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November 20, 2021

Paul Chryst

Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Postgame Press Conference

Wisconsin - 35, Nebraska - 28

PAUL CHRYST: Well, certainly proud of the effort and reliance and perseverance that our guys showed. And I know -- I know a lot of what I say, I say a lot of. That's not my problem (laughing).

But it does take a lot of guys to win a game. And once, again, I think that a great example, you know, a lot of contributors. And certainly, you know, there's -- you kind of have your headliners.

You know, Braelon had a heck of a game. And you're going to look back and I think we'll see on the film, you know, a number of guys played extremely well.

But it was good to embrace. And the kick return unit gets us started. And, you know, I think upfront, certainly, did some good things in the offensive line.

You know, I think defensively, two takeaways, we were able to take advantage of one, and we weren't able to take advantage of the second one. You know, obviously, at the end of the a big stop, I think you're going to look back in the first half and a couple plays and stops that were big.

But most of all, I was proud of the way we just kept playing. And there was -- there was -- it was a good sideline that way. You know, guys just kept picking each other up and get to keep going to do this.

And this was a good football team. We knew that going in. And I appreciate the efforts that went into not just today, but all week. And I want them to enjoy that and then we get to move forward tomorrow.

Q. Paul, I think both you and Jim might have said during the week that they moved the ball pretty much on everyone. Did they have you guys off-kiltered from the start with kind of that opening series?

PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I mean, they made some plays, certainly. And, you know, I know a couple of them, we kind of thought they might go to those early. You know, and I thought -- that was one -- you know, we give up one and guys gave it up and came back and made plays there.

It's no different than KP has the big one down the field and then comes back. And I thought that's what -- that's a big part of this game, is how do you keep coming back at it.

And, you know, it's a good offense. And we knew going in either -- the quarterback's a heck of a player and he's dynamic. And we knew there's guys around him that could make plays and do things. And, yet, guys just kept playing.

And I think that's, you know, one of those where it does take everyone. And I think there was some good answers. You know, so there was never a -- you know, they made some plays, you know? And we made some plays. But it was a good football game.

Q. Paul, do you feel like when the offense had to, it responded? I mean, the defense has been carrying a tremendous load for a lot of the season.


Q. But today, that script was really flipped. Did you -- there was a couple times when the game's tied and the offense has to do something and it did.

PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, that was -- you knew it -- like you say going in, you got to -- you always talk about it, but to do it and then answer a score with a score.

And that's when I thought we had a couple opportunities and we didn't, you know, maybe to extend it and it always felt like it was a one-possession game. And I thought we had some chances where we could have made and we didn't take advantage of that.

But I thought, yeah, it was a great answer to it. And then I thought, you know, some guys made some plays. But I did, I liked the way they were just throughout the game.

You know, it was the perseverance. And then I think that takes some toughness and some grit. And saw it from, really, all three units.

Q. Just what does it say about your team, that you were able to win on a day when your defense wasn't playing its usual dominant self, that you didn't need them to kind of carry you?

PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I always thought, If you're going to win, it takes a team. And, you know, there's a lot of good our defense did do.

You know, we knew going in this was a really good offense. And so, you know, I don't look at it as, like -- you know, there was some tremendous efforts and some plays being made.

But you knew going in there -- you didn't know, but you had an idea going into it, it was going to be one of those games where you're going to have to score some points and it was going to take everyone, and then having your special teams kind of push it over the edge and, you know, be a contributing factor. And that's really what it ended up being.

Q. Paul, I think back in camp even, your special teams coach said he thought Bracey would eventually be able to give you guys a lift but he hurt at the time. Can you share something with us, what his issue was, why it took so long, and why the decision just out of the blue just to say, Hey, we're going to look at you today?

PAUL CHRYST: Well, I think he was cleared for the first time this week. So that's what led to this week being the week.

And, you know, it was just a procedure he had done last offseason. We thought it would be -- he'd be back sooner and didn't. And, you know, just kept going. And so, that's why this week we see him, because he got cleared this week.

Q. Paul, a lot of programs have fallen to a one and three hole and might not be able to come back the way yours have. I know there's a lot of factors that go into that, but what do you think has led to this type of turnaround that's put your team in a position to potentially win the division next week?

PAUL CHRYST: I think that, you know, the group has been consistent, you know, with who they've been and how they've approached it.

You know, I think it's one that, You know what, when their highs aren't too high and their lows around too low. And I think it's a group that -- I think it was important and I think it carries when -- early, this is important. And I think it's just as important now as it -- it's a group that truly cares about each other. It's A group that truly cares and wants to be the best it can be.

To do that, you got to keep working and you can't fall into the trap. And you know what, when things are early, you can't listen to the outside world. And when it's going good, you can't listen to it.

We know. We know who we are, we know what we got, we know what we need to do. And I think they've done a good job of focusing on that. And, you know, it's a group that likes playing football and like playing together.

And I think that was consistent the whole time. You know, I felt that in camp and felt there. And you know what, we -- you know, you got to do the things to give yourself a chance to win. And when you do, you got a better chance to win. When you don't, it makes it harder.

Q. Paul, you mentioned Braelon Allen. I know we ask about him almost every week it seems like. How do you think he's consistently done this week in and week out, you know, the big plays, big runs that you were maybe missing in the last couple of years?

PAUL CHRYST: I think -- what, JT's been gone how many years? Yeah. (Laughing.)

You know, I think it's kind of what we were talking about before. He certainly has talent. And that's what I thought this group has.

You know, it's important to him. He wants -- he cares about this team and wants to contribute in any way he can. And, you know, Chez gets hurt and his role is a little bit more different, there's a little more put on him.

But he works at it. And you'll take every -- he's awesome to be around. He's going to take every coaching point there is, you know?

Today was a big day for him, getting a chance to meet Melvin. That's his hero. And, you know, I thought it was pretty good just seeing those two together.

But he just -- he's got a good mix like JT, in that he's humble and yet he's an unbelievable worker. And I think along with that, you know, he's got confidence that he can contribute. And you know what, he's still learning the position.

And I think he's learning at a pretty good pace. You've seen the growth. Everyone's seen it, right?

I mean, earlier he was going to run a little high, and now he's running -- great patience on that last one. You could see it. And then all of sudden, hit it. And he had some big time plays for us today.

Q. Paul, you've talked at various times about what Collin Wilder has provided off the field in terms of a leader. What did he give you today? I know you didn't capitalize on both of them. But what did he give you today in terms of helping that defense?

PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I mean, it was -- any time, certainly two takeaways. But I thought he was physical in the run game. I mean, you saw that.

And, you know, he shows up and, you know, on special teams. But I think he gives you -- he gives you energy. And we talked about that all year, you know, that it is contagious.

And, you know -- but that's been who -- that's been consistent. That's what he's been all year. And I think that -- again, I appreciate the leadership that we've had and the number of leaders.

He was certainly -- I thought it was a heck -- the first one was a heck of a pick. You know, he truly made that play. And he was -- those are big plays for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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