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September 1, 2012

Bret Bielema


COACH BIELEMA:  First, just medically, came out of it pretty clean.  Really nobody with significant, right now, with any type of injuries. 
To get out of a game like that as physical as we did, obviously a four‑quarter game, felt very, very pleased with that.  I made reference to our guys, just kind of told them:  Hey, any win is a good win.  But on the same account what we learned today is probably one of the most beneficial teaching tools we could ever secure. 
I think there's a lot of credit that should go to UNI.  I have a lot of respect‑‑ you've heard me say that on film‑‑ I thought they were probably the best FCS team we've ever faced. 
I could see that before we even played them today.  And with their kickers and their punters and the players they had around that quarterback, did a nice job, a bunch of really nice completions.
So first give credit to them.  On the flip side of it, our guys probably played for three quarters of the game a very, very good football game.
I thought they played clean.  We had two penalties early.  But not turning the ball over and not creating anything for a first‑time quarterback to throw up those kind of numbers I thought was very impressive. 
One of the things we always stress is trying to create touchdowns, not field goals in the red zone.  So we have to modify that. 
Bottom line is we kicked the field goals which hadn't been a standard in our fall camp.  So a lot of things that we're going to correct and move forward.  To get that one with a win, I see it all the time in college football‑‑ I walked in the locker room at halftime and knew the score and was all over my staff:  Hey, you let the team hang around‑‑ hang around, they're going to get back in this thing and get more than you want. 
And from my point of view as the head coach, in my twisted mind, it couldn't have worked out any better.  We'll take these corrections and we'll move forward, get ready to play an Oregon State team that I know‑‑ obviously they didn't play this week so they'll have the advantage of film.  But I think a team always makes a‑‑ good teams make improvement from game one to game two, and that will be our mission.  With that, I'll open it up to questions. 

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  I said he had gotten some live contact.  That was the first thing he had done today.  And to finish the game the way he did, there wasn't going to be anybody that could deny him. 
I don't care if that was UNI or Nebraska or anybody else that's left on our schedule.  He was going to secure that win.  You could tell that. 
Obviously the first time down there in that goal line, too, he was hitting that thing up in there pretty good.  I don't know his numbers.  I see we've got 120.  Had a huge catch, too.  I think when you guys have all been peppering me what's he going to do to improve?  We really want to utilize his hands in the passing game.  I think that's a great example right there.  So I think it's hard to shake your head at 120 yards and say that was a pretty good effort. 

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  You know what, Tom, I like the fact that he didn't turn the ball over.  I know that Coach Canada is like every other quarterback coordinator I've ever met; they want perfection. 
And there's going to be some things that he's going to see after he watches the film that he could pick up.  But made some great decisions.  I think that third and whatever it was the pad‑‑ he waited for that play.  He could see it happening. 
We gave him the protection and he hit it.  I think the only way you learn that is by doing it.  So I think a lot of positives right there.  And then just the way he handled the clock there in that last series, there's a lot of teams that screw that up.  And he did a great job with that.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  Well, I mean, down the field in the passing game?  Yeah, I think the big hit there to Abby was a critical one to get that on film.  There was some times where we did try to stretch it a little bit; we went to the empty package, got that first touchdown to Abby was huge. 
So one of the things I loved about Matt and what he's brought to the offense is some of the quick passing, quick hits, and we got a little bit of it out there today, which was good.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  No, I think Matt had a good game plan.  I know we had a couple of sprints.  We thought we'd be able to run the football a little bit.  And obviously we were able to do that.  I was happy to come in at halftime, I think we had 46 snaps to their 15.  That's Wisconsin football.  If we snap the ball 80 to 90 times offensively, usually means we're playing our kind of football. 
Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  It was the same play.  One was a fire zone and then the other one basically almost the exact same scenario.  We actually stopped the play.  And the great thing is it's one of our best players. 
And he's going to be able to take that coaching and move forward.  It's just a great lesson for our defense that every play matters.  You take away‑‑ what I'm going to hear tomorrow in the staff meeting‑‑ you take away the five plays and we play a great game.  Well, you can't.  That doesn't happen in college football.  We'll take the positives and move forward.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  Hemer?  I don't know that.  I know it got batted‑‑ was it Hemer?  I don't know. 

