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October 31, 2015

Paul Chryst

Madison, Wisconsin

Rutgers - 10 Wisconsin - 48

THE MODERATOR: Start with some opening comments from Coach, and then we can get to questions.

COACH CHRYST: Really proud of the way the guys played today. I thought we had a really good week of practice, preparation, and had some guys that had to step up. It was certainly good to get some energy and production from Corey. I thought our defense -- and you guys saw it, I mean, they were tremendous.

They just keep playing. And I thought Dave and the defensive staff did a really nice job in getting Cichy ready, and I thought he played well inside. We forced some turnovers, again, and that adds pressure on the quarterback, and when they did get in the red zone, you know, we stiffened up, and they played really well. Fun to watch.

I thought our special teams -- we were worried again this week. Thought it was going to be a heck of a challenge for our coverage units, and I thought we did a nice job. The only one -- we had a bad field position after Corey's first touchdown, when he forgot what it meant to score a touchdown, but I thought the coverage units were great, I thought Drew punted well, and it was good.

Offensively, you know, found a way to move, I think, okay on third down, and certainly a big fourth down with Joel and Alex and needed everything, and it wasn't perfect but appreciate this group and the effort they gave, and it was a good day that way.

Q. You mentioned the defense. This was yet another game where they weren't responsible for giving up another touchdown?

Q. What do you think has made the unit so special this year, that they could work together as a unit like this?
COACH CHRYST: I think that -- not in any particular order, but I think they're really good team defense. They care about each other. I think we got good football players. I think they're really well coached. I think they belive in each other, and because of that, I don't think they feel like they've got to do something else. They can do their job, and they trust the other ones, and I think there is a competitiveness to them.

I they've got great -- you know, there's great leadership. So you got leadership, you got talented players, I think they care about each other, well coached. I think it gives us a chance every time, and they work at it. They're not -- it's not a group -- who they are. They don't read the clippings, they don't rest on their laurels. They rise up to each challenge, and they're fun to be around.

Q. Paul, you've been pretty matter of fact about all the questions about Corey coming back, saying he can only do so much. In addition to statistically, did his return give guys a boost around him to see him in the huddle and to see him maybe do some things that they're not accustomed to seeing?
COACH CHRYST: I think it was a bigger boost seeing him make some runs than just seeing him in the huddle. It was a production. Absolutely it does. And you know what was neat today I thought was that Dare would have been the first one. You know, it's a group that's not selfish that way, I don't think, and so he had a pep in his step and -- absolutely. We've had a number of guys that, all right, they're out. They're out, they're out. It's good to get one, he's in.

Q. Do you have a timetable on Chris Orr? And how long did Jack have to work on the inside this week?
COACH CHRYST: We will see -- I think Chris is one of those that it will probably be day-to-dayish, and Jack had enough time to get ready, which is good.

Q. What does it mean to your offense to have a guy who can get to the end zone and can make that one move and finish off a run celebrating?
COACH CHRYST: I thought it changed. That everything doesn't have to -- I thought he had some great patience and made someone miss, and I think it just changed it.

It was a big lift for our offense that way, of having something -- maybe it's not 100% clean but still get production. I thought that was huge. Sure felt good.

Q. You mentioned the competitiveness of your defense. Did that show after that second series of the game where Rutgers really pounded it on the ground?
COACH CHRYST: They did, you know, we were -- we weren't keeping leverage on the ball, and they were hurting us with the counter, and they were kinda knocking us back, and yet I thought that they -- you know, as it went down, guys adjusted. I thought that was important. Then they "bowed up" and that was huge. I think Darius on that drive -- I think that was the one Darius did -- second down, they went kinda the action pass. I thought it was a nice play by Darius, on that, so that was big. And I thought you know what, at the end of the game with the two's. I don't know if it was T.J. that came in -- the first down, you know, the run, and T.J., and Ryan, he showed up at the end of the game, Connelly, and I thought that was big. And I know that means a lot, you know, the sidelines, they were live on that, and it was cool.

Q. Corey obviously showed some emotion after that touchdown, the first one. What did it mean for him to get back on the field and have that success?
COACH CHRYST: I would like to -- you know, it's a long journey coming back, and I would like to think, too, that it was -- he was happy to be able to contribute to this team. Certainly there is a personal part of it, and that's coming back and, you know, I think any player comes into a season with expectations, kind of a vision of what they want the year to be and certainly wasn't that way for Corey.

So I think it was -- there's been a lot of talk and a lot of waiting and just to be able to get out and play, you know, and certainly Corey will be able to speak for himself but I'm sure there was a lot in that one.

Q. Building off that question, there was a moment after he made that touchdown run, he went up to you, and you pulled him aside and whispered something in his ear. What did you say to him?
COACH CHRYST: "Nice run," and added a couple of other things (Laughter.) Yeah, like I'd tell you guys!

Q. What do you think a performance like this can do for your offense moving forward, knowing that you can have balance you don't have to throw it 50 times a game and showing you can run the ball?
COACH CHRYST: Well, we've done that, you know, different games. I think it was needed and good for the day. What we do going forward is what we earn. You know, I don't think it -- it doesn't crown us anything, right? I mean, it's -- we found a way to make plays offensively, defensively, special teams a win today. None of it carries over. I think there are things we can build on, and I think there are areas, you know, what guys did and we'll look at the film and say, that's positive. We can keep moving forward on that, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't build on it and keep improving.

Q. How do you think Joel played overall today? I think there were some good throws, but I think that pick stands out for one he would want to take back.
COACH CHRYST: Yeah, I thought he made some throws and did some good things, right? And that was -- I thought he stood in there. I know first half, I know we missed Rob on one, and second half, you know, I think that the pick -- that's first down. You know, you're playing with the lead, and I think it's a delicate balance that you've gotta -- you are playing with the lead, but you gotta keep playing and you've got to keep attacking.

Then the third down, you know, they did a nice job, blocking Alex on it, and he came off it and missed that location but you don't want that, when you've got the lead. That's the one way they can get back in it, I thought, and I thought he responded and played well, and like any game there are some things you've got to improve upon and get back to, but I thought he did a lot of really good things, too, to give us a chance to win, and that was big. So kinda like every game, some good stuff and some that he's clearly got to learn from, and we've got to take better care of the ball at the quarterback spot.

Q. You touched on that a little bit, but what does it do for the moral of the team, getting Corey back, being on the other side of that injury coin that you guys have overcome so many, you finally got a guy back; you don't have as much injuries.
COACH CHRYST: What do you mean we don't have it --

Q. You're on the right side of it. You got someone back this time. What does that do for the moral of the team?
COACH CHRYST: I mean, you'd have to ask 'em, but I think it's big, right? Anytime you get someone am to come back and contribute that's a good thing. And yet, I think no one anticipated Corey to come in and do what he did, necessarily, but it was certainly good.

You know, it's one piece, it's an important piece, but there's a lot of guys -- I don't know -- I don't think anyone was looking, waiting for Corey to, all right, now it's finally here. I don't think it's that at all.

Q. Coach, any thoughts on Corey not being able to finish off the 58 yard run, getting caught from behind?
COACH CHRYST: I mean, he's gotta get in shape. I don't know.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else for Coach? All right, thanks, Coach.

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