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October 3, 2015

Paul Chryst

Madison, Wisconsin

Iowa - 10
Wisconsin - 6

PAUL CHRYST: Well, I think certainly the story line of the game, we didn't -- we didn't make enough plays to win. Certainly with four turnovers in a game like this, it's awfully hard, and I think that honestly we were in the game. I thought our defense played really well, and I thought it was led by Joe Schobert, who made some big plays in big moments. You know, offensively we didn't -- we weren't good on 3rd down, and the turnovers, you know, I think all their points came off of our turnovers, and certainly we've got to be better in a lot of areas on offense, and defensively, like I said, I thought they gave us a chance to have a chance, and we didn't capitalize on it at the end.

Q. The turnover on the 1-yard line, did that kind of take air out of your guys? Was that kind of hard for them to overcome mentally?
PAUL CHRYST: Well, absolutely it takes the wind out of your sail, but I thought the guys, the next ones on the field, I thought they rose up to it, but absolutely, Joel got stepped on, and we still had a chance to recover it even when it was on the ground, and we didn't. But yeah, that obviously is a huge play in the game.

Q. Several times it seemed like Joel Stave couldn't feel the pressure coming from the blind side. Is that a problem that you can fix? Does it seem like he might not have an internal clock on him?
PAUL CHRYST: I think Joel has got a pretty good awareness of everything. He was getting -- right in the middle of a sack fumble, the strip, he was getting ready to throw it. We'll look at it and see, but as a whole, I thought Joel has played with pretty good awareness to the situation, and it's hard, you know, when you're trying to -- you know you need to make a play, and we've got to be better in a lot of areas, not all on him, but certainly he'd be the first to take his responsibility in it, just as I do, and everyone. We need to be better. We can be better. But I don't know if it's -- like there's a flaw in his game that way. I wouldn't necessarily agree with that.

Q. Going back to the fumble on the goal line, you talk about details a lot. Is that kind of what you're saying there? Is that just a simple footwork mishap when that happens, or how does that happen?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, you know, I just caught the tail end of the replay on it, and you get everyone involved. It's the foot coming back, and I didn't see that Joel took a step in, you know, so like a false step type deal, and yet he's still got to protect the ball, no matter what the situation is. Those are hard lessons to learn, but we've got to protect the football in all areas, and we obviously didn't do that today. I think it had a huge part in the result of this game, obviously.

Q. Can you win games when you don't run for 100 yards and you average like two and a half yards a carry?
PAUL CHRYST: I think it's really hard, especially if you're not good on 3rd down in the pass game. You know, and I think you have to -- there's going to be games where you've got to win it running the football and you've got to win it throwing the ball, and I didn't think we were consistent enough at either one today to really be as good as we needed to be today.

Q. What's your level of concern with Rafael in the kicking game right now? I think four misses already this season.
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, and some of them have been, you know, not easy. You're not talking about chip shots, and so I think he certainly gives us our best chance, and we've got to help him out, I think, offensively, and he'll have his moments, and he'll make some big kicks for us throughout the season. There's no doubt in my mind.

But you know, clearly it's not how he would want it and not what we do. But he'll be good, and he'll have his moments and he'll rise up to them, I believe.

Q. You mentioned your bottom line is protect the ball in that goal-line fumble. I know it's a bang-bang decision, but ideally do you want the quarterback if he's falling back to just eat it and just go on to the next play there or try to make that handoff?
PAUL CHRYST: No, I mean, absolutely right now you'd say you've got to hold onto it, and if you can't get there, it's happened before, I've seen it on film, and he's made the exchange, but you have to take care of the football. And offensively, there's so many guys that are -- everyone has to own that, you know, and certainly Joel was in on it right there, but it truly is one of those where all 11 can take ownership of that, and today we weren't good enough and played a huge part in this game and the result not being what we wanted.

Q. How difficult did it make it on those last couple drives when you don't have Erickson and Traylor out there, two of your most consistent receiving threats?
PAUL CHRYST: No, you know, you want to have all your guys if you can, and yet I thought, you know, Reggie made a couple -- made a big play, and Fum had a nice catch, and guys have to step in, and we're not unique in that area. You always want your players playing, but that wasn't the case, and we've got to overcome that, and that's where I think we've got to grow and we've got to get better.

Q. Many of the players on this team have been through this before where they've lost a Big Ten opener and still achieved their goal of getting to a conference championship game. What do you call on as a coaching staff and the leaders to lean on for this team with obviously so much of the season to go?
PAUL CHRYST: There is, there's a ton of the season to go. First Big Ten game didn't go the way we wanted. First guy that said something in the locker room afterwards was Joe Schobert and said, hey, Coach, same thing happened to us last year, and like we've talked about, the end of the year you'll get what you earn, and the thing we've got to focus on, the opportunity that we have is this next week against Nebraska.

There is -- the games like this, they hurt to lose, and we've got to take that pain and take that frustration, take the lessons, and that's got to help fuel us so that we get better.

Q. Were you pretty upset about the non-targeting call on the Fumagalli play near the goal line? Did you get an explanation? Did they see it and it wasn't, or did they say they didn't see anything?
PAUL CHRYST: The officials were good communicating to me, and obviously that's not something that once it happens and we've been told that the officials will err on the side of player safety, and so that's all I'd say.

Q. From what you've seen through the first five games of the season, is the running game issue a running back problem or a line problem?
PAUL CHRYST: I think it's everyone on offense. We've had some times where we've -- and I thought today there were some good runs, but we haven't been consistent, and so I think we all have to own it. We all want to own it, quite honestly.

Q. Did you expect this type of breakout from Joe Schobert at this point in the season, and what is he doing differently to get to this point to be so dominant?
PAUL CHRYST: I've been impressed with Joe ever since I started watching tape of him, and then when you're around him -- and there are -- there's a lot of guys that did some good things on defense, you know, and I don't want to make this just about Joe. You know, there was a lot of guys -- and that's what's the great thing about this game is it's a team game, and then even if you take the units, and we're talking about the defensive unit right now, it takes everyone. But getting back specifically, I don't want to sound like I am not surprised. I think any time you do it, that's what's great about competition is you have to do it over and over. But for what Joe does, and I think the moments he does them in, it's really impressive. But he'd be the first one -- my guess is the first one to admit, it's all 11, and in many ways it's more than that. It's the group. But no, I'm not surprised because I think that he's earned the right where you expect it a little bit.

Q. In the second half you played with a package with two fullbacks quite a bit. Did you see that open up the running game at all, or did their toughness open up the running game at all?
PAUL CHRYST: Well, I think that, you know, in games like this, there's times where you're prying to try to figure out what can get you into a rhythm, and I thought it gave us some things, and yet we didn't do enough to score enough points to win.

But I thought that it did give us -- it kind of sparked us on some plays, and we've got to get better.

Q. Is there any update on Alex Erickson?
PAUL CHRYST: He's going through the concussion protocol right now.

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