost us. There are some things that are very positive, but a lot of things to correct. ”
On Montee Ball and James White:
“I said we could bring them both in and I will literally flip a coin. As things kind of worked out, it looked like Montee (Ball) didn’t really do anything big but we just felt better with him out of the gate. James (White) continued to also do some really good things. I think they are both very even, both have strengths over the other, but it is really nice to have the both of them. ”
On the offense:
“I have seen our offense, now going into my sixth year as head coach. I can see things during practice that can get you very excited. I thought with Nick Toon playing well, Abby (Jared Abbrederis) playing as well as he did, Russell Wilson really grasping the situation and the game plan really well, and obviously the combination of the running backs with the O-line and our tight ends makes me think this is a special group. I think this is a group that stays hungry so I think it’s going to be fun to watch them grow. ”
On Russell Wilson:
“I have been in this profession for a while and you can see guys that naturally got a little bit of something to them, some moxie, some savvy, some God-given ability that makes him love every single minute of the day. Russell is a guy that has been very impressive. You’ve heard me say it a million times but I think people will see that. For instance when NFL scouts come in, when visitors are at practice, they are just amazed at the way he works. And today you saw why.”
Junior RB Montee Ball
On how he felt with his play:
“It felt good. With that weight I lost I feel like I move a lot better and am able to make better cuts. It felt like another practice. We go out there and get the job done.”
On how it felt playing in the heat and humidity:
“At the beginning UNLV brought the heat with them. Throughout the game we got used to it and it didn’t affect us as much.”
On Russell Wilson’s command in his position:
“He did a great job out there. He stayed in the game, and made sure we all stayed calm out there and got the job done. He made some great plays out there and that’s what we expect.”
On the way Wilson was able to take charge:
“I’ve never seen someone take charge like he did. That man is making some phenomenal plays out there, especially on his feet. He’s a great playmaker and is getting the job done.”
Senior QB Russell Wilson
On his start to his Badger career:
“I think it was a great start for us. We did a really good job. We played hard and executed the offense really well. There are obviously little things we can get better at each and every play, but that’s just being critical. I think we did a good job offensively, defensively and on special teams.”
On what was going through his head when he broke away in his last tackle:
“I thought I could outrun the defenders, but I was just trying to get the first down. Nothing was really open down field so I was just trying to get something positive. We made some great key blocks down field. I know Nick (Toon) made one on the 2-3 yard line that helped me get in the end zone, so that was crucial.”
On his feelings after his first game:
“I’m excited. The first start was good but you have to move on and get ready for the next week. We have a great team coming in next week and we need to prepare offensively and execute.”
On if he remembers being touched today:
“We were actually talking about that after the game. I don’t think I got touched at all today, which is pretty incredible. The offensive line did a great job. They are tremendous up there. They really are special.”
On having Montee Ball and James White behind him:
“Having those two guys with the offensive line that we have, Montee and James are really special backs. It opens some things up for us and it’s a positive thing for a football team.”
Junior OL Peter Konz
On big offensive production early:
“It was a little surprising. Normally at the beginning of the season, there’s things you have to work out with the team, but today it felt like it was clicking on all cylinders. So, hopefully we can improve on that.”
On getting a touchdown on the first drive:
“It felt great. You always just want to score on the first drive — kind of just make sure they don’t think they’re in the game right away. You just want to pop it out early, try to get that quick jump on them.”
On blocking for a mobile quarterback:
“It’s easier, because I don’t have to block 60 yards down the field — he can just take it in for the touchdown.”
On comparing this team to last year’s in regard to Ball and White on offense:
“It feels like a completely different team, especially with how much passing we had today.”
On Wilson in a real game situation:
“I wasn’t sure, because in practice, the D puts a pinky on him and he’s tackled and coach stops the play. Today we actually got to see what he can do maybe after being touched once or how good he can read his blocks. And it was tremendous what he was doing.”
Sophomore RB James White
On making a statement right away:
“We were very excited. We were just really going out there executing — getting to play in front of someone else. We just started clicking on all cylinders and I just hope we keep that going into next week.”
On competition between White and Ball:
“I see him break a long run, he scores a touchdown, I want to get out there on the next drive and score a touchdown — get me a long run. I mean, it’s a healthy competition and it’s going to keep a lot of production out there.”
“He had a great performance — passing running the ball — doing everything. I mean, he’s a great player.
Senior OL Josh Oglesby:
On team being possibly more explosive this year compared to last year:
“It’s definitely possible. We lost some great players on offense. But what we have returning — and what we gained in Russell — the guys who returned from last year are definitely better than they were a year ago. So the sky’s the limit for this offense.
On trying to stop Wisconsin’s offense this season:
“It’s going to open up defenses a little bit more. They won’t be able to load the box if you have the four with Russell’s ability to get out of the pocket or just chuck the ball downfield.”
Sophomore LB Chris Borland:
On getting back to football:
“It had been so long since I’d been out there — I was a little kid out there just having fun again.”
On “grading” himself:
“I’d give myself a C. I was rusty. I was giving effort, but I got to get better”
On improving tackling:
“We’re going to make an effort to work on it. We left a lot of yards out there because of bad tackling, myself included, so that’s something we’re going to work on in practice.”
Junior LB Mike Taylor
On UNLV scoring touchdowns in the second half:
“You pride yourself on defense to hold them on the ends and to hold points off the board. When they do score, you just have to come back and you have to fight in the next down, the next series.”
On overall defensive tackling:
“Overall defensively, that’s something that we are going to harp on next week is becoming better tacklers. Oregon State is going to see that on film and they are probably going to try to duplicate some certain things that UNLV did.”
Senior DB Aaron Henry
On UNLV running a pistol offense:
“That wasn’t what we were expecting at all. We have been practicing for about two weeks now and they showed us something completely different. It took us a little while to really get into a groove and even though UNLV only scored three points initially in the first quarter, towards the end of the game they found a couple of gaps and got into the end zone.”
On Russell Wilson:
“Hats off to our offense, they did a tremendous job. Two words: Russell Wilson. The guy put on a show and his ability speaks for itself.”
UNLV Head Coach Bobby Hauck
"Wisconsin did a great job. They are a good football team and do things right. We have a lot of respect for how they do business. They took it to us. They manhandled us up front. We couldn't get out there. Their front seven on offense, we just couldn't get off them. Great job by them and we need to get better obviously.
We're ready to come in here and be a top-10 team certainly, but with that being said, we're going to be all right. I really believe that. I liked the way we played. There were a lot of negatives in the game, but there were positives we can take and build off of. I don't know if anybody noticed that after the second series we played the rest of the game, meaning almost all four quarters, with three freshmen on the offensive line. They did a nice job. We did some good things in the running game. Our guys ran hard. We held our own in the kicking game. Defensively we gave up to many big plays. We just have to do better."
On not being able to get off Wisconsin's offensive line:
"There's a lot of space and they have really good running backs, including their quarterback. He's good with the ball and when you give him space, they are hard to tackle.
On trouble with Wisconsin's running backs:
"I had a chance to watch the (2011) Rose Bowl this afternoon. I replayed that in the hotel and it's the same thing, everyone had trouble with these backs and we certainly did, too. They are good with the football in space and run hard. They have make-you-miss ability and they can get tough yards. They're impressive."
On Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson:
"We had a pretty good handle on who he is. He's a good player. He's really good with the football in his hands. He can obviously get out and go with it."
On his concern with the UNLV defense:
"I think we'll be fine. We had some linebackers that were playing their first game. We miss some coverage things and we busted some coverage with our own backers, frankly. I think we'll do okay. I really do."