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November 11, 2017

Paul Chryst

Madison, Wisconsin

Iowa - 14, Wisconsin - 38

PAUL CHRYST: We're certainly really proud of the team and what they did today against a really good Iowa football team. You have to start with that was a heck of a performance by our defense. Credit to the coaches for the plan, and the players went out and executed it. I thought they played with confidence, and obviously put in some tough situations, but they were a lot of fun to watch today. So many different guys stepped up and made plays. That was a heck of a performance by our defense.

Proud of the way everyone just stayed the course and was resilient. Just kept playing. Lot of guys contributed, but that was a heck of a performance by our defense, certainly, and proud of the response by the offense. I thought our special teams really were good. So it takes everyone to win, and everyone contributed, and we needed that. Proud of what they've done.

We still get to keep playing. We earned the right to play another game, and that you're thankful for.

Q. You mentioned the defense about a half dozen times there. What about the turnovers that your offense gave Iowa?
PAUL CHRYST: Not good. I mean, you give them 14 points, and that's something we've been battling the whole year. You guys know that. We've got to do a better job of finding a way to help the players not do that. But it makes it hard, right? It makes it hard.

Q. Expanding on the defense a little bit, this was a pretty historic performance by your guys. It was, I think, the second fewest yards allowed ever for this program, and 0 for 13 on third down. Did you feel like this was maybe one of the best defensive performances you've seen from this program?
PAUL CHRYST: Certainly feels like it right now. Like I said, it was fun to watch. Not only the performance by some of the situations that they were put into. Guys all had great energy to them, and, boy, there were some plays made. Like I said, there were a lot of different guys, but it was a heck of a performance.

Q. Alex had his 10th and 11th interception today. Do you think it's just misplacement of guys in the lineup, or do you think Alex needs to work a little bit on honing in on where the ball is going?
PAUL CHRYST: On the first one, you know, he's got -- the receivers got leverage. But that's a good corner we're going against. The location, you know, it's choice and location. You've got to believe what you see and you've got to make it, but that certainly was big. The second one came off of a tip, and those are hard to overcome.

Yet I thought he did a nice job of continuing to play and certainly made some big throws when we need them. But he's the first one that doesn't want to do it, and we've got to help him through it.

Q. With Cephus out this week, who would help compensate? I'm just curious what you thought from Pryor and Davis today?
PAUL CHRYST: I thought they were good. I thought Kendric, when he attacked the ball on the touchdown, you know, Adam Krumholz came in and had a big block on the touchdown. I thought Danny was really good. Certainly, buy, what a heck of a catch down the sideline toward the fieldhouse end, and had another third-down conversion, a couple there. So that part was really good.

Q. You talked about the strength of the defense. But Leon Jacobs today seemed to take it to another level. Could you give us your impression of his impact throughout the season, but particularly in this game?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I think the two go hand in hand. He's had a huge impact this season, and certainly was really big tonight. Not just on the headsy play on the scoop and score. But Leon's a guy that was going to do anything for this team. You know, certainly this year he's found a home. Very talented, but a great teammate and cares a ton about this team. Coach Alvarez said, I remember when we first got a chance to work with him, he'd talk about if your seniors need to play their best football if you want to have a good team, and what a great example of a guy like that. I think we have a number of seniors doing that. But certainly Leon.

He's fun to be around, and he's enjoying this season, and he's got a nice edge to him. We've said there are a lot of guys on that defense that are fun to watch, and he's certainly one of them.

Q. Jonathan Taylor played great again, but he did lose his fourth fumble this season. Are you really harping ball security with him?

Q. In addition to that, what do you need to do --
PAUL CHRYST: Keep working on it, and make sure that we don't want them. They know that we don't want them, so we've got to keep coaching and we've all got to own it.

Q. With D'Cota out, Joe Ferguson has really been stepping up. How have you seen Joe transform from the first season now to playing starting safety and special teams?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, Joe's another example. Joe didn't all of a sudden turn up his game. He's done a heck of a job. Thought he had a great spring, and certainly had a summer to get himself ready. That's always another an interesting one when you're not the starter.

Yet he's come in, and we have confidence in him for all that he did before, and so, you hate D'Cota not being able to play. D'Cota wants to play. Yet guys are unselfish enough that if they're not at their best, let us know, and Fer is another example of a guy stepping into it and stepping up. Again, I think he's another senior that's playing really good football, and you need that and you appreciate that.

Q. Alex keeps making mistakes, just a couple mistakes every game, but doesn't seem to be improving. Did you ever think you'd have to go in a different direction or are you too late into the season? Does he do some good things that you would not want to lose? What is your thinking on that?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, you're always trying to -- I think you're trying to find out how can you help him? He certainly, like as you said, he's made a lot of really good plays and big plays for us, and certainly there is a theme of turnovers. They're all a little bit different. Even these ones tonight are a little bit different. So I think you've to look at the whole picture. You can't be just on the result of it.

But certainly, you know, that makes it hard. We talk about a great performance on defense, and yet there's 14 points on the board. Those are big, big plays. I think it was Leon's scoop and score that kind of created that separation. Yet there are a lot of good things happening offensively, but when you have big turnovers, that makes it hard to overcome. That's why it was even more impressive what we were able to do tonight, because that's not a good way to play football.

Q. How important were Anthony Lotti's punts tonight?
PAUL CHRYST: They were really good. I thought he and Zach, our coverage units were good. Certainly that was a game of interesting -- certainly a game of field position, and it happened a lot of different ways. But the specialists were big in it.

Q. Did you have to change anything when you had to go with Erdmann on center with Biadasz out, and do you know anything about Tyler?
PAUL CHRYST: We don't know exactly the extent with Tyler. That's a credit to Erds stepping in. Didn't really have to do anything. Nothing was out of play because Erds was in at center. We felt like we still had the whole offense that you could run.

Q. What did you see about Iowa's tight ends on film, and how do you feel like you defended those two? You really took them out of the game.
PAUL CHRYST: We were really impressed. They're really good football players, really good football players. Again, I think our defense did a heck of a job against all that they did. But they're good players.

Q. Do you feel as you guys get to this stage of the season now where there are just a couple regular season games left that the margin for error starts to shrink even more? In part because of the situation you guys are in at 10-0 now?
PAUL CHRYST: No, I feel like every game you play there's a small margin of error. The season is made up of one-week opportunities, and that's why you're thankful for all that went into this week and the way the guys played and persevered and battled. You enjoy and you appreciate the win. Then tomorrow we can move on and try to make the most of that week.

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