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September 9, 2017

Paul Chryst

Madison, Wisconsin

Florida Atlantic - 14, Wisconsin - 31

PAUL CHRYST: First of all, I give Florida Atlantic a ton of credit, coaches and players. I know just from talking to our kids from Florida, with it being on their minds, and give them a ton of credit, a good football team and they came out ready. And hats off to them. Today was a good day. There was some really good stuff that happened and I think there's areas that we have to learn from and continue to get better.

I think, offensively, the two turnovers and, once again, we gave our defense a short field, got to stop doing that. That's two games in a row. Can't do that.

I thought our defense, we gave up the big pass, but other than that and the short field, I thought they did a lot of really good -- I thought they were really good in a lot of areas. They handled it.

The second half particularly, proud of the way they played. I thought, offensively, a number of areas, it's good to get Jonathan going. I thought Chris ran the ball better. I thought that we were inconsistent in some things in the throw game. Alex was good and then I think he kind of missed one, he kind of missed Fum crossing over and then he had a couple drops. We got a lot of things that we got to clean up and get better at. Appreciate what this group did this week to come out and get ready for this game and to play. So it's two games in, it's always good to get the games and the experience and we got to continue to grow.

Q. There were a couple drops, but did Alex get out of rhythm because of that pick, perhaps?
PAUL CHRYST: I don't know, because of the pick or not. That was a second and three or four and they had pressure off the edge, you just got to dump it and live to play another down. He's got to be able to respond from it. I think that it's probably not as simple as that that caused this, but that's where you just got to focus, you got to learn from what happened and focus on the next plays and that's where also I think guys around him got to help pick it up. That's an example of an area where we can continue to get better, we need to get better.

Q. Alex did a lot of good things today but there were a few deep balls that seemed like he didn't quite put enough on them and had to have guys come back for them. What do you think is the difference there? What do you think he needs to do in those situations to put the ball where it needs to be down the field?
PAUL CHRYST: I think it's put the ball where it needs to be. That's it, right there.

Q. First half you had a couple drives where they stopped you inside the five, how important do you think that was as far as them staying in the game?
PAUL CHRYST: I think it's a factor in it. We have confidence and that's all, we got to execute down there. And it changes the dynamic of the game. Those opportunities to score are important and when you don't score, that impacts the game.

Q. What did you think of Jonathan's ability to respond after the fumble and does he play a little more mature than what you would think a freshman in a second game would?
PAUL CHRYST: I think that each kid's so different. That's what's fun about what we get to do and being around all the different types of players and personalities and I think that when he came and we were getting to know him and recruiting him, he is mature and he's, I think, a person with great focus and wants to take full advantage of this opportunity. I was proud of the way he was after the fumble and his response and he will learn from it and grow from it and that's good.

Q. Talking about Jonathan, he had three rushing touchdowns today he was one short of tying Melvin with four. What do you think as a freshman he needs to do to truly become a standout in the Big-10 and solidify his ranking?
PAUL CHRYST: I think, one, don't worry about any of that, all the other stuff around him, other than be the best player he can be and continue to grow. Just got done talking to the team, we got to focus on the little things and you start staking up enough of the little things, that adds up to big. And I think Jonathan will be the same. He certainly has talent and he's got himself off to a good start, but there's a long way to go.

Q. It's early, but do you have any word on the severity of Benzschawel's injury and how long he might be out and when he goes out of there, how does it affect the play of the line without him?
PAUL CHRYST: I think that having gotten anything substantial from what's going on with Beau. And any time I think when you lose at any of your starters, there's going to be an impact. But I don't know what's the status is.

Q. What does Jonathan bring to the offense that maybe you haven't had?
PAUL CHRYST: I think that he, potentially, he can give us some big plays that we haven't had a lot of, necessarily, in the running game. I think he gives you also depth. We like Bradrick, obviously Bradrick didn't play today and I thought Chris took some steps forward in certain areas today. I think whenever you can add -- we knew about Bradrick, thought we knew about Chris, and then when you see Jonathan come in and do what he's doing, I think it gives us depth and I think he's capable of being a good football player for us.

Q. FAU obviously had that long touchdown in the first half. What do you think that's about? What did you see on that play?
PAUL CHRYST: Just I think we had a breakdown in the coverage and they found it.

Q. This team has their first big road test next week, do you think this team's ready for that or is there a lot of stuff to?
PAUL CHRYST: Ready or not here it comes, right? We'll make sure they're ready for it.

Q. Chris had a pretty big day on defense today, obviously that last season rehabbing, do you get a sense of what it means for him to be back out there and contributing and the way that he is?
PAUL CHRYST: I think it means a lot. Chris really enjoys the game of football, he enjoys playing it and we have got a number of them that do and that's why, when they miss out on opportunities, that's hard for them. So it's been good to have Chris back and I think that he loves playing the game and that's -- those can also be, that can be infectious. When you get people out there that you know they're having fun, that's, I think it's -- I appreciate seeing it and, more importantly, I think it's fun to be around.

Q. What happened on when you couldn't punch it in from inside the five there? Was it blocking or maybe a young back that has to learn what to do in that instance?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I mean, this is bad for a coach, but we always want to go see the film, right? And I think that it's -- my take away right now is that it's going to, when we look at it there's going to be a little bit of everything. I think that whether we're just on edges instead of truly covering up, whether there was some -- I didn't even see a replay of it, so I don't know, but it is my guess is it's going to be a combination.

Q. PJ has been doing obviously a nice job on kickoffs for you. Did Hintze at least give you an adequate replacement for today?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I thought Zach came in and we had a couple brush backs and what was nice was that you felt confident that you would go in and to have Zach in there -- now we hope that PJ can come back and be healthy -- but I thought he was pretty good on it.

Q. (No microphone.)
PAUL CHRYST: I don't know for sure.

Q. FAU's last offensive drive of the first half, you called that timeout on third down, and ran out of bounds. What did you see there? Was it, was the guy tackled inbounds?
PAUL CHRYST: I heard someone say he was still inbounds. And I thought that -- you know, I got to do a better job of communicating too with the official. I told him I wanted to take it to two and call timeout and get the timeout. That was bad at the end of the half for us to have to cover a kick, too. But that's what I thought I heard upstairs, I couldn't see it on the far end, and wanted to have a chance to see if we could put a drive together.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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