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Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Indiana

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Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. Indiana

Nov. 16, 2013
Camp Randall Stadium

Wisconsin Head Coach Gary Andersen
Tremendous victory again. You know, we looked for a team victory. We knew it would take all three phases … would have to be effective in this game and they were. It was great to see that happen again, from offense, defense, and special teams. There are a lot of things to talk about but that's what we were asking for, and we got it out of this team, which was great to see. They were prepared well.

Defensively, where do you want me to start? Off the charts. They were able to dictate tempo, they got themselves into a position to change calls when needed, their communication was off the charts, they got on and off the field. The pace was a nonfactor from Indiana and it was great to see. Trust me, this offense had us all worried. They had me petrified walking into this game, because they are talented on the offensive side of the football, and our kids played lights out today, and my hat goes off to them and the defensive staff for the preparation that they did.

Offensively we ran the ball well, obviously, physical, big plays. (We’ve) got to finish a few more drives. It's hard to find anything critical when you play like that, but in the end we made the field goals when we had the opportunity, which was great to see. Tremendous victory, bottom line, great victory for the Badgers, and we move onward and upward, but we're going to enjoy this one.

QUESTION: Gary, you mentioned that Indiana's offense left you petrified, but on the flip side of that, knowing the way you guys can run the ball, did you expect to move the ball consistently?

ANDERSEN: Yeah, when we came in, that was our mind set, to be able to grind the ball out and make big plays, so when an opportunity presents itself it was difficult out there throwing the ball, for both sides, when you were going into that wind. It was fairly dramatic, and it took away our opportunity to spin the ball down the field for the offensive shots.

It would have been you're rolling the dice if you do that at that point. But we were fairly consistent. We got backed up a couple of times, and we were able to move the chains, and every time we punted I believe we were punting to pin them and trying to get the pin, so that was good to see.

The offense was solid. I know they're going to want a couple of drives back with touchdowns, though.

QUESTION: The consistency and effort from your guys has been strong week to week. A lot of that is preparation with the seniors, could you address that?

ANDERSEN: It's important to this team. I think in spring ball I remember saying we had one bad practice, and fall camp I believe if I remember right, telling the kids I thought we had a bad practice, and a couple of other times I told them, and I told myself, I thought they had a bad practice and I watched the film and I was mistaken. Their consistency throughout the whole year, not just the season, has been impressive.

I believe you prepare for that stuff in the off season with the team and their mind set. But the senior leadership is outstanding on this team; it's not "good," it's outstanding, and it continues to be. Their focus, care factor, the way they lock in in the mornings is special, it really is, and a lot of that has to do with the seniors on this football team.

QUESTION: This week you were asked about whether there was something wrong with Melvin (Gordon) and the drop in his production. On the flip side is there something right about James White and what he's doing?

ANDERSEN: Whatever it is we need to keep doing it. I don't see a change in his effort, the way he's carried the ball, just opportunities presenting itself for James, and he's taking advantage of it. That's the way it is as a running back, or a wide receiver, a defensive linemen, sometimes the opportunity is there to make plays, and sometimes it's not and James has taken advantage of that the last few weeks.

We will look back when the season is over, and we will say the three week stint with Iowa, BYU and the Indiana game, he's been huge for us, and he's broken big, big plays. Today there was a whole bunch of big, big plays, but at BYU and Iowa, those two big plays he went in for touchdowns, and it flipped the game. He's a tremendous competitor, and he will have an opportunity to play this game for a long time here, and for a long time after he leaves here.

QUESTION: Gary, Indiana has put up a lot of yards in the past. Talk about the play of your cornerbacks today and holding everyone in check from a passing standpoint.

ANDERSEN: Nice job with man coverage, getting our hands on people at the line of scrimmage, in the back end. The ability to flip coverages and change coverages is difficult at home, and it's loud, it's loud here at Camp Randall Stadium, which you all know, and you get to third downs and those kids have to use hand signals to communicate, and those changes come fast and quick, and there was good communication. I think we busted two coverages the whole day, and neither of them ended up hurting us badly, and they just matched up and played at a high level today.

