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October 12, 2019

Paul Chryst

Madison, Wisconsin

PAUL CHRYST: Certainly proud of the group today. Appreciate how they worked all week and came out today. Took a lot of guys to make it happen; appreciate that.

Obviously as you go back and think about key points in the game, there are a number of guys that are part of that. Big one was coming out the second half and defense gets a stop and then they get the fake punt and then come back and two sacks, and then end up getting the ball, I think it was on the 8, and offense put together a drive. Good mix. I thought offensively there was a good mix of running pass that helped, and to be able to get that was big.

But appreciate what the guys did, coaches, players. Gave us a chance and guys went out and played today. It was fun to watch.

Q. Paul, just a couple quick observations from you. What did you think of your protection for Jack, and then what he was able to do with that and find his receivers?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I thought we were kind of prodding at the end of the first half. We took a sack. I thought all in all, protection was good. I thought Jack was seeing things well, was in rhythm, and kind of worked through -- he had some where he had to work through it, and I thought he was on. I thought the fourth down was a quick read and saw what was happening, and had another big one kind of end up hitting Ferg on a corner route. He kind of worked through that one nicely.

I thought he was good. Gave guys a chance to make plays, and that was big.

Q. I know there is no magic formula here, but can you explain why this team has played so well in the first half to establish leads? Is it execution of game plan? Being locked in? Something else?
PAUL CHRYST: Well, I mean, you hope it's all the above, right? You know, I think they certainly have been doing a good job during the week of preparing and kind of knowing what's coming and getting ready to go.

You know, you never take it for granted, but this group likes playing, so when you get an opportunity to play, they're going to be ready. You appreciate it, right, because it's not easy.

Q. Does it speak to the confidence you've gained in Jack when you go for those fourth down plays like that? Does it help you make that decision that you seem to have more confidence in him now?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I think it's not just in Jack, but I think it's confidence in your group. You know, whether it's -- you don't know, right? You don't know if it's going to work or not, but you trust in each other, the defense, the guys around it. This group cares about each other. Everyone knows what it takes. You've got to put yourself out there at times.

I think they appreciate that and they're going to have each other's backs. Each week you get tested differently, and yet I think if you can kind of keep building on that throughout it it's pretty good.

Q. You mentioned the long touchdown drive after you guys got that stop in the third quarter. Long touchdown drives have been kind of a consistent theme throughout the year. What are some of the keys that you have found to staying on the field and continuing those long drives?
PAUL CHRYST: You know, it comes down to execution. Guys got to make plays. Obviously got to convert on third down. Couple times we got to use fourth maybe to get it, right, but that's got to be a manageable situation.

I think when you look -- you always go back and look at it. It's guys doing things to give yourself a chance and the someone takes advantage of that.

Q. You mentioned the pass run. I'm guessing you knew it was going to be tough to run against Michigan State, and they contained Jonathan for the most part. How important was it to put on film, okay, they stopped our running game or at least held us in check, but we can still beat with you with our quarterback making plays to a variety of guys?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I mean everyone -- it's no secret that everyone -- the plan is going to be how do you stop JT or minimize him, right? You knew that his going in. For us to be the best offense we can be we've got to be able to move the ball a number of different ways.

I thought Joe did a good job today designing some things. KP, that was a big run on the jet sweep. Cruick did a nice job. So finding ways. John Chenal had a couple --I think that was the start of the one drive. He had I think like an eight, nine yard run.

Takes a lot of guys. You want it to, right? You want everyone to have ownership in it. There were some things that were fun to see. On KP's long run, Q did a heck of a job. I thought the touchdown, you know, Jack gave him a chance and he went up and competed. There were a lot of guys contributing, and you appreciate that.

Q. Did you get a since on the field at the end how important it was for the players to preserve that shut-out?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I mean, it's a competitive group. Any time guys are out there they want to do well. Certainly guys want to preserve that.

Q. Talk about Jake Ferguson's impact. Mentioned him on that corner route. He got tripped up. Just how he played today.
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, Ferg showed up a number of different -- in the passing game and I think we'll look back and see, I can't tell you exactly, but did some good stuff with the run game. Ferg is a good player, and those certainly were big plays. One was a fourth down and other was a third down I think, so it was -- like I said he's a good player. It was good. We needed him. He had a couple other and we had a couple out routes to him and it was good.

We needed him. Everyone needed him.

Q. You mentioned the preparation the guys had during the week. Every group is different. Is this a group you need to do a lot of steering during the week to get them focused, or is this a group that polices itself, so to speak?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I mean, I appreciate this group a bunch. I think you're always trying to do your part as a coach, and yet I know that we've got good leadership. I think part of good leadership is also having groups, guys that want to follow, right? That's a big part of it.

You like to think that we're all kind of doing our part.

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