RB Saturday: Coaches Presser

Los Angeles – Today the two opposing head coaches from Oregon and Wisconsin met with media and responded to a number of questions regarding the upcoming 98th Annual Rose Bowl. While the rest of the country will be celebrating New Year's Eve tonight, the both Chip Kelly and Bret Bielema indicated their teams would be in bed by the time midnight comes around.

(PHOTO) Wisconsin Badgers coach Bret Bielema (left) and Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly shake hands in front of the Leishman Trophy at press conference for the 2012 Rose Bowl at the Marriott Los Angeles Downtown. Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

"This is like the Thursday of game week for us," said Wisconsin's Bret Bielema. "What we're going to do is get back from The Pier. We'll have a team meeting at 6:30 tonight and I'll lay some things out there for them. It's a meeting where we talk about the game and talk about the bigger picture of things. I'll talk about a good night's rest, visualization, talk about tomorrow's schedule. We'll eat dinner in a mandatory team setting, and a lot of guys tonight will probably go watch a movie, watch the bowl games that are on TV. No bars, no clubs, no anything. Our guys knocked off alcohol after the second night here, the guys that are over 21. So they've really been a focused group. They asked for a tighter curfew window after the third day, so I like where they're at, and hopefully they bought in. They have a lot this year and it's paid off for them."

The Ducks will be as equally quiet on New Year's Eve.

"We're actually going to fly to New York City to see the ball drop first," Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly said with a laugh. "No, this is Thursday in our lives. Our guys haven't been out past 10:00 since we've been here. So we've got to get ready. Our Friday practice is different than a lot of people. We practice pretty hard on Friday, so our guys are getting ready to get up and it may be New Year's Eve in everybody else's lives, but it's not New Year's Eve in our lives. I can tell you that."

Kelly was first on the podium followed by Bielema, who was delayed because of a commercial being filmed in front of the Downtown Marriott Hotel, in Los Angeles, the Media Hotel for the Rose Bowl event. Several questions were similarly asked both coaches and they responded in each their own way. For example, both were asked if they could take anything from the wins over their common opponent this year, Oregon State.

"Not really because it was so long ago," responded Kelly. "Oregon State was breaking in (Sean) Mannion at quarterback. It was really the first experience for Sean there. (Ryan) Katz played early in that game. Oregon State was banged up at the running back spot, so it was tough for Mike (Riley) and those guys to generate some things offensively. So in terms of that match up, not really, no."

Bielema also didn't take much from Wisconsin's win over the Beavers, but for slightly different reasons than Kelly.

"Two different ball clubs," answered Bielema as to whether he got anything out of the game with Oregon State in preparing for Oregon. "I get it, I understand it, (and) they're in the same state. But really Oregon State does do kind of a no huddle type deal, but really two different teams."

The pair was also in agreement when asked if they were tired of hearing about the SEC's dominance at the BCS game.

"(It's) one of the things I really believe is if you ain't done it, you ain't bragging," said Bielema of the SEC's BCS record. "They've done it. The stage is set for them again this year to get two teams into the world of college football. That's a great thing for them until another conference, I'd love it to be the Big Ten, unseats them from a National Championship stage. It is what it is."

Kelly, who had a chance to derail Auburn of the SEC in last year's BCS Championship game, also gave credit to the Southeastern Conference.

"No, because they've won five straight," was Kelly's response to the question. "That's the reality. You can say you get tired of it, but until someone beats them, then they're allowed to say that league is the top.

We've got an opportunity. We played three SEC teams in the last couple of years. We beat Tennessee at Tennessee, and lost to Auburn on a field goal, and lost in the opening game with LSU down in Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

So they play a different style of football. Auburn's different on offense, and LSU's different on offense, but it's an extremely well coached league and there are talented players in it. You can't make mistakes against good teams, and that is a football axiom. In the games we've lost, we've made too many mistakes."

Of course both were asked points about the other team that they were concerned with. For Bielema it was the Ducks' tempo on offense.

"It's very sudden," Bielema said of Oregon's game tempo. "I think that one of the things you'll see on film is like if the ball's out of bounds, you'll see that center. He's going to try to get spotted where that ball's going to get spotted from the referee and snap that ball as fast as they can, if that's what they choose to do.

They'll have a couple different tempos, they may get to the line and check with their coaches and get to the line and run an automatic play. We have to be aware of formations in their boundary where they can get a large group of receiver that's short cluster short to their sideline and make sure they're lined up because obviously it could potentially be coming from the other sideline. There are a couple things they have to be aware of. But the urgency on which they play offense could be very, very fast."

Kelly on the other hand has concerns about Wisconsin's offense.

"Offensively it's their balance," assessed Kelly of Wisconsin. "They run for 237 yards a game, they pass for 229, and when you play that out over the course of 13 games, it's almost scary as to how balanced they are. When you play most teams, you want them to play left handed and let's take away their strength. But they have strengths in both facets.

People say, well, we're just going to try to pack the line of scrimmage and take Montee Ball away from them, then Russell Wilson will carve you.

They have great receivers in (Jared) Abbrederis and (Jacob) Pedersen. Montee (Bell) catches the ball out of the back field. That's what strikes me is their balance and how many good players they have at all positions."

The pair managed to show their lighter side too. Bielema had a great story about his playing days under Coach Hayden Fry.

"One of the things we talk about is visualization when I played for Hayden Fry," related Beilema. "He'd cut the lights and tell you to visualize making a big play. I told the stories to my players, my first Big Ten game envision making a sack off the right edge. It was vivid, and honest to goodness I'm down in there and I was unblocked and ran to the quarterback and he saw me, and stepped up and I went running right by him."

Kelly showed his wry wit when asked about the Rose Bowl rule of not playing on Sundays.

"I didn't know that was a rule," said Kelly. "I thought it was because there were a lot of NFL games on."


eDuck Top Stories