I thought I was impressed with Darius (Hillary) and Sojourn (Shelton), and Dez (Southward) was in a lot of man coverages again today and did a nice job.

QUESTION: Gary, you've been asked about the backs, but do you need to review the tape to know that there was some pretty good downfield blocking today?

ANDERSEN: No. I always see the effort with these kids. I miss a lot during the game, that is a true statement, but I look at the two reverses or whatever you want to call them, when Jared (Abbrederis) was running the ball and James is down there, Jordan (Fredrick) is down there. Those kids block like crazy and they do it every week, and it's important to them. It's a credit to them and Coach Beatty and the offensive staff and the way they continue to take pride in that, because it's not easy for a wide receiver to sit out there and say, I'm going to block like crazy, but they take tremendous pride in their effort and their effort is unbelievable.

QUESTION: Was it a stepping stone game for the kicking game today with Jack (Russell) making field goals in sloppy conditions? What was your take on that?

ANDERSEN: I thought the snaps were good, the holds were good and for him to be able to get the ball it came off his foot good today. I don't think there was one of them in question. The ball got up over the line of scrimmage in a nice way, and it looked like a well struck ball every time it came off.

Those kids, like I’ve said, their work ethic is there, their want to is there, and it's great to see them have success, and it matters to them. Second week in a row a step in the right direction.

QUESTION: I don't know how much impact you put on the pregame speech having on the kids, but the last words of start fast and stay steady, I'm assuming that's exactly what you were looking for, and does credit go to the pregame speech?

ANDERSEN: No, never pregame speech credit at all. That was something we talked about. We wanted to be able to get that done, and we thought it was important this week. They went out and executed it and all the credit, when it's good, it always goes to the kids. They did that. They were focused. I was proud to see the defense finish in the fourth quarter, and the offense finish in the fourth quarter, we were able to win the fourth quarter, in a score like that. A lot of kids got to play.

(Bret) Arnold and (Jacob) Ninneman and others got in there. It was a reason for taking the time outs, to get those kids in the game, and it's great to see them have success. They score, maybe the only snaps they're ever going to play at Wisconsin, and they were steady and took care of business.

QUESTION: It was 30-0 in the third quarter, they’re on the 1-yard line, your defense gets a stop and the crowd got a delay of game. What does it say about your defense?

ANDERSEN: That was a big stand down there. We had busted coverage and (Cody) Latimer caught a nice ball on us, and they continued down the field. It was important for them to get the stop at that point and it is. It matters to them. They took great pride in the 3 points that they gave up today against the offense. It was a tremendous accomplishment for them, and for them to buck up in the red zone in that situation was a big time defensive stop.

QUESTION: Do you allow yourself to just watch what these backs are doing and just do you take a moment during the game and just continue to be amazed? Can you be a fan for a second or are you so focused you don't appreciate it until the game is over?

ANDERSEN: Not early, late I can in game like that. But they are fun to watch. It's fun to watch this offensive line. Again, they grind away. We got a whole bunch of looks again this week that we didn't anticipate 'em all, and the adjustments that are made, it's a continual grind with the tight ends, offensive line, and the full backs, to see how they're going to stop that run game. A lot of credit to the kids in front of the backs, and you see Joel (Stave) checking the run every time.

He's checking the runs he likes, and that's a player driven offense when we get to that opportunity, and it's great to see. The backs are tremendous, and Derek (Watt) just bangs away in there. He doesn't get to carry, but he plays at a high level and James and Melvin are special kids.

QUESTION: You're backed up inside the 10, hand off to James the first play, what are you expecting out of that play? What are the chances he's going to break it out?

ANDERSEN: I believe it was power, I don't know for sure. You know, he broke it, and away he went. It would be a great way to start the football game every week, so if we could continue that, that would be good.

