Inside the Locker Room: Penn State

Brian Wozniak scored twice (Moebius/13)

Following a humbling 31-24 defeat to Penn State, Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen and players addressed the media.

Join the Badger conversation on Facebook! Go to our Facebook page and "like" us!

Wisconsin Football

Gary Andersen -

Beau Allen -

Chris Borland -

Jeff Duckworth -

Ryan Groy -

Sojourn Shelton -

Dezmen Southward -

Joel Stave -

James White -

Brian Wozniak -

Andersen Transcript

ANDERSEN: First of all, I thought Penn State was very well prepared. The coaches did a nice job, and their players did a nice job. My hat's off to them.

It was very obvious that they were pretty well schooled up.

They were pretty schooled up on how to attack us and some things that have seemed to be a little less successful for us the last few weeks.

Got us on our toes a couple times on defense, and we did not react well to that. The key to that whole situation is starts with the coaches and didn't handle it good enough. So that wasn't that wasn't acceptable.

On the offensive side of the ball I guess, if I summed it up, real simple then I'll take your questions is this. Football becomes really hard to play when you can't rush the passer consistently and you can't protect the passer consistently. It's a bad spot to be in.

And on top of that, when they stack 9, 10, 11 guys in the box, depending on the personnel that you're in, and they take away your run game, again, football becomes very, very difficult.

QUESTION: Gary, why the difficulties just getting lined up defensively? At one time there was nine guys on the field at one point. Why was that a struggle?

ANDERSEN: They changed the pace. Honestly, that was very unusual for them. In that personnel group that they were changing the pace was very unusual, something that we had not seen. Didn't handle it well. There is no excuse why we should have been and could have been on the field or in a position to be on the field, but, you know, we weren't.

It starts with the coaches. So that starts with me. It's not the kids' fault. If we've got nine guys out there in that spot, it's coaches have got to be better. We've got to communicate faster. It's got to get from the box down to Coach Aranda so he has a chance to make a call. So not good.

QUESTION: You guys got back in the game, had them in third-and-10 on the long run. Some of us were down on the field. It looked like you were in your one or two down linemen. What were you guys expecting on that play? And did they surprise you by running it?

ANDERSEN: No, the draw wasn't a surprise. The draw is a staple of their offense. They hit it. They blocked it up and did a tremendous job there. You can't be in that position with as good a coach as Penn State has and think that a draw's not an option for them. They're going to be smart and try to run the clock and get the first down.

It hit. It popped on us. We were in pretty much you know, we were up, moving around defensively, but we were gap sound, but they blocked us.

QUESTION: On Michael Caputo's injury …

ANDERSEN: Michael is a huge loss for our defense, used in every package. Found out on Monday Monday afternoon, I believe it was, that the situation with him was probably wasn't going to be able to play. I believe he'll be back for the Bowl game. He'll be fine.

We've just got to get him back where he needs to be. We're going to take all the precautions with the kids to make sure that we're making the right decisions, and we're trying to make the right decisions with him. But it was a major loss to not have Michael out there.

QUESTION: Coach, uncharacteristic play today.

ANDERSEN: As far as what?

QUESTION: Not having guys lined up, communication issues, looked sluggish…

ANDERSEN: No, I can't sit back and say that we had a bad week of practice. I can't sit back and say I didn't feel like we were prepared. Communication is a tough thing.

I'm going to say it again. I give a lot of credit to Penn State. They put us in some situations today that they did some things offensively and they did some things defensively that they were well prepared. And their kids ended up executing.

So congratulations to them. Maybe one day we'll have another shot and redeem ourselves.

QUESTION: I know how important a win on Senior Day was. You had talked about the difference between this team being a good team and being a great team. How much does this affect how you view the successes?

ANDERSEN: This is a great team. Any time you win nine games, you're going to be in that position to be labeled as a great team, and the opportunity for them to go compete one more time in a bowl game.

It's a tough loss. Losing is unacceptable. And if you're willing to accept it, you're a noncompetitor. And you don't belong at the University of Wisconsin in the football program.

It's a tough deal. Senior Day meant a lot to be able to get a victory for these kids, but I believe they'll bounce back and they'll prepare well for the Bowl game. If there's somebody on this team that doesn't want to prepare well for the Bowl game, then they'll miss the flight.

QUESTION: Gary, why was the receiver uncovered on the play down by the goal line, and is that the fastest 40 that you've run?

ANDERSEN: Yeah, that was I don't have again, that personnel package has never been split out. Never seen a receiver come out of that. It's not an excuse. It's inexcusable. Person on the edge of the defense has got to be prepared to be able to play, and they did a nice job.

Their coaches on offense, they got us today in four or five different scenarios and situations. That's an unacceptable play. Couldn't get down there in time.

QUESTION: On the offensive play-calling mix …

ANDERSEN: As far as our offense, I couldn't tell you what it was. I would be guessing if I said anything. I would think it's going to be skewed a little bit as you went through, if I just put it in my mind just what I think the game was.

