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September 12, 2015

Paul Chryst

Madison, Wisconsin

Miami Ohio -0
Wisconsin - 58

THE MODERATOR: We will start with opening comments from Coach, and then we will take questions.

COACH CHRYST: Certainly it feels good to get the win, and I told the kids after the game, you know, you always want to be appreciative of that. A lot of work goes into it, and that was fun to see.

I thought certainly defensively we did a lot of really good things, did a heck of a job, burst the run, we were able to get take-aways. That was big.

I thought special teams, returns, and Alex had some big punt returns that were good, had great field position. We had the turnover on the one early punt, you know.

Offensively, I thought we struggled, obviously in the red zone early. We gotta get better there. I didn't think we ran the ball consistently early, but did rebound, and I bought we ran the ball better in the third quarter, and I thought Joel -- you never like the first down pick, but I thought he responded, and actually a lot of it came -- I thought they handled the 2-minute situation twice pretty well.

All in all, certainly pleased and appreciate the effort that went into this victory, and looking forward to growing and learning from the tape and moving on next week.

Q. How much confidence can your defense build from a performance like this after the big plays you guys gave up last week?
COACH CHRYST: Two different games, but I think you can build confidence in knowing if you do your job. We've got good players, guys that made good plays and if you do your job and trust each other, I think that's the thing we can build on right there.

Q. Paul, what do you think having Caputo back and also beginning to use McEvoy back in safety, did it help your defense in the back end there?
COACH CHRYST: I think it helps. Mike is a good player and anytime you get to play with him, I think we all feel better. Appreciate what Tanner did, not just today but during the week, and, you know, he's a good football player and the more we can use him, that will be helpful for our team.

I would think it had to make a difference.

Q. We saw a lot of Michael Caputo and Darius Hillary in the flat today. Was there a specific match-up you were looking for there, or was it just about kind of mixing it up and getting guys in different positions?
COACH CHRYST: Those two were playing that nickel position for us and two smart football players, two guys that can adjust, handled different roles, for lack of a better term, and that's why you saw them in there.

Q. Talk about McEvoy's impact at this football game in a number of ways.
COACH CHRYST: Yeah, I think Tanner is a guy that's -- he's good great football intelligence, and I think he's a talented football player, and I think he's a guy that can help make us different offensively and defensively. We were able to do some different things in the back end defensively, and I think that was in large part due to -- you saw his range on the long one toward the student section where he kinda broke it up, and he's just a headsy player, and I think he can still give us some things offensively that we can continue to build on and grow from.

I enjoy watching him. I thought he was a blast in practice, he was shuffling both sides and doing everything, but he's got it, and I think he can help us, and we need him.

Q. Is it an acceptable workload for a kid like that? Are you still finding that out?
COACH CHRYST: Yeah, because that was one thing that Tanner and I talked about Friday, and didn't know, and I don't know if today we knew. It was a beautiful day today. Rob was giving us some stuff at the receiver spot, Tanner felt like he could have done more, and it will be interesting to look back and see how many plays he played, but it's something we've got to find out, what the volume is he can handle. I'm guessing in the low 70s or something! (Laughter.) Lively group here!

Q. You gave Caputo a chance on the right side of your line at times. How do you think that rotation went? Do you think that group improved from week one?
COACH CHRYST: I hope we did some things better. I'm anxious to see. I don't know if I could really tell you how it went, but, you know, we went and when we were on the goal line we had all three of them in there and, so, it will be interesting.

We need -- I think Mike is -- he did a lot of good things in camp, and this is -- I think he got more extensive action today, and he's got to get better from that.

Q. Paul, growing up here and playing here and coaching here before, what was today like for you and getting your first home win as a head coach?
COACH CHRYST: You know, it's -- I mean, I'm appreciative of having the opportunity and certainly being back here, and yet I've always felt thankful and appreciative when I was here, when I would get tickets, before my dad was even working. I appreciated the Schmitz' help, giving us tickets, and then loved it when my dad was coaching here, and then I got an opportunity to play, and when I came back and worked for Barry it was a big deal for me.

Then I had a chance to come back and -- so I've been to a lot of games at Camp Randall Stadium, and they never get old for me. This day, it's not about me. The window these guys have to play, it's short, and that's what was fun for me it see today.

Q. This was a big opportunity for Dare and Taiwan with Corey out. What did you like about what they provided and do you think this could be good for them down the road, given they got carries they might not have?
COACH CHRYST: Has to be good for them, and I thought Dare made some plays, couple where he kept his balance, and it was nice on the one touchdown run he had. I thought Taiwan early there was a drive on a third down, I thought he ran -- third and short and I thought he ran behind his pads, I liked seeing that. Dare is older, but doesn't have as much experience, you know, started at the corner and moved over and for Taiwan he's a young, young back and every snap you get, I think, is really valuable.

Q. Dave talked in the off-season about creating more turnovers defensively. How encouraging was it to see the guys put that together and get a few?
COACH CHRYST: It's great, you know, it's great when the ball is up there and I thought actually thought we missed on a couple more. When they have a chance to give you something you've got to be able to sees that opportunity and I thought we did. I thought like I said earlier, the special teams did and that was good. I think we've still got to force -- it's got to be a point of emphasis forcing the take-aways.

Q. Paul, I know Rob missed some time in camp with an injury, Rob Wheelwright. When did you see him do things in practice that led to what he was able to do last week but in particular today?
COACH CHRYST: I thought Rob was -- he just kept going. He did miss some time, but I thought the group in general -- I thought this week that group worked and had a good week of practice and they were playing fast. You need to. And I think that's -- we're still building chemistry and these guys are still trying to understand this offense, and I like the way that they communicate with each other. I think they know that in many ways we've got a lot of areas we can get better at.

I like this group, the way they work and approach that. I thought you saw it during, and at the end that was good, he needed to get some snaps, and it was good to see that. Certainly, Alex gives you jazz. I think he was involved again, which was good, Reggie had a couple of opportunities. We just gotta keep -- we got a long ways to go with that group, and I like the way they work. We need to be like that.

Q. Have you ever had a player play three different positions in a game like Tanner did today?
COACH CHRYST: Guys play a lot of football and do different things. Probably only a couple have played offense and defense, but it was -- I think he needed to do that for us, for us to be the best, and he's capable of it, and that's what you appreciate from him and you like about him.

Q. (Away from mic.)
COACH CHRYST: You can't hear that, can you? (Laughter.)

Q. After the 'Bama game you noticed Joel continuing to keep his composure. Did you continue to see that grow?
COACH CHRYST: I thought he had it before the 'Bama game, and I think he does. That's one of his skills in his skill set, and felt the same -- it was a very different type of game today, but I think he's got great -- you guys know him, you've been around him, how he handles himself, it's who he is and how he plays the position. Love the attention to detail that he's been puttin' in during the week, it's freeing him up to be able to go play the game and hopefully enjoy playing the game.

I thought he did some good things, and every game there is going to be something that he can learn from. I think he can put his ceiling pretty high, and that's what we're going to -- he wants to play to that and we've got to coach to that.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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