Really the play that won the game for us was Rentmester's run. That was huge! That was Wisconsin football for you. Really, I didn't see much of the guy that was coming. I just got out in time. I think once we were pinned down there, the two-yard sneak was important but Billy's run capped the game for us.
What was it like in the huddle when you guys were pinned and you knew that a first down would win the game for Wisconsin?
Well, confidence was high. I went out there, and I know Allan is the starter, but I've been enough with those guys where I think they felt really comfortable with me. I didn't see any hesitation at all with them. I told them a first down wins the game and it only took us two plays. Like I said, that was Wisconsin football for us to go out there, do our thing and let the guys up front win the game for us.
Talking to you the past couple years, I know you've wanted to have that start and have that opportunity and you've gotten playing time with the game out of reach. This was your first chance with the game hanging in the balance. How was that whole experience for you? Was it nerves or the realization that this is what you came here for?
Yeah, going into the situation I figured I would be kind of nervous but I wasn't. I probably would have been a little more nervous had they went down and scored. The defense stopping them made it better. I knew that it was my time to play and it was kind of weird but I went out there and it clicked in for me, just like what I did in high school in terms of playing. I just told myself that the opportunity was now and to go out there and not win anything, manage the game, get the game over with and get out with a win. I wasn't really nervous about it, I felt good about it and I think the other guys did, as well.
Were you aware that Allan was struggling with the humidity and cramps during the course of the game?
During the Akron game he was actually cramping up and I thought I would have to go into that game because it was hot. I was aware that he was cramping and he's done it before, so I was aware that it was happening. I knew it was going to happen so I was ready.
A lot of players struggle with the heat and humidity. Is it tougher on quarterbacks to acclimate to the conditions or does everyone handle it differently?
I think everyone handles it differently. Allan is a big guy and he carries a lot of weight around. P.J. ran the ball I don't know how many times and did not cramp up once. I think it's just the guy. The toughest factor is it happens. It just matters how your body responds to it. I think all the guys took care of their business during the week to prepare for the 80 degree weather.
What do you remember from the last time you guys went to Michigan? It was the first conference road game for this staff and the only bump in the road that season. Does anything stick out from that game?
It's a great atmosphere and a fun place to play. We just didn't handle our business. It was a close game the entire game and it just got away from us late but we were right there. We just didn't play our game. I think we have to get prepared and there aren't going to be too many places we play that our going to be more hostile than what Fresno State was. That was a heck of an atmosphere and fun to be at. To be able to go to that game, come out with a win and now go to Michigan is going to set up us, especially with all the young guys we have traveling. Hopefully we can go out there and play well.
How can you describe that Fresno atmosphere from a player's standpoint?
I loved it. Coach Settle coached there for I don't know how many years and he told us that we're going to have a walk called the ‘Gauntlet' where people would be yelling and screaming things at you. They were right there and it was cool. It's fun going on the road playing games because it's the 70 guys that you've got against everybody else. No one is there that is on your side. I think it's fun. That atmosphere would be fun to play in all the time. I mean, I love Camp Randall but going on the road motivates me and all the guys.
There are plenty of pros and cons thrown around with teams coming off a bye week and how they are going to respond in the next game. How has the team prepared itself to not have that letdown on Saturday?
I think we took the week as it went. We practices pretty hard last week with the ones going against the ones and we got more into Michigan as the week progressed. It was nice to sit back and watch college football on Saturday while we recovered from a tough, physical game. I've never been through a bye week but it gave us a chance to concentrate on where we started in camp, focusing in on basic plays, formations and give the young guys to get reps. I think it will help us.