Big Ten teleconference: Barry Alvarez

UW coach discussed Joe Stellmacher's gutsy play, Indiana's improvement and more

Complete audio files are provided, along with selected quotes from UW coach Barry Alvarez's appearance on the Big Ten teleconference.

Audio file 1 (5:00) -

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Opening statement

"Well, we're certainly satisfied with the win. Really pleased with how our guys competed and hung in there in the fourth quarter, and the opportunity to beat a very good Michigan team.

"A different Indiana team showing up this week. A much improved team. I think Terry and his staff have done a tremendous job. I'm very impressed with what I see of this Indiana outfit."

Is it too trite to suggest that your players are inspired by sending you out on some kind of championship year or something since this is your last year?

"We certainly haven't used that as a motivation. The games themselves and the time that they put into prep, in preparation for these games is motivation enough. So I don't think that has anything to do with it at all.

Did you pause… when the call came down to send Stocco up the middle against Michigan's defense in a game-winning play, perhaps?

"No, I thought it was a very good call. Actually one of the coaches on the sideline recommended that to me, and I sent upstairs. I thought it was an excellent call."

Last year when Matt Bernstein played tailback after he had been fasting on Yom Kippur and then had a very good night obviously. What do you think that game speaks about his character and what do you think he means to this team, last season and this season, just in general?

"Matt's been voted by his teammates as one of our captains. So I think that tells you what they think of him as far as his leadership role. Matt loves to play the game. He's a guy that has fun at practice every day. Just, I think, lightens things up for everybody around him.

"When he plays, he mixes it up. He's a very physical player. He's kind of like a dying breed. With many of the new offenses anymore you don't see a true fullback position per se, in a lot of the teams we're playing. So, he's very unique. But then he's talented enough to step back and line up at the tailback position, which he played in high school, and be effective."

Do you think he felt a sigh of relief when he saw that the Jewish Holidays didn't fall on a Saturday this year?

"Bernie likes to eat. So I'm sure that there probably was a sigh."

How often do you get a chance to talk to Brooks and what's your reaction to him looking like he's going to start for the Jets this weekend?

"Brooks stays in contact with Jeff Horton and anytime he's in town he stops by the offices, makes sure he gets a chance to visit with all of us. We just saw that the other day that he's listed as a starter. We're excited for him. I'm really excited for him and I'm confident that he'll do a good job."

Audio file 2 (4:41) -

On who suggested calling a sneak for Stocco:

"Well, it was Henry Mason. Said we could go in up front. They're bailing out of there… He thought it was there… He didn't have headsets on at the time so I mentioned it to the two coordinators. They agreed. So we decided to go ahead and go with it."

On Ken DeBauche:

"Kenny's been unbelievable thus far. Playing with a lot of poise and has a tremendous feel from around midfield… When he pooch punts, he's downed a lot of balls inside the five-yard line, inside the 10-yard line. He's giving our opponents poor field position and he's really turned into a very reliable and excellent kicker for us."

On Indiana: have you seen a lot of improvement from the first game to the Kentucky game. And where has this improvement come from?

"I think what I see is a system that's being implemented and every week it appears that the players understand it a little more and they play a little faster just because they understand the system. You can see the process taking place. And just the fact that they know it better, they're playing better."

Do you see a parallel between their offense and Bowling Green's?

"No, not really. It's not the same type of offense."

Just a question about something Joe Stellmacher did in that game against Michigan. He got hurt early in that game, had to come out, comes back in and is part of a big play on that goal line stand. I think his teammates could tell he wasn't physically fit after that injury. What kind of message does that send to his teammates when he just keeps going back out there and does whatever he can to help them win?

"I think Joe is, you know, he's an example of a walk-on attitude, who's done everything in our program, loves to play the game, plays for the right reasons. Works so hard in the offseason to improve any deficiencies. He wants to be on the field so badly and earned a starting spot and just doesn't want to give it up. And just plays the game the way it's supposed to be played."

Is the effect of that sometimes that maybe if a guy doesn't feel well, isn't having a good day that it kind of…. pushes him to give everything he's got if you look at a guy like Stellmacher when he does that?

"Well, you hope so. But I think more than anything else, that sends — it's a message of what type of attitude is needed to be successful. It's an attitude that I think every coach is looking for: someone that just loves the game. But I think young players in particular see that, recognize it. ‘This is what the coaches want.' Because we recognize that. This is what the game's all about, this is how you go about the game and this is how you are supposed to play."


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