Postgame Quotes vs. Wisconsin

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Nov. 12, 2011

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

Postgame Quotes

No. 16/14/18 Wisconsin (8-2, 4-2 Big Ten) 42, Minnesota (2-8, 1-5 Big Ten) 13

Attendance: 49,158

Nov. 12, 2011

Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill

On the message to the team…
“You got to play all three phases of the game, and it’s a team game. We didn’t play all three phases. They did a good job of executing offensively and staying on the field. And offensively when we had opportunities, we just didn’t take advantage of them. We had dropped balls and just didn’t make a play.”

On 3rd and long conversions by Wisconsin…
“We just didn’t make plays. You have to do that when playing a good team and number 16 [Russell Wilson] is a good quarterback.”

Difference in team offensively…
“We just didn’t play very well today. That starts from up front all the way back to MarQueis.”

On MarQueis Gray having twins last night…
“You guys know everything don’t you? Yeah, Marqueis’ girlfriend had twins last night. He was still able to play today. That’s just part of growing up and being a man.”

On the chopping of the field goal post by Wisconsin…
“No comment…”


Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema
On his overall opinion of the game…
“I’m really proud of the way our guys came into today’s game, we prepped well all week. Anytime you’re on the road, obviously we’ve learned first-hand the past couple opportunities, you have to play a four-quarter game. We talked about doing what you need to do, get to halftime, figure out where you’re at, and we talked about finishing the game- I thought they really did that. Defense, keeping them to the totals they did, to give up thirteen points – and I gave Antonio a little bit of heat that a kicker stiff-armed him to get in the end zone – and that kickoff return to start the second half, we did fairly well besides the first quarter, but that’s a consistency we have to come up with. A lot of positives, I realize that in college football a lot of things happened today that help our situation, but the reason we’re in the situation that we’re at is we take it day by day.”

On Big Ten play working out in their favor today…
“We’re in the construction phase of getting back to where we want to be and we’ll continue to work.”

On their last two games being losses…
“I really had no thoughts other than trying to get better for the next week… we had two weeks back-to-back that were about as gut-wrenching as anybody could imagine, and I really do have the philosophy that whatever happens, you have to embrace it and it has to make you stronger. I know we’re a stronger team today than we were four, five weeks ago or last week, so we’ll take it for what it is.”

On their offense…
“We’re playing very well on offense, and I think it’s because of the options Russell (Wilson) gives. His best play today was the one that was called back. There weren’t any answers down the field and he just took off and created it. That’s the part that probably in my mind stands out more than anything. If there’s a better player in college football – I’ve said it before – I see this kid practice every day and he’s become more and more familiar with our locker room. When everything’s clicking it’s hard to defend.”

On their momentum changing for road games…
“We talk about a complete team, being able to help each other out, and there have been times over the course of the year – even on the road – in the fourth quarter a couple times we’ve been losing effort, but this team emotionally plays very well together.”

On the offensive players coming into this week’s game…
“James practiced really good this week, I felt coming in he was going to have a big game. Montee is a consistent guy, I’m sure the same way when you guys interview him, he’s very consistent in what he does. To watch him have success on Saturdays – these person records mean nothing to him, but they’re pretty nice things to have in his pocket. I keep telling him he can probably be better next year.”

On playing against the Gophers…
“We just need to continue to play efficiently. Our offense and defense came up with some pretty critical stops, obviously the fourth-down stop there and we kept the ball in front of us. They have a lot of good players there. […] Jerry Kill’s a phenomenal football coach… they’ll talk about the last two weeks, but you’ve seen then getting better over the past month. We took the last four or five games. He’s a good football coach and you’ll see them getting better and better here in Minnesota.

On never letting Gray get comfortable…
“The phrase we use a lot with these athletic quarterbacks is ‘keep a guy inside the front’ and I think Charlie did a good job of getting that across to our defensive line. I know he ran around a few times, but we didn’t want to let him get those big plays. I really liked the way we handled some of the trick plays, we knew that was going to be something they were going to go to, we defended a lot and they weren’t able to complete.


Minnesota Players
Senior place kicker Jordan Wettstein
On his touchdown play…
“We’ve been practicing it for probably three weeks. Jake Filkins, my snapper, and Adam Lueck, I couldn’t have done it without him. And Collin McGarry made a huge block. I just needed to get it to the outside, and I made it to the goal line.”

On what he expected on fourth down…
“I was expecting to kick it. I was expecting maybe that call. I was ready for either thing.”

On breaking a tackle…
“I’ll be honest. I thought I was down. I saw him coming, and I tried making a little move on him. I think I watched the running backs all week.”

On his confidence about the play…
“We’ve done enough reps the last week that it was just kind of second nature. I trusted Adam. We’ve hit it all week, and we executed.”

