Big Ten Teleconference: Alvarez Verbatim

Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez addressed media during as part of the Big Ten's weekly teleconference

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Opening statement:


"We were pleased with the win. I felt our players bounced back from a difficult loss the week before. Really after taking a look at the film if you eliminate the first play of the game, a kickoff (return for touchdown) by North Carolina and the last play of the game, an alley-oop pass for a touchdown, I thought we played a consistent game. We did a lot of good things on both sides of the ball.


"We had a lot of good performances. Lee Evans had another good performance—broke the school receiving record; broke Al Toon's record. Certainly deserves it for how he felt back from injury and is playing exceptionally well right now.


Lee Evans

"Booker Stanley is a third tailback on our squad but with Anthony Davis injured he was sharing the load with Dwayne Smith. Dwayne was injured early in the second half and Booker really did a nice job for his first extended play by rushing for nearly 120 yards and having three touchdowns.


"All in all I was pleased with the performance. Still have a number of things we have to clean up and improve on.


This week we play an Illinois team that we have great respect for and a team that very well could be sitting there at 4-0 right now. They are a good football team, but it seems as thought they have run out of time here in the last couple ballgames. But we have an awful lot of respect for them."


Coach I know you're A.D. duties don't officially start until April but have you kind of started gearing yourself to that?


"Well really I put my administration in place July 1. We have been running the meetings doing all of those things. So, we are in the midst of it. What I try to do is stay in touch with my deputy (Deputy Athletic Director Jamie Pollard). Pat Richter is still here and still the athletic director, but our administration is running the athletic program. I stay in constant contact with him and first break in the schedule when there is a meeting I go but I do not take away from my football duties."


I know you've said you don't have any timeline in terms of how long you are going to keep coaching, but are you starting to get ideas about how long you can managed to do both?


"You know what it is early in season. I do know my days are longer and I don't have a whole lot of free time. I really haven't thought about that much. I'm too busy to think about it and I enjoy both of them. I really have enjoyed those things that I have dealt with in terms of administration certainly enjoy going to practice every day and enjoy the coaching aspect of it."


I know you had a great role model in Bob Devaney, but is their somebody current or somebody recent that you viewed as doing this double well and somebody you talked to at all?


"I talk to a couple people. I talked to John Mackovic, right there at Illinois, visited with him about it. He gave me his views. I also visited with john Robinson who recently did it at UNLV before giving up the directors part of it because of an illness. I did talk to some guys before I made the decision to accept the position."


Barry, you've had a lot of success in recent years recruiting the St. Louis area. Is there a key to recruiting in an area that is maybe outside your local base?


"I think a lot of that has to do with the relationship an assistant coach may have. Kevin Cosgrove is my assistant who recruits in that area, has recruited there even before I hired him here. He has a tremendous relationship with the high school coaches, knows the area and has built credibility there. I think once you have gone in and recruited players, they have been successful, they've graduated, they go back and talk about their experience at the high school in that area. The players that you are recruiting have a sounding board or have someone they can go to and find out what has gone on when someone has left that area and that they have been successful, I think that gives you your opportunity."


Have you given much thought to how the conference race has changed now since when the Big Ten coaches met in July? And how much stock can you put into non-conference games?


"Well you know, you sit here and you take a look at records and you can take a loot at—none of us have the opportunity to see every other game played—can read statistics and that type of thing.


"Going in I felt, and said it publicly, that I felt that we were going to be a stronger league than we were a year ago. We finished very strong a year ago. My opinion has not changed. I think we have a number of very good teams. I think the race is wide open. I think a number of teams have a chance to win this thing."


Can you relate the non-conference record to what a Big Ten record would be? I know last year you guys were very good in non-conference but not-so-hot in the conference.


"I guess that tells you it probably doesn't relate."


You have had success starting a lot of young tailbacks. What does it take for a kid to come in and be ready to start at the Big Ten level?


"I think number one they better have some ability; maturity helps. We have had a handful that have played as true freshman—Ron Dayne was a true freshman, Dwayne Smith last year didn't start, but was our backup. We have had maybe two or three or four that have played. Ron was the one that was the most outstanding. In both cases, he and Dwayne were physically mature and strong—guys that came from good programs that were able to adapt to the speed of the game quickly."


Kirk Ferentz is up to .500 in his career at Iowa with his win last week. What have you seen that is different in his program now, or his coaching now than it was maybe five years ago?


"I see the same thing. I see consistency. I think if you go back and take a look. I'm not sure what year it was, probably the '99 season—I believe it was one of our Rose Bowl years—maybe it was the 2000 season. I'm not sure what year it was but we had a pretty good squad, Kirk was just turning the program, hadn't won a lot of games yet it was late in the season and the kids played hard, he didn't lose the kids, they were very consistent, they were sound and that was the thing that you saw that they were going to be a good football team. I think that is what makes it a good team is consistency and hanging your hat and being able to know and have a vision of what you want and telling that vision to your players. That is exactly what Kirk's done. You see it on the field. He hasn't changed much. That is why they are good."


You are not surprised at all at the success they have had the last couple season?


"I'm not surprised, no."

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