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ROSE BOWL GAME MEDIA CONFERENCE


December 4, 2011


Bret Bielema

Chip Kelly


THE MODERATOR:テつ I'd like to welcome everyone on behalf of the Tournament of Roses to the BCS conference call for the Rose Bowl game.テつ I'd like to introduce head coach for the Oregon Ducks and Pac‑12 Champions, Chip Kelly.テつ Welcome, Coach.
COACH KELLY:テつ Thank you.テつ Thank you, I am really honored to get a chance to go back to the Rose Bowl.テつ We had a good experience there two years ago, And for our school to get to their third BCS game in three years just says a lot about the guys we have in our program and how hard they play.
I'm really proud to have an opportunity to represent our school against an outstanding Wisconsin team.テつ I don't get to watch a lot of college football because we're playing, but I watched the whole game last night against Michigan State.テつ It was one for the ages.
It was a great college football game to watch just to see how hard the kids from Wisconsin competed and making plays all over the field.テつ I think it's going to be a great game, and we're excited to be a part of it.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Great.テつ Thank you, Coach.
Next up I'd like to introduce the head coach for the Wisconsin Badgers and Big Ten Champions, Coach Bielema.テつ Coach, welcome.
COACH BIELEMA:テつ Very excited to be a part of the Rose Bowl for two years back‑to‑back and have an opportunity to play Oregon.テつ Chip Kelly is one of the good guys in the world of college football, and I'm very excited to compete in a game against him.
For us at Wisconsin to come back from two losses that were very difficult to deal with and to battle ourselves back and play in the Big Ten Championship game to be the first time ever to win the Big Ten Championship game and earn us a right to play in the granddaddy of them all in the Rose Bowl and be a part of everything that it is, is truly, truly special.テつ Very excited about the opportunity, and I think our kids will enjoy every minute of it.テつ We're excited to be back.

Q.テつ I don't know if you've had any opportunity to see much of Oregon to this point, but if you have, when you look at that offense, what is your initial gut reaction about trying to defend it?
COACH BIELEMA:テつ Obviously, because of the exposure that Oregon's had over the last couple of years playing three straight BCS games, and I've watched them quite a bit.テつ It's a tremendous challenge, obviously, fast‑paced.テつ The great thing about this bowl game match‑up is it's kind of like the direct opposites of offensive philosophy.
Obviously, Chip and Oregon like to score at a very rapid rate, and we like to hold the ball and score as often as possible for the most amount of time.テつ It's a very unique situation, and something that we're excited about to play in.

Q.テつ Does the traditional Pac‑12/Big Ten match‑up mean anything more to you guys or do you just want the best opponent available?
COACH KELLY:テつ Yeah, I think it means a lot in the landscape of college football now with all the expansion and things going on.テつ I'm a little bit more of a traditionalist.テつ I've always been watching the Rose Bowl growing up, it was always Pac‑10/Big Ten.テつ Now it's Pac‑12/Big 12, slash 10.テつ We've added some teams.テつ But Wisconsin's a staple in that conference, and we're excited.
I think that's the way it should be.テつ It should be the Big Ten and the Pac‑12 in this game.テつ I think that is one of the neat things that we can still look at as the traditional match‑up.
COACH BIELEMA:テつ I would echo the same thoughts.テつ I think for us to have a traditional Pac‑10/Big Ten match‑up and for both programs to be on the scale they are right now, for us to be in two back‑to‑back BCS games and Oregon being three speaks volumes about where the two programs are at in the world of college football, and the players too.
You've got some of the premier players in the world of college football.テつ Obviously, their running back, our running back, and several other players along the way.テつ It's going to be a great build up for a great game.

Q.テつ Third straight appearance.テつ Things that you took from the last two in terms of preparation and the build‑up to it, anything that will affect your preparation this month?
COACH KELLY:テつ Yeah, we look at everything as we get moving here.テつ What we've done good in the past two years and what we think we can improve on.テつ I think that is the process for anybody in this field.テつ You're never going to be the same.
I think you've got to look‑‑ we take a long, hard look at everything we do.テつ We say we like how we did this, and we don't like how we did that.テつ We need to improve there.テつ But I think the fact that there's a core group of guys that have been with us for the last two, I think they'll set the tone for the younger kids and how we're supposed to approach this.

