#22 Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 27
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema Quotes
"First off give a lot of credit to Nebraska, this is a very good environment here in the world of college football. They played very well in the second half. I thought our guys came out and embraced the challenge and did a lot of really good things. We came in at half time and made some adjustments, some offense, defense and special teams things. I felt good about it, but it was a tale of two halves, you could feel that momentum change in the second half, something our guys could never really get a grasp of. I thought their offense did a nice job coming out. They converted a couple of play-action passes. The killer was that long pass down the sideline, and then they tacked on the 15-yard penalty for a helmet hit... supposedly. We just were not able to get ourselves in positive situations in the second half on defense. Our offense in the second half seemed like it couldn't ever get into ryhthm. We had one thing here and one thing there, but we couldn't establish an inside run game. Obviously we weren't able to hit some of those pass plays. The reason why we went with Danny (O'Brien) there in the last two minutes is because even back in fall camp, Danny has handled that situation the best than either of our quarterbacks. He did it again this Wednesday. We practice two-minute drills on Wednesday, and he handled it very well, so that is why we made the decision to put him into the game at the end."
On if quarterback Joel Stave got shaken up at the end of the game
"Yeah, I think he got hit a couple of times today. The series he really got whacked in he actually composed himself and got himself ready to go back in there. I just think the feeling on the sideline wasn't quite there to go back in there."
On what Bielema thought of Stave in the first half
"I think a lot of good things. He is a guy that will take the plays that are there. He is smart, and he is smart before the snap. He understands the concepts. Obviously this is a very daunting task coming into here. It was a great environment, and I thought he handled it well. He didn't flinch at all, even coming back after some of those hits, he really felt good about where he was at."
On if Wisconsin's short-yardage plays are still an issue
"Yeah. We got to be able to convert on those third and ones and obviously at the end of the game with the fourth and one. It is 11 guys trying to execute, not just one guy. We had some breakdowns throughout, and it is something we have to work on at practice this week."
On the unbalanced line Wisconsin ran on certain plays
"We actually have been working on that for the last couple of weeks. We put an extra lineman into the game and felt we should open up the game with it and see their adjustments. There was some inside powers that were hitting for us pretty good. That was one aspect of the game that was pretty good."
On what Nebraska did to take the inside run away
"Well they got a big push, but also they were pretty heavy inside, I think they were playing a heavy technique with their defensive tackles and ends which was making it pretty congested in there. We also ran some iso plays and screens in the second half with not much reward."
On the importance of the kicking game
"It is very big, but they all are. We know that every play matters and the kicking game has been a little bit up and down. Both of our guys have shown really really good things, making it difficult to go with one guy. You would like one of the guys to stand up and take control, but it hasn't been able to happen for us yet."
On Nebraska's comeback
"I think two fold. First off they did a nice job, we came up with a plan that we were able to try and keep them inside. But they had two huge quarterback runs that split our defensive tackle and end. Both of those were big gains that gave them momentum and then they had the big play on the sideline with the penalty."
On what Bielema told the team after the game
"Well you know every game in this conference matters whether it is divisional or not. They all come into play. They did show me today that they have the ability to come into a hostile environment and play very, very well. For us to get as far as we want to get, you have to be able to play four-quarter games. You can't play three quarters or three and a half quarters. It is a four-quarter game and obviously they all matter."
On if he liked what the offense showed him in the first half
Yeah, we were scoring points. I think we are a good football team. We just got beat by a better team at this point on this day. I'm not mad or upset at their effort or their intensity or preparation. Nothing is coming easy for us this year. We are a team that has gotten better every week, and I think we got better today. They just weren't able to come out with the win. We can't accept that as coaches or players. We will prepare as coaches and players and come back next week."