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Gary Andersen: First of all, solid performance for
the kids. I thought it was a very good team effort. Like I
said after the game, still feeling the exact same way after
evaluating the film. It was offense, defense, special teams.
All played a vital role in that game. It's never perfect, but
it was a good team effort, which was great to see. So
individually, Mike Caputo had a fantastic game on defense.
Played very, very well, and I was proud of the adjustments that
we asked Dez to make and Nate also to make and come in and play
a lot of man coverage on the wide receivers.
That was a part of the game plan. You always worry a
little bit about that, making those switches in those
directions, but it turned out to be a positive for us. Overall
defensively, able to control pace and was a big part of it. So
offensively, it was a steady performance.
A couple highlights as you watch the film and you go
back to it. Plays that I mentioned that James made, again, on
the block, corner chop, was a big part of the game. Shows his
head even bigger when you sit back and watch the fill. That
was a big part of the game. A tremendous play. Opening drive
was big for our offense to go down and get points. And then to
move themselves down the field and functioning the way they
functioned at the end of the second quarter there to get a
touchdown. That was a very nice play by Joel. There's a lot
of reason that he could have just thrown that ball away and
took the field goal at that point or the attempt to make a
field goal, but found a way to move the chains and get the
So special teams was able to make a couple of field
goals. For the most part, there's things we can do better in
that area, but seemed to be solid. We got two pins on kickoffs
and -- on punts. So it was good to see.
Moving on to this week, Indiana is a very potent
offense that's proven itself week in and week out. Score a
bunch of points and rack up a bunch of yardage, and they have a
lot of skill. The football team, running back position, wide
receiver position, both quarterbacks do a nice job of running
the offense, and they both have gotten reps. On the film that
I've seen so far, they both come in, and the offense doesn't
seem to take a big step backwards.
So it's going to be a big challenge defensively for
them. We've got to do what we do. We've got to come in and
run the ball with a little more of the play action game going
back in that direction this week. Protect the quarterback and
give Joel an opportunity to throw.
Another big challenge. Happy, very, very happy to be
back home again this week. It's good for us to be able to get
an 11:00 kickoff at home. We're excited about the opportunity
to start preparing today.
Q. Gary, you mentioned asking Dez to play those guys in
single coverage. Was it designed so you can have more guys to
control at quarterback? What was the rationale there? Was it
the big receivers?
COACH ANDERSEN: The biggest was the big receivers.
That was the biggest part of it. We wanted to try to get hands
on on the line of scrimmage. And playing against the Hoffman
kid for years and years, he's very good at contested balls, and
if you play him off, he's good at running slant routes, and
he's a long receiver. So we hope the whole idea was really
just to disrupt it early and hopefully cause some confusion in
the timing between the quarterback and the wide receiver.
Q. Would that be an effective tool this week against
COACH ANDERSEN: It could be. I can't say I've
watched enough you tape at this point to really truly say that.
They've got some good receivers. Vladimir. Is that correct?
His number is 3. I watched him from the beginning of the
season, and he makes a ton of plays. Number 1 keeps popping up
and makes plays for them. With limited film watching from my
standpoint at this point, I would say that's a possibility.
Q. You have a veteran team. I think your confidence
grows seriously week to week. This is a team at Indiana that
Wisconsin has handled well pretty easily the last few years.
Is there anything you do in particular this week to remind them
they can't just walk on the field and expect that to continue?
COACH ANDERSEN: I think the tape will speak for
itself. These kids are so good at watching tape. Every week
we talk to them hard and heavy. Understanding who their
opponent is, watch the tape, evaluate it. Football is year by
year, and Indiana's done some really nice things this year.
They've had some tough losses or in games all the way through.
They score at least 28 points each week. That doesn't make you
stand up and grab your attention as a defender, then nothing
And then just throwing the tape in on the flip side
of that. You look at them on the defensive side of the ball.
One thing I'll say, those kids, they're playing hard. They've
got a good scheme, and week in and week out, they continue to
battle. I think our kids will be ready, and they'll have great
respect and understand that it's every week that you got to
prepare. There's three weeks left. So we should have very
clean and crisp practices in the regular season to finish it
off the right way, and it's all about preparation. Then we'll
see what happens on Saturday.
Q. Kevin Wilson said today he thinks running back Tevin Coleman won't be able to play. Kind of an injury. Obviously,
he's the Big Ten offensive player of the week. How significant
do you think that is, and how will it change things as you
prepare if he can't go?
COACH ANDERSEN: He's a great player. He's proven it
week in and week out. The other young man again -- I apologize
for not having names. I haven't been able to see enough of it
yet. I think it's number 12 comes back in the backfield, and
he's done very well and dozen good things for them.
Tevin, he catches your eye right away. He runs the
ball. He's physical. He's tough minded, he's very fast. He's
outran a lot of defenses. It's four or five runs of 40-plus
yards this year for touchdowns. They'll miss him, but they've
got other talented kids to go around.
Q. As good as Chris Borland is, do you ever watch him?
Does he surprise you with anything that he does anymore? Or at
this point, is it just like he's really great, so he can do
pretty much anything?