Q.テつ Coach, can you give us your thoughts on what you saw from Wilson and Ball last night and just your general feelings about Wisconsin's offense?
COACH KELLY:テつ It's actually really fun to watch.テつ I will say this, I think Russell Wilson is the best receiving quarterback in the country.テつ He's got a couple catches on the season.テつ Montee Ball, not only can he score 38 touchdowns and run all over the place and catch the ball out of the back field, but the ball he threw on the half back throw back was an unbelievable pass.
I think between Wilson and Ball and Toon, Abbrederis, Duckworth and the tight end, they've got a lot of weapons.テつ It's not just a mistake.テつ I think people would look and say it's a big, strong, offensive line that runs the ball with the complement of Russell.テつ I've been a huge fan of Russell when he was at N.C. State.
Then, obviously, watching what he did in his first year‑‑ his only year at Wisconsin throwing for almost 73% completion, 31 touchdowns, three interceptions.テつ I think you're playing arguably against the best quarterback/running back combination in college football right now.
It's fun to watch them on tape.テつ Hopefully it won't be as fun when we see them in person.テつ But it's going to be a battle trying to shut those guys down.

Q.テつ Chip, I think a lot of the casual college football fan knows a lot of you guys and your offense, but they probably don't know some of the guys on the defense.テつ But I know Rick Neuheisel was complimentary of them forcing turnovers and things like that.テつ I'm just curious, what has been the key to your defense helping out your offense, getting the ball back and getting them going as well?
COACH KELLY:テつ I think it's probably the same thing that Bret goes through.テつ I think both of us get notoriety on what we do offensively, but you don't win championships unless you have a great defense, and I think both schools do.
For our guys on the defensive side of the ball, we've got depth and we can play four or five linebackers.テつ We can play eight defensive linemen.テつ We play a lot of guys in the secondary.テつ We only have 14 seniors total on this team and only ten scholarship seniors on the team.テつ But really I think how the young guys emerged, especially our young corners, to help us in our pass defense to compliment some of the guys that have been here before.
But our linebacker Josh Kaddu and Michael Clay are playing well right now.テつ Dion Jordan at the defensive line spot is another kid that I think is playing really well for us.テつ And then we have two really good strong two safeties in Eddie Pleasant and John Boyett that anchor it back there to go with the youth we have at corner.

Q.テつ Given the interesting offensive versus defensive match‑up in this game, is there anyone in your individual conferences?テつ Like is there a team that presents the same sort of challenges for Oregon in the Pac‑12 or a team like Oregon that Wisconsin faces in the Big Ten in terms of comparative match‑up?
COACH BIELEMA:テつ Nothing really jumps out to me coming to Oregon.テつ It's such a unique system offensively that it's going to present obviously a very big challenge for us.テつ I think the part that is intriguing more than anything is these bowl games you want to have unique match‑ups.テつ For us to be able to play well again in this environment, it's going to be so unique that it's going to draw a lot of attention and hopefully everything the Rose Bowl wants.
COACH KELLY:テつ For us, I think they're more along the lines of two real good teams are USC and Stanford, they're more of a pro‑style attack like those guys.テつ But neither USC or Stanford has a running back like Montee Ball.テつ That is the one thing that sets them apart.テつ Both USC and Stanford have outstanding quarterbacks that are Heisman candidates, and Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley.
But I also think their quarterback Russell Wilson is in the Heisman conversation himself.テつ So I think similar from a standpoint that they run the same type of offense.テつ But I think the weapons that we're going to face that Bret's going to bring in there are a little different than what we've seen all year long.

Q.テつ Do you guys feel that this is kind of a redemption bowl?テつ The fact that in Oregon's case losing the last two years and Wisconsin losing the Rose Bowl last year?
COACH KELLY:テつ I don't feel that way.テつ I think every year each team is different, and there are a lot of teams that played on our '09 team against a good Ohio State team that aren't here any longer.テつ We lost 23 or 24 seniors from last years team that played in the National Championship, so I think every year's different.
We don't look at what transpired in the past to be motivation of where to go in the future.テつ We know we're playing against an outstanding team, and we're going to give it our best effort and our preparation to get down there and see what we can do against Wisconsin.
COACH BIELEMA:テつ I think the same thing is true for us.テつ We played the Rose Bowl a year ago, but the 2011 season is its own journey within itself.テつ For us to lose the two games that we did and to battle ourselves back the last four weeks of the season and last night to win the way we did against Michigan State is a journey in itself.
For us to be rewarded the opportunity to play Oregon and everything that they stand for is truly special.テつ As a coach, you just wanted to live in the year that you're in, and everybody wants to draw comparisons to other years, but you really truly embrace it and enjoy the opportunity you have on a year‑to‑year basis.
This year takes us back to Pasadena and one of the greatest environments in the world of college football.

