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October 20, 2018

Paul Chryst

Madison, Wisconsin

Wisconsin - 49, Illinois - 20

PAUL CHRYST: Was proud of the effort that the players, coaches put in this week. It's good to win. That game had a little bit of everything in it. I think there's enough that we did well to give us a chance to win, get the win. Certainly some areas we got to continue to keep working on and clean up. A lot of guys contributed. It's good to win today.


Q. You mentioned the areas you want to clean up. What is your concern at this point, even though you won, defense or some turnovers that allowed Illinois to get a little life at times?
PAUL CHRYST: Well, I mean, I think they're all going to be important. You never want to turn the ball over. Certainly they made some plays. They're a talented team. There's talent on that team. Again, I have a ton of respect for Coach Smith.

You play the game, but not going to rank which one is more important or the other. Just got to keep finding ways to get better.

Q. Defense has been dealing with a lot of injuries, yet got five takeaways in the first half. Why do you think they were so effective in that area? What have your impressions been by the way this group has responded?
PAUL CHRYST: I've been proud of their response. It was great having Bondoc, who showed up, had a pick, had a cause fumble. We didn't get it. Had some noticeable fits, and tackles in the run game. There's a guy that's been doing a ton for this program. To see him get his opportunity, then do well with it, that's awesome.

I think some of the younger DBs, Rashad Wildgoose, coming in, continues to take advantage of the reps he's getting. I think what helps the defense, you still got some great stability. T.J. Edwards has an early pick, (indiscernible) has been playing well, he has a pick in the game. Ryan Connelly did a number of things.

They don't have to do it alone. But, you know, guys need to step in, need to step up. They've been doing that. Certainly, like we were talking in the first question, there's areas we can get better, but I'm proud of the way they battled and fought through. Really everyone. The response is as important as to what happened. I thought there were a number of people on all sides of the ball that responded well.

Q. How much was the wind and the snow a factor in the first half?
PAUL CHRYST: It was real. I thought the kids embraced it. But it was coming. I think it was a factor in some of the turnovers, takeaways that we got. The wind was all day. Yet I felt like we could kind of cut through it when we needed to. The kicking game, good in both directions.

I think it was real. I don't know in the end. You don't know what those plays would be like without the snow or without the wind. But it was blowing pretty good. I did, I loved that the kids had fun with it.

Q. I think on Thursday you said that Ginkel got to practice every day this week. Did you see a more active guy from start to finish today?
PAUL CHRYST: You know, even in the games where he hasn't played as many snaps, he impacts it. It's fun to see him out there a lot. Really, I think when you look back at it, we'll find a number of guys had their moments, made some plays.

You have some pressures on them. I know Gink did, Zach did. It was good. But hopefully it continues to come out of this one all right and continue to get healthier. Gink is a really good football player.

Q. How would you assess Alex's performance today? Off at times, but made a couple big throws.
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I mean, that's exactly I think accurate. Had a couple that weren't great. But I see what he was seeing. Liked his decision making on that. Obviously the picks, you want to look at a little bit closer and see. But I thought he made some really good plays.

Best part about Alex is he keeps playing, doesn't let the previous play, good or bad, affect what's happening next.

Q. Coaches always preach being ready for opportunities. How ready for the opportunity was Evan Bondoc? From what you saw, was he maybe a little amped up? Did he come back down to where he needed to be?
PAUL CHRYST: I thought that he was -- I thought temperament-wise, he was right where you want him to be. You could ask him, maybe I'm wrong. But he seemed like he was himself.

Bondie has worked a ton. You don't just get ready for this opportunity last week or this week. It's been stuff he's been doing for his whole career here. Like I said, it was fun.

Our players appreciate Bondie. When he does make plays, not just in helping us win, but for his sake, a lot of people are excited.

Q. In the second quarter, Reggie Corbin had an 80-yard run. What was your mentality after that of regrouping the team and moving forward?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I mean, like we thought coming in, they're certainly an offense that's capable of big plays. He did a good job of taking it back. Obviously we didn't stop it.

Yet I thought one of the strengths of this team is responding. You've got to turn the page, try to learn what you can from previous plays, but go forward. I thought our guys did a good job of that throughout the day.

Q. Jack Sanborn had the forced fumble today. What has he done to be able to find a role on this team?
PAUL CHRYST: I think Jack has been working. He's earning the right for those opportunities. Been playing on special teams. He does a good job of working during the week. He's smart enough to see what's ahead of him, too, learn from them.

So coming in we wanted to play all four of the inside backers. I think we'll look back at the tape and see all four did some good things.

Q. Taiwan carried the ball really well today, over a hundred yards, two touchdowns. What did you see from him, the opportunity he had?
PAUL CHRYST: I love how he ran. I thought he ran behind his pads. Certainly doing some good stuff up front.

I think Taiwan was how he's been all year. When you get a chance to get some plays, run. Last week we didn't. We weren't as good on third down, fewer plays.

But I thought he ran hard, ran behind his pads. I thought it was big. The long run he had, that came at a good time for us. It was big.

Thank you.

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