Wisconsin postgame: Alvarez/Evans press conference

Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez and receiver Lee Evans addressed the media following Saturday's 17-10 victory over Ohio State

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Opening statement


Alvarez: I am particularly proud of my team It was a team win. All three phases played exceptional. Guys, a lot of different people made plays to win that football game. We played against a very, very good football team. A very talented team, a team that knows how to win. To walk off that field and to break the nation's longest winning streak and stay undefeated in the league…I'm really proud of our staff and the players.


Barry for about three years you had a guy that sat next to you in this same spot by the name of Dayne. Can you talk about the playmaker that Lee Evans had tonight. Only one catch and Gamble bit on his fake.


Alvarez: It is unfortunate that it wasn't a game where you featured Lee Evans and you got the ball out there to him, because he would've been exceptional in that. But when it came time, crunch time late in the game to make the play, there's nobody that I would rather have doing it than Lee Evans. You know, they asked about his speed. I think he opened it up a little bit and separated from whoever was chasing him.


Barry what is Sorgi's condition?


Alvarez: He has a neck injury. He's having a hard time breathing.


Was it the Ohio State player grabbing him by the neck in the pile?


Alvarez: You saw the film.


Lee what was the reaction on the team when that happened?


Evans: Everybody just kind of went off for a while. That is one of the—that is something that you just don't do. Ohio State is a great program but for those guys to come out do something like that to our quarterback is one of the lowest things I have seen done in a football game.


Alvarez: —that's enough. We won't comment on it any more. You can see the film. We had a player who couldn't play any more in the game. That is enough said.


How about Matt Schabert then


Alvarez: Matt Schabert—to step up in a tough situation, they put a lot of pressure on you. It's hard to throw the ball. He made two crucial throws, obvious. His third-down run, good fake, stayed in bounds. Schabert did a good job.


Lee, you talked about making a play, what was the decisive moment in this contest?


Evans: You know, every time I play these guys, I'm always fired up ready to go. Early in the game, I had some opportunities where I was open to make plays and the ball just didn't come up. I stayed patient, let the game come to me. In crunch time, it came up and I made the play.


Lee, is this one of the most gratifying victories that you have been part of?


Evans: Definitely. It ranks up there number two probably cause the Rose Bowl is number one.


Lee, had you been setting up gamble through the course of the game to bite on that fake?


Evans: Not really. We ran a couple things where we moved him early in the game, but never that route. Never that route. We were just out there playing and I knew I was able to get open at a certain point. When it came time to make a play for the team. I got open.


Barry, why did you call that play?


Alvarez: Well we wanted to get down the field. We had tried a couple double moves but hadn't had time to throw it. We felt that they didn't expect a deep throw, probably thought we were trying to get a first down. We wanted to get the ball down the field more, we just didn't have the opportunities. We just thought that was the right time to do it. I can't remember whether they were blitzing on it or not but we had a maximum protection; though we could give Lee a chance to beat it.


Could you talk about the way your defensive front played?


Alvarez: Our defensive front was awesome. They never allowed them to establish the run. They kept pressure on the quarterback. I don't know how they could play any better. It was actually without blitzing they were getting pressure on him. Those guys, the front seven was really good.


On Ohio State's defensive line


Alvarez: Ohio State's defensive front may be as good as there is in the country. I said that before the game and I say it after the game. Every yard that you get against them you earn and everybody has to block clean, the backs have to break the tackles, somebody can chase you down from the backside. There weren't any creases. Every yard that was made tonight on the ground earned. Booker just did a tremendous job to rush for 100 yards against them, that is big time. They lived up to their billing. They were as good as we expected and as good as they were advertised.


Lee can you talk about how much this means as a home win?


Evans: It is big. That is one of the things we haven't done well in the past. Going on the road and getting two big road wins we knew we had to get one at home. That will help us build momentum and confidence as we go throughout the league because we have more games at home then we do on the road.


Barry, do you know the extent of Sorgi's injury?


Alvarez: Just injured neck. That is want the doctor told me, wouldn't go any further than that. He couldn't talk and had a hard time breathing.


Can you talk about the electric atmosphere tonight?