COACH ANDERSEN: Pretty much every week he surprises
me on and off the field. He really does. Consistent, but it's
consistent greatness out of him. That might be the thing that
surprises me the most is his ability to sustain and maintain
and just keep plowing through it and stay focused.
He was as ready to play last week as anybody on that
football field. He probably knew in his heart that he
wasn't -- not this last game, the game prior to that -- that he
probably wasn't going to be able to play, but the way he goes
about his business when even he knows it doesn't look great
that he'll be on the field is impressive. He surprises me in a
good way most days.
Q. With today being veterans day, I imagine there's a
certain person on your mind today.
COACH ANDERSEN: I was going to mention that before I
left. First of all, just a big thank you to all of us because
we're not just a football program, but University of Wisconsin,
the Athletic Department, everybody that has served and serving,
we have what we have because of those people. That's the
bottom line. Obviously, I have a soft spot for my pops, who
was obviously a veteran himself, and that's something he took
great pride in, and I was taught at a very young age to take
great pride in that, and I always have.
Big thing for me is I'll thank dad, myself, but I'll
thank everybody that's involved because we can never forget we
have what we have because people are willing to serve.
Q. Gary, last week you guys talked about going from
defending Iowa's offense to BYU and such a difficult
transition. How much carryover will be this week from BYU to
Indiana? But I'm also curious, they run the pistol now, it
looks like. What problems does that pistol present for
COACH ANDERSEN: I'm not -- they do run pistol. They
don't major in pistol. There's a lot of offset backs, and
they'll get into the two-back set. There's definite carryover
from the scheme from BYU to Indiana without question. The
quarterback is not as much of a runner. If the one young man's
in there, but if the other young man is, then all of a sudden
it becomes like Taye son a runner with a throw threat and a
quarterback run threat.
We handle the quarterback run game extremely well. I
don't know what they'll think about that. Maybe they'll go in
and still try it, but there is carryover.
The pistol – what does the pistol does for you, it gives you
so much of a downhill run at the inside zone plays. When
you're at shotgun, it's more sideways and then find your spot.
The pistol is more of a true dive play, if you will, and it's
on top of you right now on the line of scrimmage instead of the
running back have to make a cut to get back to the line of
scrimmage as he does if he takes the ball from the shotgun snap
where he's offset.
Q. One more thing about Chris Borland. He's up for some
impressive awards obviously. Missing two full games almost, do
you think voters will be smart enough to take that into
account, or do you think that's going to impact it?
COACH ANDERSEN: I sure hope not. I think what he's
done over the years should offset the fact that he had a little
bit of an injury this year that kept him out of, what, I guess,
seven quarters if you look at it at the end of the day is what
it would be. I think with what Chris has done, his reputation,
what he does off the field should surely offset that and put
him in a great spot to be recognized.
Does he win? I sure hope he'd make the short list on
all those lists because I think he's very, very deserving.
Q. Two-parter. A lot of dire predictions about the
offensive line this year. Maybe the well had run dry around
here. Could you talk about the progress made by that group and
where it is right now.
COACH ANDERSEN: First of all, we all know it was low
in numbers. I think those kids and Coach Woods and Coach
Ludwig took a lot of pride in preparing him, being smart,
working our theory in there as far as getting them to the game.
These kids have done a nice job of practicing the right way and
staying up, which you never know, it doesn't happen. So it's a
great thing. But if you don't practice right, and the guy
falls or shouldn't fall or what have you, then you've got
issues on your hands.
These kids have taken care of their bodies. They do
it week in and week out. I guess the next man up, which this
team has done so many times this year in a very positive way,
would fit this team unselfishness, would fit that group.
Unselfishness would fit that group also.
Dan is a perfect example. We all know at the
beginning Dan was doing very well and had the starting center
position kind of locked down, and then guys came back off of
injury. He ended up getting the hamstring tweak in the
scrimmage and didn't play and then came back and started a
game, and he started this last week. He'll probably start
again this week.
Seven or eight guys deep is what they are. They've
worked like crazy, and I'm proud of them. The challenge is to
keep moving in that direction and recruit a good hard class
with large numbers on the offensive line to keep the tradition
Q. Obviously, the line play is important in any program.
How important is the offensive line to the success of this
program? Is it maybe magnified a bit by the way this program
COACH ANDERSEN: Yeah, I would agree with that.
There's -- when you play the way we play and in the simplest of
terms, there may be -- you know, the quarterback read zone
play, if you've just got an athletic quarterback, and he pulls
the ball. He is going to be one-on-one at the line of
scrimmage a lot of times. Sometimes that guy doesn't even have
to be blocked. You can just beat him without a block.
A lot of the plays that we run, there's six or seven
blocks that have to take place. We can never forget about the
fullback and forget about the tight ends when we're talking
about that, that those guys have done a tremendous job all year
So I think it is a little bit -- they're on a little
higher stage of having to get their blocks because the number
of blocks that have to take place every snap for our scheme to
be able to work. Even the simple power play, it's a down
scheme and a kickout scheme, but it's not that easy. It's not
just saying we're down and we kick out and we'll get six yards
a carry. There's a lot that goes into that.