Q.テつ Is the Oregon State film the most valuable thing to break down over the next couple weeks?
COACH BIELEMA:テつ I think for us to have an opportunity to play Oregon State earlier in the year, and obviously Coach Chryst has a lot of ties to that program as well.テつ To be one of the first to watch‑‑ I haven't watched a stitch of film to Oregon yet.テつ But I'm going to get through the weekend and have an opportunity to watch them tomorrow.
The great thing is you have so much good film out there on a quality opponent, just to truly embrace them and enjoy the environment.テつ It should be truly special.

Q.テつ Covering this game last year I got to answer a lot of questions about the match‑up for TCU on defense.テつ How do you anticipate preparing for that speed that Oregon runs out on offense and the actual speed of guys like LaMichael James?
COACH BIELEMA:テつ Well you hit the nail on the head.テつ I think to get a chance to play and face them both.テつ Chip and I talked last year.テつ It was the like opposite ends of the spectrum.テつ They want to run as many plays as they can and we want to slow it down the best we can.テつ It will be fun in that world.
But LaMichael James and all he brings to the table with Montee Ball, you have two of the premier running backs in the world of college football on the same field.テつ It's going to be a unique challenge and one that we'll embrace the opportunity to prepare for it.テつ When we get to January 2nd, it will be very, very special.

Q.テつ Is there anything you feel you can do in the next few weeks in practice to try to replicate what you're talking about?
COACH BIELEMA:テつ No, you know.テつ We've got our student manager working on the pop‑up cards and the face cards on the sidelines so our kids can look to that and get the same feel for what Oregon does.
We'll probably have a couple different scout teams trying to replicate the speed of how Oregon's offense will come at you and try to simulate the tempo.テつ But it's going to be a very unique experience and one that our guys are going to have to be locked into.

Q.テつ Chip, when you made that comment, seemingly jokingly, about drinking Dr.Pepper and mailing everything with IUPS, was that just you having fun in the moment or did the sponsors have anything to do with that?
COACH KELLY:テつ Just a little levity in the situation.

Q.テつ Coach, for those of us out here in Oregon, can you take us through the circumstances that led to Russell Wilson's transfer and then kind of what he's meant to the team this year?
COACH BIELEMA:テつ Yeah, we had kind of a unique situation here at Madison.テつ We had our two most experienced and veteran quarterbacks.テつ Curt Phillips, who is from Tennessee, Curt is on the rehab of his third ACL surgery, and Jon Budmayr has gone through some nerve damage in his throwing arm, so that took those guys out of the season.
Russell reached out to us.テつ He's a guy that played at N.C. State for three years and had the opportunity because he graduated early to dive into the world of fifth‑year senior transfer quarterbacks.
When his fax came across my desk, it kind of intrigued me a little bit.テつ I reached out to him.テつ As you guys get to know him during the next month, he's an exceptional human being.テつ He's a great quarterback, great player.テつ Offensively, I've never seen anybody be able to do the things that he's been able to do this year.テつ But he's just a great person and a great fit for our program.
We recruited him pretty hard.テつ It got down to us and Auburn, and fortunately for us we were able to win out and put him in the position he's in today.テつ He's helped Wisconsin win 11 games this year.テつ As much as I enjoy that, I'm going to enjoy watching Russell Wilson win for the rest of his life.テつ He's a kid that truly embodies everything you want as a college football player on and off the field.

Q.テつ Chip, when Bret talks about the contrasting styles to offense, are you surprised at all how productive and prolific Wisconsin's offense has been given its style?
COACH KELLY:テつ No, at not at all.テつ Number one, they have a great scheme and really understand how to attack you and will make you pay for not being sound defensively.テつ If you want to gang up and stop their running game with Montee Ball, then they're putting the ball in Russell's hands and throwing to Toon and those other guys.
Usually when you're playing a team, you're hoping that they're one‑dimensional.テつ It makes it easy for you.テつ You have to defend the pass and defend the run.
But a team that's multi‑dimensional like Wisconsin really presents the ultimate problem for you on the defensive side of the ball.テつ I'm not surprised at all.
You kind of follow scores during the year when it just seems like it's a pinball number sometimes when you're watching Wisconsin games.テつ We get to see a few of them because we usually have the games on at breakfast when we're out here.テつ So the 9:00 o'clock kickoff for us at our breakfast here is the noon‑time kickoff out there.テつ So we've seen a few Big Ten games where we're eating pregame meal and getting ready for our games.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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