Alvarez: I thought, I told Lee this on the way in, I thought the atmosphere tonight may have been better than the night Ron we clinched the Rose Bowl and Ron broke the record. I thought every snap they were at a fever pitch. There was never a play that the fans took off. It was that way when we took the field and for the entire ballgame. I've never seen an atmosphere where it was prolonged like this one. What we tried to do and emphasize all week to our guys was to stay focused. Our guys were prepared for this game, they were going to be ready. Just coming out and competing—it wasn't going to be just the crowd. They were ready to play this football game because they prepared well and they focused well—all phases. They gave us that type of effort all week. It was a matter of just executing it was a matter of playing, it wasn't the crowd. The crowd made it hard for Ohio State to execute—that is the hardest thing; that is probably what it did more than anything else. And our guys feed off of that also.


Lee, did you get caught up in it?


Evans: We knew going into it—being a night game, we don't get very many here at Camp Randall so when we do the atmosphere is absolutely electric. Add the national champions coming in; we knew it was that big. I was telling the guys all week how the atmosphere was going to be. The coaches would tell us to feed off it but don't buy into it. If we do what we can do best, the atmosphere was going to be great, you know, just use it to help you and don't get into it where you are not focused on the game.


Barry, can you talk about your special teams?


Alvarez: Special teams was very good—all phases. I thought our coverage teams were excellent. That was an excellent returner, our punt coverage was good. R.J. punted the ball well. We get a huge play—it was a field position game. They got a huge play, they downed it on the one. We get a huge play when they—when we fumbled. Jimmy fumbled one punt, they get three points. We get field position when they fumbled. Our kicking game was really good. I thought our guys did an excellent job. Our coverage teams were good.


Barry, how close was Anthony Davis to playing tonight and can you talk about what you got out of Booker Stanley?


Alvarez: Anthony was real close. He practiced Wednesday, Thursday. Thursday he said it felt pretty good. Friday felt pretty good but still was a little hesitant cutting in one direction. We came out and worked out today and he said the same thing. We just decided, ‘we're not going to play him this game.' The yards were going to be hard and I didn't want to lose him for the rest of the year. It wouldn't have been fair to him or anyone else if he wasn't 100 percent—these guys are too good We just felt we should back off.


I think Booker's numbers against a great defense speak for themselves. Every yard he made he earned. Those are tough yards, he finished, he made the plays. He made that first down at the end—that game wasn't over until he got that last first down. For him to step up like he did and not be hesitant—he came up this afternoon when we came out to work out and said that he was ready and he was.


Was Dwayne at all hampered?


Alvarez: We just thought Dwayne was a little hesitant and this was an up-and-down game. This was not a game where you are not going to stop your feet in the hole and bounce it outside. These guys are too fast, they are going to chase you down. We just made a decision. That is our job to make a decision, who we felt, who had the hottest hand and we went with ‘Book'.


Can you clarify the situation with Sorgi, was he unable to talk to the point—?


Alvarez: I've told you all I know about Sorgi. He couldn't talk. How else can I say that (laughing). That is all I can say—I can't tell you anymore.


Can you rank this game as far as biggest wins at home in your career?


Alvarez: Well, personally, against them this is pretty big but that was the first one, when they were in the top five I believe. Any time you clinch a Rose Bowl that is huge. As I said earlier this is one of my most gratifying wins. I don't know how to rank it but it is pretty good.


Lee, 3-0, on top of the conference, what does this do for your title hopes?


Evans: It is big. It is another step down, another hurdle cleared. We have another big game coming up next week against Purdue. We are definitely excited about the things we did and about where we are at right now. But we know the winner of this league—it is a long journey, it is a long haul and we have to stay together and stay focused as a team for the long haul to win the conference.


How long does Lee and the rest of the team and the coaching staff get to enjoy this one?


Alvarez: 24 hours. 24-hour rule. I would be very disappointed if they didn't celebrate just like their coach will. But tomorrow morning, when they get started back at practice tomorrow morning, when we get back after it, it is Purdue. But I've learned in this business when you win a game you had better celebrate and enjoy it.


On being a four quarter team:


Alvarez: We are a good fourth quarter team. I was nervous until Booker got the last first down. It was one of those games that could have gone either way right up until he got that last first down. I thought our guys would compete and I thought their guys would compete. That is what football is all about. That is what athletics is all about is competing and seeing who can answer and who can make plays. We made some plays. Last year they made some plays down the stretch and we didn't have a chance to. We talked to our kids and I told you guys in the media—it is making plays down the stretch. They made a play, they went down and scored, we came right back and answered with a big play. Third and one or third and two, Schabert makes a play and then Booker gets a first down to ice the ballgame. Those are all plays you have to make to beat these guys because they are back on the field and they are winging it down the field and you don't know what is going to happen. So that is the great part of it. That is the great part of sports is finding out who will be competitive and who can answer the call in crunch time.

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