QUESTION: You had a chance to take the ball I think winning the coin toss. Just out of curiosity, why do you defer? I'm anticipating Indiana is going to want the ball.

ANDERSEN: I just believe in that. We thought about it, talked about it in the past on some weather and different situations, but right now I felt like the best thing to do at the beginning of that game was to defer, give our offense a little bit of a feel of the game, I guess, and let the defense go out there. They wanted a shot to be able to play. We deferred every time this year and will continue to do so.

QUESTION: Was using Jared in the run game a big part of the plan going in or partly a product of weather conditions and not getting into the passing game today?

ANDERSEN: I don't know that. I think there was some select plays but that would have to be to the offensive staff. It worked well, so it was a good plan.

QUESTION: Gary, this isn't the first time this season that we've heard an offensive pace hasn't been a factor. How confident are you in the speed and scheme of your defense to match up with any other offense all year?

ANDERSEN: We prepare the right way. These kids lock in. I think they can handle the pace and the speed and we have played, what, three or four now that I guess if you sit back and look at it that go fast and quick. It takes smart, young men who are bought in that can communicate and believe in each other to be able to play at that pace, because it takes some of the coaching out of it now.

It flips upside down on you real fast, and I feel confident playing against pace teams.

QUESTION: You mentioned Sojourn was the odd man out last week and I'm sure he understood the reasoning behind that, but do you think he was extra motivated today?

ANDERSEN: Yes, with Sojourn, no doubt. He wants to play every single snap, and the way he competes, he will do that in checkers, horse, whatever he's doing. He will want to win. He's a competitive young man, and he's I'm proud he's handled his freshman year unbelievably well now to be at this point ten games in and play as much as he's played, and stay steady and not hit the walls has been impressive. It was good to see him be out there and have some success.

QUESTION: You made the switch to Abbrederis on punt returns after Kenzel (Doe) muffed that one. Is that something you're going to look at permanently now?

ANDERSEN: Kenzel will get back in there, he will be fine. The wet ball scenario is something we talked about. Kenzel is a prideful, prideful young man. I want him to be back there, I feel good about him being back there, and he will be back there and continue to run in those situations. But you get in that spot, and we weren't going to get a return. We wanted to fair catch it and Abby makes good decisions and Kenzel does, too, and this game it just went Abby's way back there today.

QUESTION: You look ahead to Minnesota and how well they're playing. Is this a big week? How do you look ahead?

ANDERSEN: This is a very big week. It's rivalry week, here we go, and these kids are excited. When we broke it out, Father Mike gave us a prayer after we were done, and the kids understand the importance of this game, and that was brought up by Father Mike right away, so these kids understand that, and we don't have much time. Welcome back! It will be the same game plan. You get focused on the task at hand. And these kids will enjoy today, and then we will get back here, and I would imagine by the time I walk in Monday morning they will have watched four or five games on Minnesota.

Senior RB James White
On the importance of defense getting turnovers for the offense

"Well, we know their offense created a challenge for our defense, but they're always up for the challenge and they did a great job creating turnovers and as an offense we have to take advantage of that."

On whether or not his recent success has come from more opportunities
"For sure. I'm just trying to take advantage of all those opportunities. Whenever that offensive line gives me a little bit of a crease, I have to take advantage of it because you never know when you're going to get those opportunities again."

On what it feels like to be a 1,000-yard rusher again
"It feels good. It's probably every running backs goal to get 1,000 yards, so I mean, it's a good accomplishment but we still have a lot of things to do out here the next two weeks."

On his 93-yard rush on UW's first play from scrimmage
"We faked a fly sweep to Melvin (Gordon) and the defense was out of their gaps. All I had to do was run straight and (Alex) Erickson had a great block just to keep the guy off me in case I decided to run slow and get caught."