So I would agree it's highlighted even more so in an
offense like ours.
Q. Gary, it's possible Wisconsin could win out and still
not wind up in a BCS game. I know those rankings are out of
your control. I was just wondering how significant do you
think the difference is between Wisconsin playing in a BCS and
not? Whether it's for recruiting or player morale or judging
success of the season, anything like that?
COACH ANDERSEN: What's important for these kids --
and it has been from the very beginning -- is to play well week
in and week out. The Big Ten games are very important to these
kids. I'm not offsetting the nonconference games or act like
they're unimportant, but it was very important for these kids
to have a quality Big Ten this year from the Big Ten record
this year, from the get go. Everybody wants to play in as big
a BOEL and as big a stage as you can at the end of the year.
No one's ever going to say we don't want that in any way,
shape, or form.
But it's not going to -- as this team continues,
they've labeled themselves as a good team, and they deserve it.
Right now, if it was over, they'd be known as a good team
regardless of what happens. They want to be a great team. If
they're a great team, then they're going to play in a very,
very prestigious bowl game at the end of the year wherever it
may be. We'll have a great time. We'll be excited to go to
that bowl game and compete and hopefully win.
Q. Gary, what in your opinion has not about the reason
or reasons behind Pedersen's catching more passes of
late? I know he's had the injury? Is it looking for him more,
making more plays?
COACH ANDERSEN: I think we're looking for him more.
After he came off the injury and got himself healthy, he's such
a mismatch problem, and you see him continually catch contested
balls. He runs great routes. He causes some real issues. I
think we definitely made an effort to get the ball to him more.
It's making him more productive, and it's making our offense
Q. Melvin hasn't had the jaw-dropping numbers that he
did at the beginning of the season the last two weeks. Is he
dealing with something that's slowing him down, or is it just a
matter of teams really keying on him?
COACH ANDERSEN: Nothing's slowing him down. He's
practicing great. I think Melvin's playing good. First of
all, to me, the creases may not be there. He doesn't have the
numbers. But Melvin is progressively getting better every
single week at the other things that is important in football.
He's catching the ball consistently in practice. Doesn't show
up a lot on game day right now.
I'm proud of the strides that he's making, and I'm
also proud that, when it doesn't go his way for those 50, 60,
70-yard runs or the big plays, that he keeps on grinding and
keeps on going. We were not going to get the fly sweep on the
way against BYU. That just was not going to happen. They were
running three guys at it, and they brought the guy off the
edge. There are two guys you'd have to beat at the spot.
Melvin, maybe. He might beat those two guys, but just looking
at the odds, we were better off running the plays that came off
of it, which were very valuable to us.
He'll be fine. I expect a couple of big games out of
him this last week, these last three.
Q. You mentioned after the game all the things Caputo
has done for you this year. Is it hard to find guys that can
fill all those roles? How important has he been overall to the
COACH ANDERSEN: He's a very unique kid. His ability
to be able to prepare and understand in the film room and take
the coaching and then get out onto the practice field but then
be able to see it at game speed, got a lot on his plate.
Different positions that he's played.
He's in so many different positions, different spots.
His pre-snap awareness is very impressive. His ability to
prepare is very impressive, and he gets out there on game day
and plays at a high level. The other thing you can say about
Michael is faster with pads on than he is without pads on
because he loves to play the game so much. He's very physical.
I had the opportunity to talk to a couple of BYU kids
after the game, and one of the first things that one of their
safeties said to me was, you know, what year is Caputo? I
said, well, he's a sophomore. He's like, man, Coach, that
guy's a really good player. That's the ultimate compliment as
a player, when you walk off the field, and within two hours a
kid is passing on that kind of information to a player, that's
I'm proud of him. He's done a great job, especially
as we all know what he went through to get back this last
off-season and to not have spring ball and be where he is, the
future is very bright for him.
Q. Did Jack Russell break down any barriers of doubt
with the coaches on Saturday?
COACH ANDERSEN: Well, he made them. So it was good
to see him make them. I felt good about Jack walking out there
and putting the ball up in the air and taking a swing at it.
It's good for him to see. It's good for all those specialists
to see. It really is because there's not an agenda with those
kids. They want to have some success, and they want to help
this team, and they want to be known as a group of specialists
that help the team.
I hope -- I'm sure Jack grew confidence with that.
Did I? Sure, absolutely. How can you not? All those kids --
Frenchy goes out there, and Frenchy's more excited for Jack
than probably Jack when he made that kick. So another example
of those kids just kind of grinding it out together and not
really having an agenda. But he did a good job. He made them.
Q. Gary, you said Dan Voltz
probably start this week. Is that Lewallen is still iffy with
COACH ANDERSEN: Yeah, he is. It's early, obviously,
but the progress that we made through the weekend is good, but
not to the point where we say, hey, let's go out there and be
ready for a Tuesday practice.