Senior middle linebacker Gary Tinsley
On going up against Wisconsin’s line and getting to Russell Wilson…
“They’ve got a pretty big offensive line. We saw that going into this game, in the film. Coach always told me as a middle linebacker, if I get up there too deep, just keep going. Keep going no matter what we’re in.”

On the team’s tiredness as Wisconsin kept driving down the field…
“I don’t really think we were getting gassed. I thought we really did a good job trying to stop the run. Then they started putting it up in the air. They called the play action and they started picking up on me blitzing.”

On where the Gophers will go from here…
“Like Coach Kill said, we don’t change up. We just keep pushing it. I think we’re getting better every week with the way we practice.”

On Montee Ball…
“He’s a pretty good runner. He’s got a great offensive line blocking for him—big guys. He’s kind of a short back. You’ve got to just go to your assigned gap, and if you’re there, you’ve got to make that play.”

Senior running back Duane Bennett
On his 96-yard kick return for a touchdown…
“The biggest thing was coming out the first half; we had to forget about what happened then and try to create a spark as soon as possible. It’s something that we preach every day in practice: Get the ball vertical,  solidify your block, and if every man does their job and you listen to what the coaches tell you, then great things will happen.”

On the call for the kickoff…
“We have a backside return. I’m the backside returner, so it just so happened that they kicked it to me. I just kind of read my double team block and then just hit the crease.”

On momentum from his touchdown…
“It got the sideline really alive, and then our defense was able to come out and get some stops.”

On the reason the Gophers never seem to give up even when they are down…
“I think it’s a reflection on Coach (Kill), as much as he’s talked about (that) we’ve got to have guys that will fight back. You can’t sit down and dwell on (it), whether you’re down 28 or down 35 points. You’ve got to come out and play the next play and be ready to go. I think the players take that pride in what Coach Kill is preaching to us as far as fighting back. ….The last thing you want to do is quit on the field and make it evident to your teammates, your coaches, as well as the fans that have seen it. You can notice when somebody’s quit.”

Junior quarterback and place holder Adam Lueck
On Wettstein’s touchdown…
“Coach Kill made sure we repped it enough in practice to train it muscle memory. When he called the play, we were ready for it.”

On game preparation…
“We had a great week of practice. We knew what was at stake this game. We were all excited about the game plan offensively, but we just didn’t execute.”

On MarQueis playing hurt…
“He played his guts out today for us.”

Junior quarterback MarQueis Gray
On becoming a dad…
“It was the best day of my life.”

On going from fatherhood to football…
“As soon as I left the hospital I knew had to get back into game mode. Once I got back I went over the game plan with Coach. They didn’t do anything we didn’t prepare for today. They were just the better team.”

On offense…
“Offense needed to start off faster. If we would have started off with a faster pace I feel like we would have had a different outcome.”

On back injury…
“I’m not going to let it get me down on the sidelines. I want to be here for my team. This is my team and I wanted to be there for them.”

On rest of season…
“We have to stay together. We have two more games to go. We have to continue to work hard through the next two weeks and make plays during the next two games.”


Wisconsin Players
Senior quarterback Russell Wilson
On clicking right from the start…
“Yeah we did a great job today, the offensive line did a great job giving me enough time, guys made some big time catches, Nick had a great game. We got first downs, which is key in third down situations, and we capitalized in the red zone and that’s what you’ve got to do to be a great offense and a good quarterback.”

On first time holding the axe…
“It was pretty awesome, everyone was trying to get their hands on it and it was just big for us to get that win, it’s such a great tradition so it just means a lot.”

On Big Ten win…
“Yeah, know I think it means a lot to us in terms of momentum and we need to focus on our next opportunity which is Illinois, that’s going to be a hectic crowd and a big opportunity for us but you know today was definitely good for our program.”

On being aware of number of completions…
“I mean I was aware of it but you try not to focus on that too much and just stay in the now. That’s what I talk about all the time, you know you have to have amnesia, no matter how great things are going or how bad they are going you just have to focus on the now and take one play at a time.”

Senior offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler
On environment of a rivalry game…
“We wanted to make sure we started out fast because it’s a hostile environment and it’s a rivalry game so you know anything can happen.

On game efficiency…
“As far as efficiency, I think everyone was on an hitting their assignments.”

On team starting to get into a rhythm…
“Our team is starting to click more and we are getting used to all the calls and change ups, a lot of defenses to similar things and I think we recognized it and carried out all of our assignments .”

On coming back after Minnesota’s kicker scored…
“I think with the last two losses we all knew what to expect this week and that we need to play the complete game, play efficient, and not screw up so we came out hard and didn’t ever want to lose the lead.”

Sophomore offensive lineman Travis Frederick
On keeping Gray inside the pocket…
“When he had his most success was when he was able to get outside the pocket, so I think we didn’t really do our job there but sometimes when you try to put pressure on that just happens.”

On the interception…
“The interception was big because it was at that point in the game that they started gaining momentum…the mode of operation this year is to really try and take the team down and stop that momentum right before half.”