On how important his 93-yard run was in setting the tone for the rest of the game
"It was a big play. We wanted to start fast and we knew their offense was able to score a lot of points, so we wanted to score a lot of points as well."

On whether or not he was aware that his 93-yard run was the longest in school history
"Yeah, someone let me know when I got to the sideline. It's a pretty cool accomplishment. That should go down for the offensive linemen and the receivers on that."

Senior LG Ryan Groy
On the 93-yard run to start the game
"Yeah that was awesome. I looked up at my guy, missed a tackle and he was off to the races. It was an awesome first play."

On whether or not the running game is as cohesive as it's been all season
"I think so. I think we're really executing, we're playing well up front and the backs are running their butts off. It's an all-around group and I think we're really clicking.

On whether or not he gets a chance to view how many rushing yards the team accumulates throughout the game
"So after I got taken out, we looked up at the rushing yards, it was awesome, it was awesome to see. Definitely kudos to the running backs."

On turning the team's attention to Minnesota
"It always means something when we're playing Minnesota. Rivalry game, playing for the Axe. It means a lot, especially being from Wisconsin."

Senior DE Ethan Hemer
On playing an offense like Indiana's
"I feel like the games that we've played before have prepared us for where we are now. But I think that coaches and players alike all have a better understanding of what it takes to play against high-power offenses that run that kind of tempo. I think that it showed on the field today that we've come up with a formula that's been able to be pretty successful."

On what it meant to keep them out of the end zone
"I think it's huge, it's a statement for our defense. I think it shows that we have found the ability to stop and shut down teams like this. It makes me excited for how we're going to finish this year."

On what has made the defense so consistent this season
"I think there's a couple of factors. I think having as many senior leaders as we do, guys that demand success and demand high energy and then also our coaches providing us with a great game plan and us coming out and performing to a T. Expecting to be great, I think that's why we've been so good."

On whether or not this game being a potential let down ever crossed the team's mind
"No, absolutely not. I think this team, we're too focused, too driven to let thoughts like that even come into our mind. We're going into every game expecting to win, as everyone should. I'm just glad to see that we're getting the results that we feel we're capable of."

Redshirt freshman OL Dan Voltz
On how the Badgers were able to amass over 500 yards rushing today:

"We were confident in the game plan we had. We had a great week of practice and our coaches just put us in a really good spot to make big plays. We played well up front and it showed. To have over 500 yards rushing is impressive against any team, so we played really well."

On why Wisconsin has run the ball so well against Indiana over the last couple years:
"They don't do a whole lot of fancy stuff. They brought some pressures today, but they played 4-3 defense, which is what we love. We got some good heavy combos and we executed. When you play well against a defense like that, the results are going to be pretty good."

On how James White as able to break free for a 93-yard touchdown run on the UW's first play:
"That first play, we actually made an adjustment as we were running out of the tunnel. My coach came over to me and we kind of switched up the ideas a little bit. Obviously it was a touchdown, so it was a game-time adjustment, really, before the game even started. It was just a zone play to the right, nothing special, we just executed and it was a touchdown."

On if he has seen a difference in James White over the last few weeks:
"I think he is a great every game. He is obviously stepped it up, he is playing out of his mind right now. (Melvin Gordon and White) are both great. They run different plays. One guy is more powerful, James, Melvin is better on the edge, so it is a dual threat back there. Right now we are running the ball inside a little more, so you are going to see a little more of James, but every week it is going to change and you don't know who is going to be a bigger threat."

Senior LB Conor O'Neill
On the importance of forcing turnovers on both of Indiana's opening possessions:

"Obviously Indiana is a very good paced team. They obviously put up points against good teams. They put 28 against Michigan State, who is arguably one of the best defenses in the nation. For us to take the air right out of them coming out of the game, it's huge. To get those first two turnovers, get points on the board with our offense, it takes away momentum from them right away."

