home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 17, 2012

Bret Bielema


COACH BIELEMA:  Give a lot of credit to Ohio State.  A very good football team.  Gives us an opportunity to be at the top of our division with all our guys, players, coaches, support staff, everybody involved, had a lot invested in that week.  A lot going into that game.
And the way the game started, our guys battled back and obviously the last part of the regulation and did a lot of good things. 
Injury‑wise, Robby, don't know much.  I don't think it's catastrophic knee injury.  A strain.  Obviously evaluate that tomorrow.  And obviously we didn't have Chris Borland out there today.  I think he'll join us sometime mid‑week.  He was just not in a position we could put him out there today and feel good about him not reinjuring or wasn't a thing to save or anything. 
If you know Chris Borland, he was fighting at the bit to get out there.  Wasn't in a good enough position to do that physically.  We hope to get him back this week and other than that stayed pretty healthy.
Sorry for our seniors.  They did a lot for us the last four or five years, not to send them out with a win is very difficult to swallow.  But I really think this is an opportunity to grow as young men, as coaches and move forward.  We'll do that.  Questions? 

Q.  Will they be able to take any solace going to Minneapolis; if so, how long will it take?
COACH BIELEMA:  I didn't really touch that topic with them.  I did tell them how much I loved them, how much I appreciate what they've done.  And gave them the plan for tomorrow, to move forward.  That's something we'll kind of talk about that at the end of the year regardless of what goes forward with Penn State.

Q.  How tough a loss is this?
COACH BIELEMA:  Tough.  Tough.  Seniors, those guys (inaudible) I know Montee is hurting.  He's like a man possessed there in the second quarter, fun to watch.  But they'll take this.  And the good news it will make everybody stronger. 
Just sucks to go through it.  I think one of the things I've heard throughout the year this year, it's not what's in‑‑ it's not what's behind us, it's not what's in front of us, it's what's within us. 
And for whatever reason we're having to learn some lessons that are really, really difficult to swallow.  But it will make us better.

Q.  [Question about Curt Phillips] ?
COACH BIELEMA:  Curt's going through the lessons that a first‑time starter has to go through.  Kind of an amazing deal to be his first start at Camp Randall on Senior Day where he gets honored.  Tremendous perseverance.  And a couple of plays that were just all on him, making unbelievable efforts.  Great throws, great catches against a very good football team.
And regardless of what happens, you know, this coming week or the week before what he gave us today was worth its weight in gold.

Q.  On the fumble by Montee, looked like he reached the ball.  You don't really teach that?
COACH BIELEMA:  Talking about running the ball in the end zone.  It's a teaching moment for everybody, players and coaches.  Just grabbed Coach Hammock.  Really teachable. 
And I had this flash in my mind when we were running up to line that play, don't jump, don't jump, because I knew he was doing anything he could to get in the end zone.  And I can't discredit him for the effort.

Q.  Braxton Miller's scramble in the overtime turned out to be key for you guys?
COACH BIELEMA:  In the overtime?  Yeah, some of the edges we were struggling to get off block to get that play on the perimeter, on two of them.  Really can look at those closely just to make sure that we gotta set the edges of our defense better.

Q.  In regulation, you guys used time as good as anyone taking Braxton out of the game?
COACH BIELEMA:  They go as No. 5 goes.  He's a tremendous football player.  Tremendous poise.  He's got a lot of ability to throw the ball, run the ball and manage the game. 
So it was 11 guys.  If we were going to beat Ohio State it was going to take 11 guys on every play.  I think they all believed in that.  We did want to try to keep them inside, just so he didn't have the ability.  But some of his better plays were plays that broke away from the call.

Q.  You talked about setting the edges of the defense. 
COACH BIELEMA:  That's accurate.  There was concern there where we were yelling pretty hard from our sideline, but obviously that didn't get called.

Q.  What did it mean for you to see Montee tie that?
COACH BIELEMA:  I'd like to see him break it.  But he'll get it.  And we'll celebrate it.  Again, I know this has been overplayed but for the media that's here for the first time.
What he's done in the career that he's had, it wasn't like he was a four‑year number one starting tailback.  He had to share the load with a lot of people.  So truly amazing performance.

Q.  The breakup in overtime, that's just a great defensive‑‑
COACH BIELEMA:  That looked like it.  I think they brought pressure.  And obviously the guy in front made a real big play.

Q.  Can you talk about lessons learned in this, two straight home overtime losses, is there anything you can say to your guys, it's that close, or what do you say?
COACH BIELEMA:  A lot of things that we'll talk about.  Obviously just a lot of overtime and play better.  But get down to just one thing going right here, one thing going wrong.  And taking‑‑ just to go through them, sometimes you gotta go through those things to get back to the highs and lows get to the highs and highs.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
COACH BIELEMA:  Looked like it.  And felt comfortable.  And first half we had, we were on the 30‑yard line had‑‑ felt we needed to get to the 25‑yard line going that way.  And the second half when we took the corner because we were kicking with the wind, that was the plan.  And obviously I pulled it.

Q.  Did you feel like you had all the momentum going into overtime?
COACH BIELEMA:  Felt good.  Felt good.  We got the toss.  We were on defense.  And obviously converted a couple of big plays on the edges and the last run up the middle.

Q.  Can you talk about the fourth where Montee was stopped, did you feel that Ohio was going to key on him?
COACH BIELEMA:  Yeah, he's the guy that we go to.  But we went to our bread and butter.  And obviously didn't execute at the point of attack.  There's a play that's been pretty good for us all along.  Obviously didn't convert it.

Q.  (Inaudible) three times in four years.  Was there enough hang time on that? 
COACH BIELEMA:  It looked‑‑ he was kicking into the wind.  I know he was trying to drive the ball just grabbing the guy.  I thought they were trying to set up an edge.  They creased it up the middle.  Obviously I think we had Zoo right in his face there.  And their guy made a big play, and then gasses up to see him.  It was really big, happy with the way we started the game.  And I thought we were a block or two away on some of those punt returns to get a big hit.  But obviously it was a big part of the game.

Q.  The team obviously you're going to win this thing, 14‑0 against one of the best teams in the country.  You come back and almost beat them.  What does that say about this team?
COACH BIELEMA:  I think that's a big part.  Talking to the coaches, we don't really discuss this with the players and stuff, but it's times like these when you really, really find out what kind of people you have.  This is when things would fall apart.  I think this team in similar situations with third string quarterback, offensive linemen rotating in and defensive personnel in and out of the lineup without our best defensive player out there today, Chris Borland, just the guys keep buckling up and playing and really shows the true character of who you are and very, very proud of them.  But being proud of them won't get them a win.  So that part's real.

Q.  There were a lot of running plays on third down, was there something you were trying to take advantage of?
COACH BIELEMA:  Yeah, they're like a play or two away.  You know, some of those bounce plays and being able to get on the edges.  Kind of commit up inside with their interior linemen and what we could get on the edges some of that stuff.
But obviously it didn't work.  Some of the one in the third quarter we wanted to keep the ball on the left half to get field goal opportunity.

Q.  Talk about your decision to go for the punt from the 30‑yard line in the first half. 
COACH BIELEMA:  That's what I said earlier.  Need to get‑‑ from my experience, we come up with a number and I haven't deviated from that.  I go 25 plus.  I would have gone like the 27, maybe 28.  But it was 30 and it ended in the wind.  I didn't feel too big about it.

Q.  Does this lead to a sleepless night, you go back and rehash some of the decisions thinking about what could have been and how long does it take to get over this?
COACH BIELEMA:  Yeah, it's going to be agonizing, and I've got family in, I've got a lot of people that it being a home game that are here to celebrate. 
But as head coach, I don't really lose sleep over things.  It bothers me and stuff like that.  But I'm sure I'll have a honey‑do list when I get home. 
But if you give up when it's easy you don't belong in this profession.  Yeah, it will be a while. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297