Paul Chryst’s B1G Championship Game Press Conference — Updates


Wisconsin head football coach Paul Chryst took part in Friday’s press conference prior to the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday. He provided some updates on his team and previewed the Ohio State Buckeyes. Here are the highlights.

+ They have planned all week to face J.T. Barrett. They know they will get Ohio State’s best regardless of the quarterback. “You’re preparing for their whole team. Certainly our defense is preparing their whole offense. They’re going to have a quarterback and we’re going to have to defend it.”

+ How does he stay so calm? “It’s important for you to be yourself. The game of football is for the players. It’s never been about myself.” His job is to maximize the opportunity for his players and coach them. It’s about 115 people coming together as one team. “It’s important to be who you are.”

+ Almost every football game Chryst has ever been a part of has been decided by whoever wins the line of scrimmage.

+ It can be beneficial for an offense to have a QB who doesn’t have a lot of film like OSU and Dwayne Haskins, but the Wisconsin defense focuses on the whole picture. Any time there is some film you’ll have an idea, but it’s not the complete picture so you can’t make too much of a judgment of what they’ve seen. “He’s really good.” But what makes him good is the whole group.

+ Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard has done a really nice job, but he hasn’t done it alone. He has had great help from the rest of the defensive staff. This has been a good year for the defense, but they’re going to get tested in a different way Saturday night. Everyone will need to come together.

+ Is this the biggest game in Wisconsin history? They are proud to be here and it’s all about winning the Big Ten Championship. What comes after that, whatever it is, they will embrace it. The best way to enjoy the moment and to be your best in the moment is to be in the moment. Don’t look past it.

+ How do they keep from looking past Ohio State? Their approach is always one game at a time. Not every player is guaranteed games. You want them to enjoy and appreciate the opportunity each week. One week at a time. One day at a time. “I think that’s how you enjoy it all and I think that’s the best way to approach it.” Be in that moment and nothing else matters.

+ Last year’s game against Ohio State will help them this year because you want players to draw on their experiences every time out. “You would hope that those who played in that game took something from it that helped them go forward.”

+ Ohio State has a really good offense. It’s different than any other offense they have played to this point.

+ Jonathan Taylor has done a great job of approaching each new experience he goes through. His teammates have helped him each step. On the field, off the field. In season, out of season. The veterans do a great job of taking the younger players under their collective Badger wings.

+ Asked if the team has a chip on their shoulder because people rip on their schedule, Chryst said the team is excited to play Ohio State and that’s where the focus is.

+ “I know what’s in front of us right now and it’s exciting. There’s a challenge to that. It hasn’t been hard for our group to be locked in this week.”

+ Ohio State is very talented and well coached, but it’s a football game and you need to give your team the best chance you can to go win. You prepare to play the game. Chryst feels good about the way his team has prepared.