Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Oregon State




Sept. 10, 2011

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Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. Oregon State
Sept. 10, 2011
Camp Randall Stadium – Madison, Wis.

Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema
Opening Statement:
“I really like the way the game flowed today. I thought our defense, obviously with the shutout, did a nice job. I think they made some adjustments from last week to this week. One of our goals was to be the most improved football teams in the country and hopefully we were able to do that.

"Early in the game Oregon State’s safeties were playing aggressively, weren’t going to let us run the football but we were patient and didn’t panic. I thought it really opened up our play-action passing game. I thought it really showed how much of touch Russell (Wilson) can have on the football -- long balls, short balls, out on the flat and over the middle. I thought Nick Toon played extremely well. The thing I like about our offense is that he (Wilson) has a lot of options now, with Abby (Jared Abbrederis), Toon, Pedersen and the running backs out of the backfield.

“I thought our special teams were kind of funny yesterday during our Friday walkthrough. I did something a coach should never do. They did that over shift punt, kind of like a rugby, and I took Andrew Lukasko and put him in at the rush spot because I knew he’d go 100 miles an hour up the field and set the edge. He really flashed in front of the punter’s face and got that shank punt. It was fun to see Lukasko have some success.

“I’m very excited about Northern Illinois, they play Kansas tonight. Obviously the familiarity with Dave (Doeren) and our staff puts another spin on it. I know our kids are excited about the challenge.

“Injury-wise, Devon Smith, I don’t know anything other than the fact that X-rays were negative to anything broken. We’ll get a lot more information here in the next 24-48 hours. Kevin Claxton, I didn’t mean to offend anybody. Kevin had a screw put in his hand last week after the game, thought their might be an outside chance that he’d play today but it was just too tender. I think he’ll get back involved in next week’s game. I though Ethan Armstrong did a nice job today popping in there. I think that’s all there was from an injury standpoint.”

On the defense:
“I know this; as long as I have been coaching defensive football, if people are able to run the football you are not going to be a very good football team. I challenged our defensive staff and players. One of the things we always say is, what you put on film is who you are. They gave up some free yardage last week, but this week they did a great job. What was great about today was the way we practiced just reinforced what happened today. We aren’t a team that just plays to fix things, I think it’s about the way we practice and that’s what carried over to the game today.

On the offense:
“I’m not saying that I haven’t been excited in the past but I watched 20 (James White), 28 (Montee Ball), 1 (Nick Toon), 4 (Jared Abbrederis), 48 (Jacob Pedersen), 16 (Russell Wilson) and 34 (Bradie Ewing). I watch those guys practice every day and I see them do things that I know are exceptional. It’s just fun to see it carry over to game day. Like I said to our team, you have a chance to be a good football team. The only people that can derail you are you if you start believing the hype or that you are better that everybody else. We work everyday and we’ll ingrain that in their heads.”

On about today’s game:
“The game is five percent of what happens and 95 percent of what you react to. Because they were giving us certain looks that took away, we had to have the mentality to not panic, not flinch and just keep the ball going the right direction. I thought it was a great example of Wisconsin football.”


Senior WR Nick Toon
On what he can improve on:
“Blocking, helping to make big plays down the field—always trying to catch everything that comes to me. Little things, but you can never stop improving.”

On whether or not using the running backs was in the game plan:
“It’s just how it turned out today. We have a diverse offense, we have a lot of weapons and different things we can do, so it’s kind of just the way the game turned out.”

On how special the Badgers' offense can be:
"We have a lot of weapons on offense, obviously, in the passing game, with the tight ends, the receivers and the running backs. And the running backs also contributed in the pass game. When you can have success doing all that stuff, you’re pretty dangerous.”

On relationship with quarterback Russell Wilson:
“His job is to throw it and mine is to catch it.”


Senior QB Russell Wilson:
On relationship with Nick Toon and Jacob Pedersen:
“They did a great job and it all starts with the offensive line. The offensive line is doing a great job giving enough time to make some decisions and guys made some big plays today.”

On offensive diversity:
“We can do a lot of different things—run the ball, pass the ball obviously, and I think it all starts with the offensive line—the offensive line’s ability to pass protect and run block is truly impressive.”

On his “groove”
“Feeling good out there- a lot of great chemistry out there in the huddle and that’s what I’ve noticed—the huddle is really sharp, really clean, and we’re getting in and out and playing with a lot of confidence.”

On Nick Toon:
“Nick’s been working really hard, he’s got a lot of talent.”

On taking a bit longer to get the offense going today:
“Everybody played with confidence. We just have to execute and just make plays and we kept believing, and the defense did a great job today making plays out there and they were really impressive today. So, it’s fun just getting and continuing to believe and executing our offense.”

On Jacob Pedersen:
“Pedersen and I have a tremendous relationship. We’ve really been working on that a lot—throwing after practice, talking to one another, just trying to get a feel for how we can be more successful. And his ability to run and his ability to catch the ball is really great.”