On how the team has become better at stopping spread offenses this season:
"It is just an understanding of what each offense has for their little knicks and little specialties. Being able to learn from our mistakes from previous weeks, I mean obviously you go from Arizona State to Ohio State to BYU to now Indiana, it is a growing process, and I feel like as the year has gone on, we have gotten better at facing the spread offenses."

On the importance of the goal line stand and keeping Indiana out of the end zone:
"Yeah, obviously whenever, for red zone defense, whenever you can hold the opponent to three or no points, it's huge. It is a big momentum swing. You saw how pumped up the crowed got. It was electric out there and it was awesome to see our defense stand up."

 On how quickly the team will turn the page to next weekend's opponent in Minnesota:
"We all know what week this is. For our senior class the axe has never left our locker room and we are not going to be that senior class that lets it leave. I know we are going to have guys watching film tonight, tomorrow, all week. It is going to be a bloodbath and it is going to be fun."

Sophomore RB Melvin Gordon
On how Wisconsin was able to run for over 500 yards today:

"Our coach told us, we knew what the conditions were going to be, and we know that is running back weather right there. We knew that (Indiana) was a passing team so it would work against them and work right for us. We knew we were going to get the ball and put the team on our back and we definitely did that today."

On the importance of ball security:
"The one fumble was against me. I had two hands on it, the guy just got a good strip. Sometimes you just have to go down, but I like to fight for yards, that is how I am, but I just have to get smarter in situations like that. But is always good when you recover the ball and you don't have many turnovers. They had a few turnovers today and we made the best of them."

On how the early turnovers and James White's 93-yard touchdown run set the tone for Wisconsin early:
"Oh yeah, it is always good when you rip the game off the first play with a touchdown. Ninety-three yarder, we were competitive out there today. You could see it. After (White) busted the 93-yarder, I knew it was going to be a long day for me. I was trying to catch him, it is a competition. But James played well, we all played well, Abby (Jared Abbrederis) even got some carries today. We were close to four guys getting over 100 yards rushing today. We knew we had to run the ball and we all played well."

On the importance of having good downfield blocking from the wide receivers on running plays:
"It is just phenomenal to see those receivers going out there. We get the ball a lot, we are a running team, and those guys try to make the best of what they got. They aren't selfish and that is the best part about it. Those guys are out there busting their butts off, and then the ball does come their way, we have to pass protect. That is why we take it so serious, because they do it for us. Those guys, the wide receivers, definitely a clap on the back for them because those guys are blocking well for us."

Sophomore QB Joel Stave

On if it’s nice to know the Badgers have a team that can run the ball when throwing conditions are tough:
“Yeah. You understand that in the Big Ten you’re going to be playing in some tough condition games, so that’s nice to know that our offense can handle tough weather like that.”

On how tough it was to throw the ball with the weather conditions:
“It wasn’t easy. It showed on both sides of the ball. It was slick and it was windy. The wind was probably the worst part, so you just have to be aware of it. Make good decisions when you are throwing.”

On if Jared Abbrederis is going to start lobbying for more carries after his play in today’s game:
“That’s something that we’ve practiced a lot. It’s well-rehearsed and to get an opportunity to actually use it in a game is pretty exciting. He showed he’s pretty good at that jet sweep.”

On if he sees a difference in James White’s game after the performances he has had the past few games:
“James has been consistently so good week in and week out. It doesn’t matter what the defense does. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. Nothing is going to faze him. He is going to go out and consistently play well, consistently play hard and that’s really starting to show. As the season goes on, people start get worn down a little bit and he is not.”

Senior ILB Chris Borland
On why Wisconsin plays so well against Indiana:

“I think each game has been unique to itself first off. But I think a trend that has carried over is our offense’s ability to run the ball. They have struggled in run defense and that’s our offensive strength. So if we’re able to get turnovers or three-and-outs on defense it kind of steam rolls on them.”