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  No.  I thought that was vintage Montee out there today.  I really did.  He was engaged.  He was eager.  I saw him in pregame warm‑ups and he slapped me as hard as I want to be slapped. 
So I'm like, okay, I think 28's ready to roll.  I think there's some good things up front for us to learn.  We were getting some hats on hats but we weren't really finishing there the way we needed to in the fourth.  So it couldn't have been any better.  It really can't.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  Well, they‑‑ 100percent credit goes to UNI.  They were putting a lot of people down in there, did a lot of things on the perimeter to make sure we couldn't get our outside run game going.  So give credit to them.  Some things we'll have to adjust in our schemes to make sure that that can be able to take advantage of that in the future because obviously everybody's going to get this film.
If I was playing them ourselves, I wouldn't let us run the football either.  I'd put 12 in the box if they let us.  I think that's something that I know we'll see in the future.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  Well, to me we get a lot better out of this than a 42‑0 blowout.  I don't see what that gets.  I know our fans, it kept them in their seats.  And it reminds me‑‑ I don't know why this is‑‑ this team really reminds me a lot my first year. 
And I know‑‑ I'm not just saying it because I've got six new coaches and at that time I had seven.  We played Western Illinois who at that time was a really good FCS team, and we kept them in the game, let them linger around.  That season, it was ridiculous what we did down the stretch. 
So I think there's some things:  You gotta touch a hot stove once.  Once you get burned, you realize you're not going to do it again.  And hopefully our guys learn, hey, you gotta put people away when we can.  And put yourself in a better position in the fourth quarter.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  Yeah, I think, well, we were trying to get him in‑‑ our first plan was get him in on kickoff returns.  We had him back there, if you were paying attention to that.  They were kicking the ball well.  Two that became touchbacks and one I thought he was going to get it, but we really do want to get him involved.  Had a game plan, but never in a situation at the line of scrimmage.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  You know, I will give them credit, because of what they were doing, we didn't bring a lot of pressure pressures, and Chris, I think they were setting protection.  A lot of times I saw two people come his way. 
I wish we could have got better pressure.  Seemed like we were right there like 15 times on all those third down and fourth down conversions.  That's an area that it sounds stupid but you do pass rush every day but you've got to learn game speed pass rush and how much more intense it needs to be.  So that was some good film out there as well.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  I thought so, Tom.  I agree, I asked the guys right away was there something with the hold, I didn't see.  It was just a low kick.  It was a very, very low kick. 
I don't think their guy did anything special.  But I thought Kyle, from Wednesday forward, he really stroked the ball Thursday well.  Obviously some of those looked like they were going‑‑ out of the back of the end zone. 
So there was one, when we flipped it around, came back the other way, it was kind of a knuckle ball we gave them a line drive, got it out to the 26.  But overall kind of pleased what happened in the return game.  Looked like Abby was real close on a couple of those punt returns to get something going.  So I'm happy with that as well.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  Mike, I think two things:  I've never been with them in this situation.  I liked what I saw at halftime.  People were just calm, talking.  I always talked Saturdays need to be the calmest day of the week.  Everybody thinks the exact opposite. 
I've learned that in my coaching profession.  If they see you hyper, if they see you have anxiety, they're sure as heck going to have it.  I liked what happened. 
I wish we could have cleaned things up.  Bottom line, they made some adjustments, came back.  Those two plays, the play we were running there at the end of the game, they went from running our power scheme, which is more our fullback power wrapped, and running straight downhill and some blast and that obviously gave us a‑‑ secured us the win.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  I think anytime you've got 20 in there and 28 in there, they're out wide, running around in motion, creates some match‑up issues.  And Forest was streaking.  I know I couldn't have got in front of him, but I could have ran into that one.  That was pretty well designed.  It's been hitting all camp and I give credit to Coach Canada and those guys scheming it up. 
I liked him.  I just bumped into J.J.  J.J. was here.  You want to talk about a great family.  J.J. contacted us.  He didn't want to have anybody know he was here because he wanted his brother's first game to mean something.  I thought Derek would have a big day you saw he dropped the one, he's going to be very hard on himself.  But I couldn't be happier with Derek and where he's at.  Sherrod and him, I think, give us a nice little combination, 1‑2 there.  And got to see J.J.  I know he was excited to his brother's performance here today as well.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  I do.  I think down the stretch, you know, to have an opportunity to play the 12 games that we've got guaranteed, you've got to have depth.  You've got to have people that have been there, done that.  I thought our wide receivers got a lot of guys through. 
Today, when we got up to our pregame meal, I always excuse the seniors first to go through the chow line, and there's nine guys that got up.  I said juniors and half the room stood up we have a huge junior class of really good players. 
And then the rest are those sophomores and redshirt true freshmen.  The good thing is young players get better in a hurry with experience.  And I think that's what we'll see.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  Charlie would be a better one to hit up on that.  I knew we felt real good with Hemer and Beau.  And we thought Warren was really coming along.  And that's why you have depth.  Warren‑‑ Warren gets in there in the fourth quarter and he got minimal snaps in the first half, that's why he can go a little bit.  That was our plan.  Wisconsin football might not be the prettiest thing to watch but we get Ws.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  I did.  Tom, I thought he handled the week a lot better than he had been.  Just the detail that you need.  So I think it was good to get him in there.  I really don't know how him and Costi played.  I don't remember any play looking bad, per se, but I'm excited where that's at and Dallas alone should get full clearance next week.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  I thought he was great.  He came up to me.  I don't remember making that big a deal‑‑ he started those games but he won that job by what he did here.  He didn't win it‑‑ I think he had done it in Maryland. 
But bottom line, this was his first start here.  I know he had everybody and their mother from his family here.  I think he had like 30 tickets.  And that brings things, and let alone the other 84,000 people. 
You're playing in front of your family and friends for the first time.  This is a big deal.  Wisconsin football is pretty good.  And he's the starting quarterback.  I thought he handled it very well.  I'm excited because I think he's a kid that will take coaching very, very well.  And my guess is you're going to see a better game out of him next week.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  Yeah, I really‑‑ I understand‑‑ everybody beats me up.  We schedule teams that fit our‑‑ that try to get us in.  There's a lot of FBS schools that I'd play rather than those guys.  They're a really, really good football team.  And you see it all the time and all that it goes.  And I give a lot of credit.  I've always felt this. 
I remember when we were at all the other schools prior to coming here, we had good teams and we played an Eastern Illinois team when I was at Kansas State. 
And the quarterback was throwing it all over the place.  Romo.  And I'm like he's a pretty good player.  And I think UNI‑‑ I know they're ranked 9.  I would rank them No. 1 in the FCS from what I know.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  You know what, Ike, groin issue.  There's a lot of guys.  What was the other one? 

