Updates from the Gary Andersen portion of the Big Ten title game press conference on Friday
head coach Gary Andersen spent 30 minutes speaking to the media on Friday. Here's what he had to say one day before the Badgers take on Ohio State
in the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis.
Andersen begins by saying he’s excited for the game.
Andersen said the one year he coached with Meyer was great. “We never lost a game.” Said he learned a lot from Meyer.
There may have to be some adjustments on the Wisconsin offensive line depending on health. Andersen said the center position is an issue for them, health-wise.
Andersen said the one thing all the head coaches on the Meyer tree took away from the experience is to always have a set plan and be organized.
Wisconsin has made a cut up of every snap sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones has played in, many of which came in blowouts obviously. Andersen said the staff knows he can make plays – especially in the running game. Called him difficult to tackle.
Andersen said he expects the Ohio State offense to remain the same despite Barrett’s absence because of the sheer number of playmakers the Buckeyes have. “This offense has grown and evolved in a very positive way.” Andersen also said he’s spent much more time on Ohio State’s offense than he did prior to last year’s game.
Wisconsin is very optimistic about its QB situation and Andersen said he’s very confident in both Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy. Said Wisconsin wouldn’t be at this game if not for the contributions of both QBs at various points of the season. Said it’s rare in today’s age that both players have accepted the roles as well as they have.
Andersen said he expects this game to be very physical, prototypical Big Ten contest.
Going back to the first game of the season against LSU, Andersen said that contest (a game against a solid opponent in an NFL stadium) kind of helped them learn what they need to do to prepare for a game like this.
Andersen: “We got that first championship (West division) and now we’re looking for another one.”
Andersen said an eight-team playoff might be better but there is the worry that adding another game might take a serious toll on players.
Andersen said facing Urban doesn’t have a sort of different feel. He’s coached against him a few times. Said he’s excited to see Urban, though.
“It’s a tremendous concern,” Andersen says of the offensive line health issues, especially since they’ll be going against Ohio State’s defensive line.
Andersen said they’ll throw unique defensive looks at Jones regardless of the fact that he’s a first-time starting quarterback. Said the Ohio State coaches will put him in a position to have success, though.
“That’s always our goal.” – Andersen on trying to wear down defenses in the second half with a steady dose of running back Melvin Gordon. Said it’s sometimes difficult to do that in the Big Ten because of the toughness of defenses.
Andersen said there are similarities to facing Ohio State and LSU, but Ohio State is faster now than LSU was when Wisconsin faced the Tigers in the season opener.
Does Andersen look at Ohio State as a benchmark for the conference? “No… to say one team is the benchmark of the conference, I don’t think so.”
Andersen said Ohio State sophomore defensive end Joey Bosa plays at a speed that every player should aspire to.
Andersen said that no matter what happens, this team is one that will always be special to him.
See what Ohio State fans are saying here