It's you know, we didn't run the ball well tonight. Whatever the rushing yards are or per carries or whatever it may be, there's no explosive runs. That's two weeks in a row where you can't sit back and say we ran the football well. We don't have explosive runs, and we've got to have explosive plays somewhere. When you don't have those explosive plays, again, football gets very hard.

We've got to be able to throw the football with consistency with play calling, with consistency with the guy delivering the ball, and consistency catching it. And we got in a position where we had to throw the ball there late today and did some good things, but that's not who we are. We need to play better.

QUESTION: Gary, how do you sum up the regular season? I know it's a little difficult today, but your senior leadership and just what these guys did for you going forward into the Bowl game.

ANDERSEN: I love this group of kids, unbelievably proud of them. You know, they had nine wins again, very tough to do. Their ability to walk in and allow us to be involved in their lives. There's a lot of great memories there for me, and there always will be.

This will not define this football team for me. They defined themselves to me a long time ago with their toughness, their grit, their want to, the direction, leadership they've had to bring the young kids along.

Those young kids better get it real quick. There's some pretty powerful kids that walked down that tunnel tonight for the last time that won't be there. So they'd better figure it out. This team is going to go down in a special place in my heart forever.

QUESTION: With can you do with them crowding the line of scrimmage? Should you have had some opportunities down the field to hit those?

ANDERSEN: We have to. We have to. That's the bottom line. That is the identity of where we are right now. If we're going to give up those big plays down the field on defense, we're going to let them crowd the box, and we can't make the big plays on offense, you'll turn yourself into a real average football team real fast.

You know, that means a team that we played was better than we were, and that was definitely the case today with the Penn State team.

QUESTION: What did you tell your seniors in the locker room after the game?

ANDERSEN: A few things, same things I said. I was proud of them. Winning nine games is hard, in my opinion. That makes you a great football team. A lot of teams in this country would love to have nine victories, I'll tell you that much.

They have a legacy. It's a special legacy. But they have unfinished business. We're going to come back. We're going to go to work. We're going to prepare, and every person on this football team better understand that we're going to prepare for a Bowl game, and we're going to go and expect to win. We're going to have a good time, but we're going to expect to win a Bowl game.

Those are things that every young man in the locker room needs to understand and be excited about the opportunity to compete one more time together.

I also told them that I'm very happy I get to coach them for whatever that is, however many more weeks it is, to try to get them ready to go win a game.

QUESTION: That BCS carrot has been out there. How disappointing is it to remove yourself from consideration?

ANDERSEN: It's tough. I think it meant a lot to those kids to be in that spot and have an opportunity to play in the BCS. That puts you in the elite of the elite if you get into that scenario. That's not going to happen. So we'll move forward. Such is life.

The way we played today and the way I coached them, obviously, we don't deserve to have that opportunity. So it's gone now.

QUESTION: Gary, you mentioned not being able to get much pressure on their quarterback. That said, how do you think he handled the situation with your defense and his ability to make plays against you guys when necessary?

ANDERSEN: He did a nice job. He did. The one down the field he got hit, and the ball got right there. He's a special kid. He's a very talented young man.

I think their coaches did a great job coaching. Obviously, Coach O'Brien is calling it out there for them now. He calls the whole offense. So he got us to where he wanted us a few times, and we got schemed up pretty good by a very good football coach, and they took advantage of it.

QUESTION: Did you just adjust with what you saw in the pass protection issues and having to make the change with Ryan (Groy) going to left tackle?

ANDERSEN: Yeah, we were just getting beat. It was tough sledding out there at times. They got a very good player out there. We tried to do some chipping. We'll be okay. We got tough kids, and you got to try to put the right kids in the right spots to be able to make the plays.

It's no excuse. Injuries are out there. Situations are there. We'll get better.

QUESTION: Gary, what explanation were you given after not being granted that time out?

ANDERSEN: They just said they didn't see me. I guess I didn't get there in time. I wasn't fast enough. Recommended Stories

  • One of three players expected to sign with Wisconsin today, Brewster (NH) Academy three-star power forward Alex Illikainen's goal of playing college basketball in the Midwest was fulfilled by a…

  • Build yourself a sky-high left-over turkey sandwich, cover it in a creamy sauce of hate, and get ready to scream!

  • Best friends off the field and heated competitors on it, Wisconsin junior tailback Melvin Gordon and Nebraska senior running back Ameer Abdullah are always trying to push one another to be better…

  • Winners of four straight, No.22 Wisconsin needs a victory over No.11 Nebraska to remain in the driver's seat of the Big Ten West Division. Badger Nation gets the inside scoop on this week's opponent…

  • Finding just the right present for that special someone can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled a wide variety of hunting, fishing and outdoor gifts that you—or Santa—can deliver this Christmas.

Up Next

An offense that has been lighting up the scoreboard all season long, Wisconsin quarterback Joel…