On the key in slowing down Indiana’s offense today:
“It’s really simple when you play these high tempo teams. It’s just getting lined up and getting the call. It’s really that simple, but it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Our scout team again did a great job like they did last week and it was helpful for us to play these two pace teams back-to-back. We we’re lined up and ready and had the call every time.”

On Indiana scoring 40 points under its average:
“That’s pretty good. I think the weather was probably our friend today, but we executed our game plan well.”

On the defense not allowing a touchdown and if the Badgers’ defense is one of the best in the country:
“Yeah, an argument can be made in statistically we are. We’re proud of what we have been able to accomplish and we can still continue to play better. I know that sounds like a cliché but I do think we can continue to play better.”

Freshman RB Corey Clement
On how it nice it was to play and contribute in a big way:

“It has been a few weeks since I have had some touches, but I’ve just been being patient. Each week in practice I’ve been putting in the work so once my number was called I was ready for each opportunity that was called for me. James (White) and Melvin (Gordon) did an outstanding job with getting me into the game, so my hat goes off to them because without them I probably wouldn’t see the field until probably about next year. They do a tremendous job each week so my hat goes off to them, really.”

On what it means to three players rushing for over 100 yards:
“It means that we’re actually doing something in practice, not just standing there. We’re actually progressing each week. Now we have Minnesota, so this week is behind us. Now our next focus is to contribute to the same thing but actually progress more.”

On how bad the weather was and what it says about the Badgers’ ability to run the ball in tough conditions:
“The conditions were on the running back’s side. Being from the east coast I’m used to this weather so it’s not really a factor to me. Each carry that I get I just remain hungry. So each carry that I get, I just get stronger and my demeanor just picks up more.”

On scoring two touchdowns:
“Being a freshman you want to show what you’re capable of doing even when there’s about 20 seconds on the clock. You still want to show that you still have that drive in you no matter what the seconds are on the clock.”

On putting up big numbers against a Big Ten opponent and if it means more:
“Yeah, that’s one of my main goal to actually say I can put up numbers against a tougher opponent who’s in the Big Ten. Indiana had great defense and us running backs did a great job at breaking them down early in the game. Once it’s my time to get called I kind of did what I had to do.”

Senior TE Jacob Pederson
On having confidence against Indiana based on previous results:

“We’ve had some pretty good games against them the past couple of years, but speaking for them, I thought this team that we faced today was even better than what we faced in the past, defensive endwise at least. To me they seemed a lot more physical but we made the plays when they came our way. The defense got some turnovers and we made the most of it.”

On the running game rushing over 500 yards:
“That just speaks volumes to our running backs and our line. Our line did a great job and the running backs were making guys miss. Corey (Clement) was breaking tackles left and right. All of those guys keep working hard every single day and you see the fruits of their labor on weekends.”

Indiana Head Coach Kevin Wilson
On Wisconsin's strengths...

"I think their really good secret is the tight ends and the fullbacks and the quarterback making checks to get them good plays, it's a total team deal."

On Indiana's quarterbacks not being able to get in sync...
"Neither of them, and again weather was not a factor, I give coach Anderson credit, Wisconsin played very good football today; they're a good football team."

On Wisconsin's defense...
"I think that their structure is really, really good. They know what they're doing. They got some new coaches; they've changed some things, it's not radical changes from what did last year conceptually. (They have) a lot of good football players on the field, but number 44, Chris Borland is a tremendous football player and I have a lot of respect for him."

On Michigan States defense compared to Wisconsin's...
"When we played Michigan State, they were very, very competitive. When you look at their defensive numbers (Wisconsin) they're not far off of Michigan State. Everyone talks about their tailbacks and their running game, but it's a good football team across the board. As a matter of fact they're seconds away from having one loss. They played really good today."

On Wisconsin's big plays...
"We got blocked a little bit too, there were a couple of times when we got blocked. They stayed home and blocked. Wisconsin has quality backs, (a) really good line and again I think that their fullback, tight end play makes them really good too.

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