Gary Andersen's transcript
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.
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