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  Cody sustained a concussion back probably two weeks ago or so and so.  He's concussed right now.  From an injury standpoint, I think Vince Spiegel, we're getting an x‑ray, we might get him back next week. 
There's a good chance we'll get Chase Hammond back in there as well.  And there's a bunch of other guys in jerseys where some of our guys that weren't in the 105 are out there for the first time.

Q.  ( Question off microphone )
COACH BIELEMA:  You're going to write that?  You want to write it?  Okay.  I do want to stretch the field vertically, yes.  I think anytime you can stretch the field vertically it obviously opens up our underneath game. 
And again what I was happy about Matt made, Canada made corrections down there, he saw the way they were adjusting and made that play happen with number four, Abbrederis on the first touchdown pass. 
So some quick thinking out there.  I thought our kids were engaged and into it and that was pleasant to watch.  So I heard Matt barking on the phone and guys get excited because they see it's going to happen and it obviously did.

Q.  (Off microphone)
COACH BIELEMA:  Well, the thing I think I've always been excited about is you felt if Danny came in, he's a two‑year guy unless he plays too good then he might leave us. 
But he's a guy that it's not a one‑year wonder; it's one of those deals.  But I know everybody's going to write it.  They're two totally different people.  Two totally different quarterbacks.  They're both great competitors, and hopefully we're going to get better. 
I think the part that we found out today was he's very coachable and he's a guy that's into the game.  He's a gym rat.  He's a guy that really, really likes to be‑‑ we were getting in on him early because he wanted to congratulate everybody after we have a first down, he's going around patting‑‑ I'm like:  Buddy, we need to keep moving, the change going.  He needed to play with our guys for the first time, too. 

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