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January 1, 2013

Barry Alvarez

Montee Ball

Chris Borland


Stanford – 20
Wisconsin – 14

THE MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome Wisconsin.  We'll have Coach Alvarez give us an opening statement, we'll take questions for Coach Alvarez, and then we'll take questions for the players.
COACH ALVAREZ:  Well, we were defeated by a very good Stanford football team.  They didn't surprise me how they played, as you saw that on films, they've been very consistent all year.  They're a physical team.  They're well‑coached, and they deserve to win today.  I couldn't be more proud of a group of young men than my team.
I thought they competed extremely hard.  We made plays.  I thought when you fall behind 14‑0, I thought it was a microcosm of their whole season.  They fought back, got in the ballgame.  Again, the last possession they had themselves in a position where they had a chance to win the football game.
But this group of kids have been through a lot and competed extremely hard against a very high quality team.

Q.  Barry, can you quantify in any way the frustration for the school, you personally and maybe the school, for coming here three times and not getting a win?
COACH ALVAREZ:  No, you know.  Every season stands on its own merit.  We've played three very good football games.  These guys played hard.  They played to win.  Coaches coach to win, but it's a different team.
I think the fact that most people like to get here once.  But we just didn't get it done.

Q.  This is your fourth time here at the Rose Bowl.  What is the same and what is different from your first three times from what you remember on the field?
COACH ALVAREZ:  You know what?  Every game we had out here was very competitive.  We were fortunate to come out on top on my games.  This game, the only thing that's different than the other teams that I coached were we found‑‑ somehow we found a way to win, and we weren't fortunate enough to get a win today.
But the game itself, the way you're treated, the atmosphere, the competitiveness of the games, that's all the same.

Q.  What did they do to take the running game away?
COACH ALVAREZ:  They were doing some different things on the perimeter.  They were doing some line stunts that we were having some problems with; and, quite frankly, they're a very good defensive front.  We knew that coming in.  They're one of the Top 5, I think, in the country against the run.
They're very difficult to block.  I thought we had some success.  Melvin had a great day on the edge.  We made some plays, but they were jamming the middle up pretty good.  It seemed like when somebody was coming up free.  We weren't picking up the back side linebacker or the lineman on the stunt was coming up free, and they clogged the holes up.
I thought, quite frankly, I thought our defense played very, very well in the second half.  Give them a couple of field goals.  Both defenses picked it up, made adjustments and picked it up.

Q.  What lessons from today's game will be good to know for the incoming coach?  What sort of things were exposed, what strengths do you think?
COACH ALVAREZ:  Well, you know what, he had a chance to watch practice this week.  Some of his staff were at practice.  The advantages are they had a chance to evaluate the players and have an idea in their minds when they get here, what they have.  What they have to recruit, the strengths and weaknesses of the team.
As I told the team, we have a very good nucleus coming back next year, a lot of juniors, and they have a chance to be an outstanding squad again next year.

Q.  (No microphone).
COACH ALVAREZ:  You know what, I think I always try to think positive.

Q.  The question was my thinking on the last drive.
COACH ALVAREZ:  You're at midfield or close to midfield with a chance to win the Rose Bowl.  I just felt like maybe we were a team of destiny.  Curt's run the two‑minute offense pretty well.  Did it even in the first half of this game.
So I just felt like somehow we were going to find a way to score.  That's what my thinking was.

Q.  Montee and Chris, in comparison to the last couple of years, how does what you're feeling right now compare?
MONTEE BALL:  I mean, it stings.  It stings just as much because we fell short, extremely short when we had the opportunity to win.  They did a great job of stopping a really good offense.  But speaking for our offense, we had many opportunities to capitalize on big plays and we fell short.
CHRIS BORLAND:  Yeah, I think the immediate reaction is the same.  It's heartbreaking.  You'd like to send out guys like Montee the right way, and we couldn't get it done today.  Like Coach said earlier, it's kind of been a microcosm of our whole season.  We've faced some adversity, fought back, and came up short.  So just very disappointing.

Q.  Montee, you said earlier this week you didn't want to be remembered as somebody who came here three times and lost three times.  In your mind, how does this affect your career and just your thinking about your time at Wisconsin?
MONTEE BALL:  Yeah, this is not the way I want to be remembered, speaking for the entire senior group, this is not the way we wanted to go out.  But at this point right now, it is what it is.  I felt like I did a great job of leading the team through adversity this season and in past seasons did a great job of capitalizing on big plays.
But very unfortunate situation for us.  I'm really looking forward to watching the Badgers next year, because they're going to be a great team.

Q.  Chris, ultimately what effect do you think having Barry as a coach had on this game?
CHRIS BORLAND:  I think it served as a unifying factor.  Not that this team would ever experience any dissension, we've got a bunch of character guys.  But to have Coach Alvarez come back having our seniors and captains and he agreed.  I think it calmed guys nerves.
Initially I think there was a little anxiety about the situation from at least the younger guys, and to have Coach Alvarez step back and come back and coach, it brought everybody together and excited everybody.

Q.  Early in the game it's 4th and goal and they go with James White.  I'm just curious, were you surprised with that decision?  Were you upset that you weren't in there in that spot?
MONTEE BALL:  Well, I'm always upset that I'm not in the game.  It's just the competitive nature that I have.  But I had a lot of‑‑ we have a lot of faith.  We have a lot of faith in our offensive coordinator, Coach Canada.  That play has been working leading up to this game, and we were very confident that it was going to work.  But the D‑line did a great job clogging the holes, submarining our linemen, and not leaving any gaps for James to find.

Q.  You guys had so much success in your last game running the football.  Can you talk about what Stanford did that was different than what you've seen so far this year?
MONTEE BALL:  Well, it was just challenging for us to scout them and watch film on them because we've really never faced a three‑four defense with the standup D‑ends that they do.  But their interior group is very physical, and have shown that they do a great job of stopping the run; and they showed it today.  But we still feel like we did a great job.
Still I can see here 24 for 100, so we still did a good job of running the football.  But we just didn't keep it going the whole entire game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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