Schofield: "I think we are improving"

With the Badger defense improving leaps and bounds the past two weeks compared to the start of the conference season, Wisconsin's O'Brien Schofield thinks the Badgers can continue that momentum for the last three weeks of the season.

When you watch the film from the Michigan State game, there are plenty of positives that you can take away from a defensive standpoint that have become clouded over because of the loss. Besides stopping the run game, what were some of the things your unit was pleased about?

Man, I think we played well together. We had the momentum for a long time. When they were in good field position, we shut them down and held them to a field goal when we easily could have given up touchdowns. I think we are playing well together and our tackling has improved a lot. That weren't that many missed tackles the whole game. I think we are improving on that aspect of the game.

You talked about the momentum. How do you think it got away from you guys so quickly after you had their offense stuck in neutral?

Really, it just takes one play – one big catch, one big run or one big penalty. I can't really put my finger on it. I can't really remember the game because I am focused on Indiana. It was just … any one play that had a positive gain on, that really did us in and kept the momentum going.

Do you guys feel like you are being tested from all different angles now because you've gone through the roller coaster of games more so than any UW team in recent memory?

Yeah and I think our coaches realize that as well. They have really pointed that out and that's why Sundays after a game, we have a period where we make our corrections and try to fix what we did wrong. We know other teams are going to attack the weaknesses that they see on film. I think that is a big part of our game.

Jay Valai said that the defense has some ‘spice' this week. Can you describe how this week has been as you guys prepare for Indiana?

I think everybody wants to win and everybody wants to go to a bowl game. Everybody is really hyped up that we can go to somebody else's house and win. This is our last road game of the year, it's the seniors' last road game and it means a lot to the defense to get a win, period.

You guys have the big win on the road at Fresno State and since then, the road hasn't been real kind. Is it important to get that winning feeling on the road back this week, especially if you guys go to a bowl game?

I think it's real important to get this win. We want to have a post season. I think once we get this win, we'll get that confidence back and we can get in the groove.

What are some of the keys when you look at Indiana's offense? They have Thigpen at running back and they have some quarterback question marks. What makes them click?

They have some really good athletes in (Marcus) Thigpen and (Kellen) Lewis. Those guys are very fast and explosive. The offense is designed really well and they have a lot of gadgetry, gadget plays that we need to know about. It's just amazing watching those guys move because I have seen them get a little hole and take it all the way to the crib. It was amazing and we need to make sure we focus in on that.

You look at the penalties this team has had and people can say this is an undisciplined football team. Is this an undisciplined football team or have these just been weeks where the penalties have just been called?

I can't say this is an undisciplined football team. I feel we are very disciplined, it's just that some weeks that penalties don't go your way or the refs are looking for certain things each week. They are locked in on certain guys doing certain things and they don't swing your way.

Statistically, the difference between 7-5 and 6-6 is just one game. From a mentality standpoint, how important is it for you guys to get that winning season and not just an average season?

We are looking at it one game at a time, but to have a winning season is very important for the seniors to go out with a winning season and for the program period. Wisconsin, the Badgers, we expect to win and our fans expect to win. We have that mentality and it's hard when things don't go our way. Just to start off going into next year knowing that we had a winning season this year, is a building block for somewhere we can work on.


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