On third down:
“On third down you’ve got to be great if you want to be a great football team.”

On expectations:
“This is what I’ve expected and more. Just the chemistry is the “more” that I’m talking about. The guys really believe in one another. We’re really working hard, we’re really executing well and we just have to keep getting better. I believe there’s more out there that we can get and just got to keep believing in it.”


Junior RB Montee Ball
On how they adjusted to the defense:
“We saw at the beginning of the game the safeties were flying down the field so we made a few adjustments, came out with a few more plays, put it up in the air.

“We have a good offensive coordinator. He saw a few things, made some changes and we got the ball in the air to spread the defense out, and it worked.”

On having (Jared) Abbrederis block for him during big plays:
“Our receivers have been doing a great job this season at blocking down field. It started last week and carried through to this week. When we work on it in practice it works in games.”

On Russell Wilson’s adaption into the program:
“It’s not surprising anymore. We’ve been together for quite some time now. Like I said last week, he’s a great man off the field, he’s very intelligent, he has his goals that mesh well on and off the field.”

On how the team has improved from Week 1 to Week 2:
“Adversity. We don’t feel like we had any adversity in the last game, with scoring on every drive and stuff like that. This game we had a couple of shutouts so we made sure we were going to be ready to face adversity.”


Junior DB Marcus Cromartie
On the role he played when Devin Smith got injured:
“We came into this game with kind of a big role for the nickel and then Devin (Smith) went down and I had a next man mentality. He coached me every day one-on-one, so I went in prepared.”

On if he is capable of making big third-down plays:
“The coaches have a plan and I feel like they usually put us in the right place to make plays and it’s just our job to go out there and make the plays. I just come in every day and compete and try to get better. I give all the credit to the coaching staff and the players around me.”

On if a game like this helps his confidence:
“All the corners push each other to be the best players we can. I feel like when we went into fall camp nobody knew was going to be the No. 1 and No. 2 so we all competed like we were the backup. We always try to compete against each other and try to make each other better. At the end of the day it’s really not about me and how good I am, it’s about the team.”

On if he’s ready to start if called upon next week:
“The only way for us to find out is to take one day at a time. Today is Saturday, tomorrow will be Sunday and the coaches will give us a game plan and watch film and we’ll just take one day at a time. You can’t just skip to next Saturday.”


Sophomore LB Chris Borland
On how the Badgers achieved the shutout:
“I don’t think it was a few big things, I think it was a lot of little things. Our defense played sound, every guy almost played and that’s what we need. That’s why we got the shutout.”

On the Badgers’ defense:
“I don’t think you would ever find a defense that says anything other than you need to stop the run first off. That’s our goal every game: stop the run and go from there. And today we did that.”

On what a shutout means to the defense:
“It feels good. You don’t play for stats, but a shutout is something that the defense can hang their hat on and we are glad we got it today.”


Sophomore TE Jacob Pederson
On the diversity of the offense:
“We kind of struggled with the run game right away, but you really saw the pass game open up the run. Having that balanced attack is going to help Montee (Ball) and James (White); we all help each other. The more balanced we can be, the better we can be at the end of the year.”

On his chemistry with Russell Wilson:
“We’re working in practice and taking a lot of reps, but with Russell just coming in here, we had to work on that chemistry and that timing. It’s just a lot of work during the week and we’re running every route as many times as we can so we can make sure that we really get that down.”


Oregon State Coach Mike Riley
Opening Statement:
“We had a chance early on to play better and make that a game. I thought defensively we hung in there as long as we could against their very good running game and play-action game. We could never really respond at all for a long time. We never did really offensively do anything. That was probably the difference, and then we just made it easier for them by messing up on special teams. We shanked a punt and then they got a touchdown. Then we catch a ball on about the 5-yard line and go out of bounds. It’s just bad football.”

On taking possession when UW held a 14-0 lead:
“I felt good about it. I thought we had to be perfect. We through a hitch route and dropped it. We needed to be really methodical and not mess up -- have as many negative plays because we weren’t going to be able to protect against them for very long, nor could we hold our block very long in the running game.”

On Oregon State’s run defense:
“We played pretty well up front for a while and then we gave up one long run on the outside where our corner lost the containment of it. But I thought the interior held up pretty well for a period of time today. They’re eventually going to get you. You just need to respond better offensively if you want beat them.”

On Oregon State’s third-down defense:
“They usually have pretty good third-down situations and their pretty good on third down. The quarterback, if he didn’t complete it, he could run for it. So that was another factor.”

On what he told his team in the locker room after the game:
“That there were some good things. We have to have a great week of practice and everybody has to stay together. I really have hopes for this team. I think there was a lot of stuff today, particularly defensively that was better. So we can build on that. Offensively, I know we can do better.”

ON WISCONSIN
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