Wisconsin-UNLV postgame: Alvarez Verbatim

Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez addressed the media following his team's 23-5 loss to UNLV Saturday

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Opening Statement:


"Well, needless to say that I'm very disappointed in how well we played. They beat us in every phase – they out coached us, they outplayed us and that's what can happen in this game if you don't take care of the football. Anybody can beat you and it's hard to win a game when you don't score a touchdown. But with that said, all we can do is go back to the drawing board and get our guys to bounce back and get them playing football like they're capable of playing because they certainly didn't play very well today."


On the status of Anthony Davis:


"Last I heard it was an ankle. I don't know how severe. I just don't know.


On the effect of Anthony Davis' absence in the loss:


"Anthony obviously is a large part of our offense but there are no excuses in this game. Their top tailback was out also."


Barry you mentioned getting this team back to where they are capable of playing. Do you know, at this point in the season, how they are capable of playing?


"I know potential. I've seen them do some good things before. You can't rely on Anthony (Davis) or whatever but you have to execute, you have to throw and catch it well. You have to hold on to the football. You can't give somebody points like that. You just can't keep giving them field position and giving them points."


Did UNLV's defensive approach change at all when Anthony Davis went out of the game?


"They didn't do anything defensively that we hadn't seen. They were playing cover two, cover four; they were zone blitzing some but nothing we hadn't seen."


On the change in defensive secondary:


"We wanted to have some competition back there. We thought that (Levonne) Rowan had played well enough last week to garner a chance to earn that position. The same thing with (Joe) Stellmacher. So, we graded them every day this week and those guys graded out better in practice so we gave them the start and decided to go ahead and use them and try to keep whoever was in there fresh. Not to not use the other guys but to use both – two sets of them."


Jim seemed to be high on a bunch of his throws. Are you concerned about his confidence?


"Obviously, he didn't throw it well. I don't want to second guess why someone doesn't throw it well whether it was a wet ball but their guy threw a wet ball too. Again, there are no excuses and I'm not going to try to sit here and figure out why he didn't throw it well."


How did you try to approach Jamaal Brimmer and stop him?


"You just try to recognize where he is and know when he blitzes that you should try to have him covered up. There are times he is going to come off the edge that you just can't account for him…We knew going in that he was a good ball player but you can't assign someone to the strong safety. But you do have to know where he is."


Why was Sorgi taken out for a series?


"We were just trying to settle him down a little bit and maybe have (Schabert) give us a spark. Just settle him down."


Can you talk about your inability to handle the blitz and did they blitz more after Anthony went down?


"That's what they do. I thought a couple of times we held it too long and a couple of times late, we turned some guys free. That was just missed assignments. But again, we knew that that was coming. We knew what they were going to do. It was just a matter of executing."


What did you think of Dwayne Smith's performance?


"I thought he was average."


How did the turf hold up to the rain?


"I thought our footing was very good. For a constant rain like that, I didn't see anybody slipping….Our players said yesterday that there was better footing than when it was dry. The rain yesterday really settled it down."


Is there any explanation for why these games just happen?


"You see it every week in college football. Why, I don't know. It is a very complicated game. There are a lot of factors. If you turn it over…Anybody can win, if somebody is not quite ready, or somebody is not quite on target and the other team is ready to play—that is why this game is so great. That is why you play it every week and you just don't roll your hat out there and win. Everyone is capable. We have talked about that last week. There is parity in the league and if you are not playing well you are apt to be beat.


Alex Lewis blocked another punt. It could have been a turning point, it wasn't, but could you talk about what he brings on special teams and on defense?


"He really does a nice job. We try to isolate him on a center because that is hard to long snap and then block somebody as quick as him. We schemed that. We only sent two guys that time…it wasn't even a block actually it was a return. It was the same thing we did against West Virginia. He came clean. And then you still have to take it off the punter's foot. Alex plays hard, he likes to play the game and he is involved in all the special teams.


Is there anything you can take out of this game?


"I thought we improved a little bit on defense and they didn't quit. I'm just really frustrated looking at our offense and some of the weapons that we have, even when we lose Anthony, and not to be effective. We will have to really tear that apart.


"I think our kids have character. I think we have good leadership."


How much of a setback is this?


"You never like to lose and particularly don't like to play poorly and we did, on offense. But there is a lot of season left. We have bounced back before; we have been upset before; we have had our share of upsets. Football is football. We will have to focus on next week. We have to correct these errors and dissect this and see where we are and move forward. That is all you can do in this business. You can't gloat. You can't sit around and feel sorry for yourself. You can't worry about what's sad or anything else. You can just focus on the next game and try to get better."


How would you assess the defense's performance?


"I thought they held up pretty well. You think about the points they had and how many of them were set up by turnovers. I don't know if they drove the ball the length and scored. There was a short field for most of the time. I guess they scored 16 points against our defense, and a lot of that was short field."


Does it hurt to lose a game like this?


"Sure it does. I'm competitive. When it doesn't than I think it is time to move on. It just kills you when you work hard—our guys put a lot of hours in—and you expect your players to execute. When you don't, it eats at you, absolutely."

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