Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst took part in Sunday’s Big Ten Championship Game teleconference. He talked about his team as well as what he has seen from Ohio State, and also what this week means for the Wisconsin football program. Here are the highlights.
+ Chryst is very proud of what his team has been able to accomplish and is looking forward to Saturday’s game against Ohio State.
+ The preparation this week will be very similar to what they have been doing the last few weeks of the season. “It’s a heck of a football team. Very talented and well-coached football teams,” so that makes it different this week, but the preparation will be the same.
+ They were excited to sign Jonathan Taylor, but they didn’t know how good he really was until fall camp. He has cleared every hurdle they have put in front of him. “You kind of knew right away that he could be special for us.”
+ The Ohio State defense stands out. “They’ve got really good players and I think it’s a heck of a scheme.” They know what they’re doing, they play fast, and they challenge you in a number of different areas.
+ Greg Schiano knows the talent he has on defense and knows how to use it. His players know what they’re doing. “They’ve got some great change ups” off of their base defenses. He’s a very well-respected coach and has been for a long time.”
+ “I’m in charge of this program, but it’s more than just my program.” It’s been an honor to coach at Wisconsin in different capacities and it has given him and his players great opportunities.
+ Wisconsin football is time tested and fits them very well.
+ Chryst was at Pitt when the 2014 game was occurring and he didn’t watch it. He watched some of the film from that game to get to know the players that he didn’t know when he took the job at Wisconsin.
+ On playoff talk, he said this group has earned the right to play for the Big Ten Championship and that’s saying a lot. “What we’re playing for is the Big Ten Championship. That says it all.” Playoff talk doesn’t matter this week.
+ The two freshmen running backs in this game says a lot about those two players. “That doesn’t just happen.” It’s a credit to both of them. “And yet, neither one has done it on their own.” It is special for freshmen to impact their teams the way they have. The Big Ten is a grind and to be consistent through the entire season is very difficult. “I think that’s a credit to any freshman that plays the whole year and continues to improve.”
+ Ohio State has a heck of an offense led by one of the best players in the conference. It is a proven scheme that stresses a defense in a number of ways. It will be key to have a plan in place that the Badgers can trust and employ effectively.
+ “We are going to prepare for Ohio State’s best, and we know we’re going to get that.” They won’t play guessing games on whether J.T. Barrett will play. “We believe he’s going to play.”
+ Being the only Power 5 undefeated team isn’t at the forefront of their mind. Being in a position to be the Big Ten Champions is all they are thinking about.
+ Quarterback Alex Hornibrook has played well and is always wanting to improve. There are plenty of areas for him to improve as well. “He’ll do anything he can to be the best quarterback he can for this team.” He’s just a sophomore. “I’m glad he’s our quarterback.”
+ It’s never easy to win, so they are happy to be undefeated. They play nine conference games in the Big Ten, that’s a tough slate. They also try to play a good non-conference schedule. They have played Alabama and LSU and BYU. “Each game is a challenge.”