UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 8, 2018
Wisconsin - 45, New Mexico - 14
PAUL CHRYST: I was certainly proud of the way the day finished, and what's fun about the game is you've got to play it, and you've got to earn everything. Certainly, some of the -- beating the game is the number one, and turnovers a big part of this game. We had some early, was proud of the response defensively. I think the big swing came on Scott's pick.
I think Gink had some pressure on it, and then the offense scores off of that, and then the fourth down where they're going for it on fourth down, get the fumble. I think Kayden recovered it, and then the score after that. I was proud of the response, the way guys individually handled things and collectively.
We've certainly got a lot of work to do. I think there's some good things that we can continue to find, that we'll continue to build on, and then we've got to eliminate some of those things that got us in trouble. We've got penalties on special teams, and that's never good, and taking care of the football.
Q. Paul, you mentioned guys recovering from early mistakes. Obviously, Jonathan did that, running the ball better. But what do you do with the fumbles? Is there anything more you can do, other than stressing ball security?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, you're doing that. And I thought -- I'm anxious to see. On the field, I felt we kind of lost Alec, and he had to cover for someone. It was a pretty good play, but certainly I'm not -- you know what, we've got to take care of the football. Alex is stepping up in the pocket, and it gets tipped, and all those things. Groshek had one at the end of the first half.
Those are things you've got to -- you're going to be in those situations again, and you've got to just work at it. What you feel as a coach, not one of those guys is going out there and saying, you know what, I'm going to try to fumble right here. So I think the whole thing is how do you respond?
And then certainly, part of that response is how do you practice? And how can you put yourself in those situations? That's part of the response. But there's also a mentality of, all right, I'm going to clean this up and keep going, and then there's a response by all the other players, whether it's the defense coming out or the offense, how they respond to something, and that's playing the game.
Q. Paul, how concerning is it with Jonathan that he can't get over this? It's the second time now this year after last year.
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, it's something that he's -- we're going to work on. He'll continue to work on, and he brings a ton to us. And the best part about J.T. is he'll work at it.
Q. Did you guys do anything different defensively after that first drive, or was it just a matter of staying calm and playing better after that?
PAUL CHRYST: There's a lot -- as you go and come out and seeing it, and I thought, you know what, coaches, players did a nice job of -- you can hear coaches talk about adjustments, and some of them are schematic adjustments, and some of them are this is how we play it and this is the angle that you've got to take. And players do a good job of adjusting in the course of a drive, in the course of a game. So there's a little bit of all that that goes on in it.
Give credit to them. They made some plays. They converted on two third and -- we had a third and 11, and they converted on it early in the drive, and then the touchdown was a third down. So you give them credit, and there's certainly things that we can look at and get better at in all phases.
Q. I won't even ask about Jonathan's fumbles, but what do you think allows him to respond the way that he does? What did you think of what he did there, and did you say anything to him after the fumble?
PAUL CHRYST: He's competitive, and he cares about this team. He doesn't want to do that. I just like the way he keeps an even keel. He's competitive. He doesn't want to do it, but he knows too that he can pay it back.
Q. I think you alluded to A.J. Taylor's ability in the opener to overcome a couple of balls he thought he should have had. I don't know if he should have had the one down near the goal line today, but did he show again he was able to put a play behind him that maybe he couldn't finish and make some plays for you?
PAUL CHRYST: I thought A.J. was big in a lot of areas, and certainly I'm anxious to see that one. I thought we certainly had an opportunity. When you probably go back and look at it -- and this is what's kind of neat about football is probably everyone can do a little bit better in making that, and those add up. Touchdowns instead of field goals are big, and yet I thought A.J. did a nice job of just continuing to play, and like you said, he came up with some big plays.
Q. You guys have kind of started slow offensively these last two games. Are you concerned about that at all? What's your worry level there?
PAUL CHRYST: The biggest focus and the concern I have is how do you help this team individually and collectively get better?
Q. Paul, how nice was it to get Danny in the game at the end there and have him throw that touchdown and lead the offense down for the final score?
PAUL CHRYST: It was great to get all the -- any time guys can get in and play. It was good getting a young offensive line in there. It was good getting Mason Stokke in there and defensively get some guys in there. That's always good. We talked about it probably more last week, but for some of them, that's their first, and Danny set the bar high. Downhill from here.
Q. Are you guys planning to redshirt Jack Coan this year, or is there a different reason Danny went in there?
PAUL CHRYST: Jack's had an opportunity to play. I thought this was a good opportunity for Danny to get some snaps, and it was.
Q. I didn't see if Dietzen came in the game late, but was he not available today? Was that the decision that led to go with Cole pretty much the whole way?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, he was dressed and ready should he need to, but also thought, if we could not play him, it would probably be good for him. Yeah, just keep him healthy.
Q. What did you like about Loudermilk today? And overall the adjustments in the front seven after that first quarter?
PAUL CHRYST: I thought certainly it was great to get Isiahh and Zander back. I thought Isiahh was really good, especially for his first snaps. I was glad to see Olive showed up and made some plays. Kayden made a play. I think we'll look back, and I'm pretty sure Matt had some. I thought we were a little more active up front. Isiahh was certainly part of that. He's one of those guys that lifted up our team a little bit when you see him out there.
Q. New Mexico's offense is quite a bit different than yours. How are you guys able to replicate that in practice? And is that an issue to try to replicate that as effectively as possible leading into a game?
PAUL CHRYST: I think that's always -- you know, it's something that you try to deal with throughout the season. That onus falls on certainly coaches and how you prepare them, and that's why every guy on this team has a significant role. There's a number of guys that become the look team for the offense, for the defense, and the special teams.
I think that's another part of growth that isn't seen by everyone, but we've got to do a great job of learning how to practice and taking pride and giving the best look that you can. And the details. Certainly, it's going to be different on gameday, but they've got a good idea what to expect. I think you're always trying to work on and improve on how you practice.
Q. I know they tweaked their offense in the off-season, New Mexico did, but when their quarterback starter went out, did they do things differently than you anticipated, and did that either force to you do some things differently defensively or to do more things defensively with the new guy?
PAUL CHRYST: You never -- it's not like you've got such a solid book on them. Here's with the starter. Here's with the backup. So I thought that you've got to be careful of trying to reinvent the wheel, and yet you're taking it all in. That's where I thought defensively coaches, players did a nice job of just kind of seeing how they were playing the game and kind of calling it accordingly, and players adjusting accordingly.
Q. Any update on Tyler Johnson after he went out?
PAUL CHRYST: Nothing yet.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports