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January 1, 2011

Bret Bielema

Scott Tolzien

J.J. Watt


TCU - 21

THE MODERATOR: Coach, if you could provide a brief opening statement, we'll turn it over for questions.
COACH BIELEMA: Absolutely. First off, give all the credit in the world to TCU, that is not just lip service. That is a very good football team. They're not undefeated for a reason.
They played very well in all three phases of the game today, and executed when it mattered. I thought our guys competed for four quarters, never stopped believing, but unfortunately came up short today.
But hopefully the scar that we're going to take from this game can get us back here sooner than later.
For the guy that's return out of that locker room, I really think they enjoyed the taste of success, and hopefully they'll keep that taste in their mouths and want to return to it next year.
The guys leaving the locker hopefully they're better men than they were when they came. They can help us carry our traditions that have been established here. With that, I'll pass it on and move it along.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Bielema.

Q. Coach, it looks like you had someone open on the two-point play. Can you just give us your thoughts?
COACH BIELEMA: Yeah, that two-point play is something that is worked on and repped for TCU for the last three weeks. Had an opportunity to get it in there, but their defender made a nice read on the quarterback's eyes, got his hands up and blocked it.

Q. Coach, when you saw the success you had running the ball on that drive, was there ever any thought of running it on the two point?
COACH BIELEMA: On the two point, that was something we saw on film, and obviously the guy was open; but you've got to get the defender's hands down in that situation. Hindsight is 20/20. I felt confident with the call, Paul felt confident, and we went with it.

Q. On your first drive of the second half, TCU made two critical defensive plays, one was the number 7 pass intended for Toon near the goal line, the other was when Carder sacked Scott. How pivotal do you think those plays were, not only through that drive but through the game as a whole?
COACH BIELEMA: Well, there are a number of plays that are going to stand out in my mind. Nick tried to make a play on that ball, but the defender and I thought their corners played well that day and batted it away at the last second. Then they brought weak-side pressure on that play. I think they hit Scotty and knocked us out of a potential field goal situation. So that is a big one.
But this game wasn't decided on one play or two plays. It was probably an accumulation of 10 to 12 plays that we failed to execute, and they did; so hat's off to them.

Q. Can you talk about except for the first and last drives of the game, how your offense was never really able to get going?
COACH BIELEMA: I'll defer that one.

Q. There was so much focus on your running game and whether you'd be able to use your size and that offensive line to pound it. Why was that not there for you?
COACH BIELEMA: Well, I didn't see the final stats. I felt I said it on the last drive, let's pound it in there a little bit. Because I think if we stuck with that, we've had some success, but obviously I believe that one scoring drive was critical on three passing plays.
They were really aggressive in their safety reads and we knew that going into it. I think our first touchdown was a big play off of that.
So you kind of have to get into the situation of the game and be able to execute when they take away certain answers. There were a couple of negative yard running plays that put us in passing situations, and we weren't able to capitalize.

Q. Can you just put into words how hard it is going to be to live with a two-point loss in the Rose Bowl?
COACH BIELEMA: Yeah, extremely difficult. It's one thing to have this defeat happen if we don't learn from it. We said some things in the locker room there, and you could tell by the expressions on these two young men to my right, your left, this is going to be something that burns in their memory for a long, long time.
Don't know why it had to happen. Obviously, a very good football team on the other sideline, but we'll take this and we'll move forward. I don't think there will be anything that sets us back.
But it's definitely something, not just for us, but I really believed that we represent something greater than this football team. We represent a great state, a great university. To have this memory not come out with a win is hard for a lot of people that were wearing red and white today. It's something that we've just got to move forward.

Q. All the people talk about the Cinderella aspect of these non-automatic qualifiers. Based on what we've seen so far the last few years, is that overstated, that these teams really aren't Cinderellas, and they can pretty much beat anybody any game?
COACH BIELEMA: I would, yeah, I would say. Obviously, what they did out here today and some other teams have done in the past. I do get the argument. I think it's going to be a great addition to the Big East to have TCU in it so they don't have to answer that question anymore.
The truth will come out when they enter into a BCS Conference and play someone of the caliber of those conferences week in and week out.
I don't think they're a Cinderella story because they proved it.

Q. Your team makes history tonight with 3 thousand yard running backs in the season. But how did you plan to use your three backs in the game? People are going to want to know why John, he certainly looked rested in the second half. Was that your intent?
COACH BIELEMA: I think all three of them looked really good coming down the stretch here. And there are certain things running through John's mind now that weighed into how this game was going to come out for both John and J.J. We'll something like that discussion when we get back to Madison and give them the information that comes out. That is also weighing on John's mind.
But John Clay loves to compete and win, and you could see that come out in the last drive and the energy that he had. Hopefully we'll be able to carry us forward in the future.

Q. Can you talk about your decision at the end of the first half on the 4th and 1? You had three timeouts left. Did you think about going for it or were you content with taking the points?
COACH BIELEMA: No, we were content with taking the points. I couldn't get clarification as much as I wanted of how close we were. All they kept saying was four. So at that point I didn't want to call a timeout and disrupt Phillip. Phillip's felt pretty good. He's a better kicker on the left hash, and he was going out in rhythm. I wanted him to get those points and move forward.

Q. Any explanation for why the team maybe seemed to be a tick off today, more missed tackles, more dropped passes and more penalties?
COACH BIELEMA: Yeah, I'll give credit to TCU. No doubt there are certain things out there today that we had some penalties that aren't normal for us. We didn't turn the ball over, which was good to see. But defensively we didn't get any back out.
Third down stops were critical in the first half, and I don't think our defense got off the field on third down. That was a big part of the game. Bottom line, two big pass, play action plays in the first half were critical. But they executed. They were able to execute and we weren't.

Q. Coach, you mentioned the third down. Was it lack of pressure one of those things where Doeren had too much time for those guys?
COACH BIELEMA: Their quarterback, correct me if I'm wrong, had seven sacks the whole year against him. So people hadn't gotten to him, so we were trying to defend the routes and make them make secondary or third reads. And we did certain things that brought pressure at times, but at other times we didn't. I know we were making an effort to get the balls down.
But Dalton impressed me all year long on film. And didn't disappoint the TCU fans tonight. He's a very, very good quarterback.

Q. J.J., it seemed that TCU used a lot of play action in the first quarter, and that sort of got the defense off. How much did their play action open up the field for them?
J.J. WATT: Obviously, it was a big part of their game plan. They thought it would throw us off and it did a little bit. But the best thing their quarterback did is he got the ball off extremely quick. I won him very, very clean a few times and the ball was gone.
A lot of our defensive linemen had success, but the ball was gone. You're not going to get many sacks when the guy's getting the ball out in two seconds.
Lot of credit to them to design a good game plan to get the ball off quick, and they won a good football game. All the credit goes to them.

Q. Scott, can you take us through the two-point play, what you hoped to do, what you saw and what happened?
SCOTT TOLZIEN: I think the question was asked earlier about running the ball, or what the situation was, but I felt real confident with the play call. It looked like man coverage with zero pressure. I thought we had a guy open. You give credit to them. They batted the ball down, and that's what good football teams do. They find a way to make plays when the game is on the line and they were able to do that.

Q. Would it be fair to say that their blitz packages caused a little bit of disruption for you guys in the passing game?
SCOTT TOLZIEN: Yeah, it did. There were pressures, but I know there is stuff that I can do too when that happens. Notably getting rid of the ball quicker, and that's what I can control, and I didn't do that. It hurt us today, especially on third down.

Q. Were you surprised at all that TCU didn't rely on its running game more in the first half, and then relied exclusively on their quarterback to run and throw?
J.J. WATT: He's a good football player. You give your best football player the ball. They wanted him to run the ball, they wanted him to pass the ball, and he had success doing it. So why not? We didn't stop him, and that's how you lose the football game.

Q. You can just see by the look on your face how much this loss means to you. How tough is this to take this in such a close game, what you've done all year, and the fact that this could be your last game here?
J.J. WATT: We know how much this means to everybody, to everybody involved. We work 365 days a year for this, and then we come out here and don't execute.

Q. The number of dropped passes and unusual number of penalties, how much of that was forced, how much enforced and how uncharacteristic for you guys given the way you played down the stretch?
SCOTT TOLZIEN: Yeah, what got us here was clean execution and clean disciplined football, and we didn't do that today all around, myself included. That's why it's the greatest game, because you don't execute and you're on edges. The other team's going to find a way to beat you.
I think you also give credit to TCU for a good game plan and just playing their tails off. It was a four-quarter battle, and it was unfortunate all around for us.

Q. I know you have some big decisions ahead of you, but talk about the fact that if you do come back for your senior season using this to motivate you and the rest of the guys for next year?
J.J. WATT: The Wisconsin Badgers will be back to the Rose Bowl. I haven't made my decision, but if I'm back, if I go, the Wisconsin Badgers will be back to the Rose Bowl. I don't know if it will be next year, but Coach Bielema is an outstanding football coach. The Wisconsin football program does things the right way. And Coach Alvarez leads the athletic department the right way.
No doubt about it, the Badgers will be back. They'll be back better than ever. When they come back, they'll win.

Q. You guys had run the ball so effectively, especially on that last drive. Were you surprised on the decision on the two-point play to call a pass?
SCOTT TOLZIEN: No, I have 100% faith in every single one of our coaches and notably Coach Chryst. There is not a doubt in my mind, when he calls a play that it's going to work.

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