Ohio State Postgame: Barry Alvarez Verbatim

Here is what Coach Barry Alvarez had to say in his postgame press conference following the Badgers' 19-14 loss against Ohio State Saturday afternoon.

We were defeated by a very good football team today in what I thought was a good football game. No one likes to lose, yet I thought we showed improvement. I like the way my guys competed. They made a couple more plays than we did. I thought the key play of the game was 3rd-and-7 in the fourth quarter. They really hadn't done much for a quarter and a half. The ball was up in the air, we had two guys in position and no one made a play on the ball and they made a big completion and were able to go down and score on that series. I thought that was key. I also thought it was key when the ball was downed on the one-inch line. We were able to move it out to midfield…we tried to fair catch that ball and couldn't get to the ball because of a defender, but we played better today than we have the last few weeks. The important thing is we have to build off of it.

What was the explanation the referees gave you on that attempt to fair catch the ball by Jim Leonhard?

Alvarez: They said that he went for the ball, but he backed off. Jimmy probably should have just kept running right into their defender and we would have probably gotten a call. But he didn't. That was their explanation. I said, `He couldn't get to the ball.'

Do you feel like, other than a few big plays, your defense played pretty well and maybe deserved a better fate?

Alvarez: I thought they played very well. There are a lot of weapons on that team. And the quarterback will never beat them. That quarterback makes the right decisions. I don't think they had a turnover all day. You all know how good that running back is, and those receivers are very good, good offensive line. I thought our defense really played well. Those three pass plays were the story of the game.

At the end of the first half, was there any thought of trying to move the ball down the field, using your timeouts and trying to get some points on the board?

Alvarez: With 20 seconds left, against the wind?

There were 41 seconds left.

Alvarez: Fourty-one seconds, 80 yards away, into the wind for a one-point lead? No.

Did not having timeouts at the end hurt you?

Alvarez: Well obviously we could have stopped the…mistakes happen in games guys. Jim (Sorgi), the clock ran down, he didn't think we could get motion, we burned a timeout. And we had a different personnel grouping, somebody didn't hear the personnel grouping and that was a very important two-point conversion, and we needed the right personnel in the game. So yeah, we could have stopped…we obviously could have made them earn a first down at the end and not let them melt the clock as they did if we could have stopped them.

How did you think Sorgi played?

Alvarez: I thought Jim played well.

Is the running game getting back to where you'd like to see it?

Alvarez: I thought we ran the ball…that was one thing we wanted to establish. As we studied the game plan, they had only had about 18 two-back runs at them in the first seven games. We wanted to see if we could establish a run, which we did for the first three quarters. I thought Anthony (Davis) ran extremely well. I thought our offensive line blocked very well. I liked the way we ran the ball. You'd like to get more points on the board.

On the 3rd-and-7, when Sorgi threw the interception in the end zone, is that a situation where you would have gone for the fourth down if that was incomplete?

Alvarez: Yeah. I think the ball was on the 32, somewhere in there. It was a little too far out for a field goal. We had already decided, we had the next play if that one was incomplete. Actually Jim checked to that play. They were blitzing. We wanted to go one-on-one and take a shot at them, and the ball hung up a little bit. But he made the right check.

You're 0-3 in the Big Ten right now. How do you handle that?

Alvarez: Well you just worry about next week. You're not going to win the league with three (losses) so you try to win as many games as you can, try to concentrate on next week. Try to build off this game.

Can you talk about using Mike Lorenz as a tight end?

Alvarez: We're pretty thin at tight end without (Bob) Docherty there. We just thought we could get somebody, a little muscle in there and get some movement. And we used him quite a bit. It gives him a chance to play a little. We just tried to get a little more stout at tight end.

Was this the best Broderick Williams has played this year?

Alvarez: He played the whole game. I can't say how he played. I thought Lamarr Watkins showed up for his first start as a true freshman, played the entire game. I thought he did some nice things.

How did Ohio State react to what you were trying to do in the running game?

Alvarez: I thought they played our first down runs very well down the stretch. In the fourth quarter, we had a lot of 2nd-and-10's when we ran the ball on first down. The key is to stay regular, which we did for the first three quarters. But they were getting nine guys in the box. They were using their safeties as run support and coming off the edges with them and getting some movement. They run a cross dog with their two linebackers. So they put a lot of heat on you on the line of scrimmage. We were able to pop a couple of them in the first half.

Is there any reason Alex Lewis didn't play on defense today?

Alvarez: No.

Did you see any signs that your guys are discouraged by your 0-3 mark in the Big Ten?

Alvarez: We don't really…we're not talking about conference standings. You're talking about getting better. I thought they responded very well today. The important thing is to continue to play like this and not worry about conference standings. Try to win more football games.

Was Brooks Bollinger's concussion serious?

Alvarez: Can't tell on that. They just told me he was foggy and wasn't responding like they would expect and didn't want him back in the game.

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