Solid Confidence

Citing that his unit has a good week of practice and have not lost any confidence in themselves after their first loss of the season, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren is looking forward to squaring up against the Buckeyes and their talented offense.

You've worked pretty hard in the last eight or nine months to restore the confidence in your guys. Do you think that took a hit at all on Saturday or aren't you worried?

No I am not worried about it. The guys fought, they came back and had a tough thing. They're going to learn from it and move forward from it. They've had some great days of practice and they are excited about Ohio State coming here.

One of the offensive guys said they liked the tempo of practice. Did you like how your guys practiced?

Well obviously there was a lot of frustration and if you let those kinds of things get you down, all it does is take hits on what you can do down the road. These guys know that we've had that happen to us in the past and we don't want to go down that road again. We had a couple tough lessons a year ago that we learned from. We took a hit we didn't want to take and now we have to move forward. There's still a lot of things ahead of this season and we have to play for them.

You're talking about going out to Penn State?

Yeah, yeah what happened last year with Illinois and Penn State. We know that we've got a tough road here at home and we've got to be ready to play against these guys.

What kind of unique problems does a guy like Terrelle Pryor present to a defense?

Obviously if what they call isn't there, he can create things for himself and that's the biggest thing. You can't design your defense to do what he's going to create on his own. You've got to be able to tackle him with a lot of people. That's what he does.

Do you buy that Ohio's offense has a lot of different weapons on it?

Yeah I'd say so. They've got a lot of them. Wide receivers, tight ends, running backs. A lot of players.

As a defensive coordinator, what do you admire about their offense?

Coach Tressel is a physical guy and is going to try and establish Benie Wells and his run game and Terrelle Pryor. At the same time, he is smart enough to take what you give him. He's got good receivers to do that. He's a balanced coach and when you game plan him, you can't be too one sided. You've got to be able to defend both the run and the pass against him.

Pryor and Wells have basically been in the backfield together for only one game, but is Wells more dangerous with a guy like Pryor back there rather than Boeckman?

You know, I don't know. You've got to be gap-sound against these guys because they are capable of big hits. There were times last year when we didn't respect Boeckman and he scrambled for first downs. I think we realize that we need to be gap sound and lane sound against everybody who plays quarterback now. It obviously makes you work on more things than you did in the past against these guys because of their option and zone read game now.

The cutback run was big in this game last year …

No doubt.

Are you better equipped to handle that this year you think?

We've worked a lot on that kind of that stuff since that game. Not only from design, but just working our kids everyday five or six times per side just getting the guys ready for it.

Why in the past couple years has the UW defense struggles against the spread offense?

That's a good question. It's a great offense that puts guys in space. I know two years ago, I don't remember us having all that much trouble against it. I think we played better against Northwestern than we ever had here. Last year we struggled in space and worked our butts off in the off season to correct that and so far this year it's been pretty good.

Are you going to try to use more zone or man coverage?

We'll do both. It depends on what they bring out to us.

How good was O'Brien Schofield last week? Was he a bright spot?

Yeah. We thought he has a great game. Him and Casillas were bright spots for us throughout the game. O'Brien has really come on in the first three games. Every week he has gotten better and he's active and you can see how athletic he is on some of those plays.

What's the burden for those edge guys against this offense, especially those defensive ends?

You try to have outside-in and inside-out people on all the plays that they have. The ends are going to be those positions and you can only play the ends a couple different ways. So, we try to sometimes have those guys squeeze and rally back and sometimes have those guys sit and rally back inside. If you bend your knees, you can't do it because they have great athletes there.

There are a number of guys that grew up in Ohio. Is there a little bit of extra motivation against those guys?

I haven't asked any of them. I would assume they love playing against those guys. I think there is more motivation is playing against them because we lost to them last year than being from the state.

With Jonathan Casillas being a captain last year and not being elected this year, did you make a point of talking to him in channeling that disappointment?

We talked but Jon was hurt all through spring and through most of two-a-days. So he kind of knew that he didn't have that opportunity to shine in front of his teammates and I think he was disappointed, but he was also happy for the guys that have earned it.

Do you like the way he is leading?

I do. He knows what his job is. It's to make plays and that's what he has been doing.

They didn't show a replay of Shaughnessy's roughing the passer play. Was it a good call?

You know, I am not going to say. At that point of the game, the ref made the call and it's not my job to talk about those guys.

Does this game make or break your season?

No. No one game can make or break our season.

Was lane responsibility/containment the biggest thing that has to change from last year's game against Chris Wells?

I think tackling and just gap accountability. We had guys around him last year and he made plays and we didn't. That's the bottom line. Players have got to make plays.

How does watching two weeks of game tape on Terrelle Pryor help you guys?

I saw him in high school and I know what kind of athlete he is. We went out there and I actually visited with him. He's a very, very talented guy. You have got to be sound and we've played against guys like him in Juice Williams. It's not like we haven't seen a very talented quarterback before, but he's a special guy.

Is Curt Phillips doing the scout work for you guys this week?

Yeah and boy, does he do a great job. I don't know if you've guys gotten a chance to see him but he ran this offense in high school and it's been great for me because he tells me what he reads. He can give me feedback a lot of guys couldn't give you and it's been great.

Did you make any headway on recruiting Pryor?

No, it was pretty clear early on that he was going to stay on the east coast and be in a system where he thought he could run the spread.

Coach after four games, one or two bright spots on the defense and one or two disappointments on the defense …

Obviously, we're excited about the way our defensive front has been playing with Newkirk and Chapman and Shaughnessy. O'Brien Schofield, Casillas and Levy would be the guys I am happy with. There's a lot of guys that need to do things better and I am not going to point them out.

When you watch the film from Saturday, there were only three plays that went for over 30 yards. Was that really just the difference in the game?

Well shoot, I think big plays are always the difference. Our five turnovers we forced were big too. We can't give them up. I am sure Coach Rodriguez is telling his guys he can't give up the ball. That was the difference in the game and the penalty on third down that moved the chains. Every time there's a first down in the game, it changes the turn of events afterwards. We have got to get off the field on third down and in the fourth quarter.


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