Alvarez, Bollinger and Mack Verbatim

Here is what Coach Barry Alvarez and Alamo Bowl MVP's Brooks Bollinger and Jeff Mack had to say in the postgame press conference following the Badgers' 31-28 overtime victory over Colorado to win the 2002 Alamo Bowl.

Alvarez: First of all, I'm very proud of the way our guys competed. I thought they really went after things, never gave up, just refused to lose, led by our quarterback. I said to someone else earlier, I don't know if I've ever been with someone who's competed as hard and led the way he did. It's contagious, his competitiveness, and I thought he really saved his best for last. Because it was an awesome football game, Colorado is a good football team. But for our guys to hang in there, we made some mistakes, we gave them the short field a couple of times that third quarter, but our guys just stayed with it. They stayed determine. I'm just very pleased with the effort that we got today.

Q: Can you talk about the legacy that this senior class leaves behind?

Alvarez: Well we talked about that yesterday. Actually this afternoon, that they really did a good job this week showing our young players how to manage a bowl week. Bowl weeks aren't easy. There's a reason why there are a lot of upsets during bowl week. These guys did a nice job. We said to top off your legacy, a win is the way to top it off and to show them how to really enjoy a bowl. And hopefully this will springboard, and that's what I just addressed the young guys. It springboards them into the offseason and into spring practice. With as many young guys that played, they know what it takes to win, they know what it takes to beat good teams. They made the plays down the stretch today to get the job done. And hopefully we can take it from there and move forward and progress next year.

Q: Brooks, can you talk about the two fourth-down plays on the final drive?

Bollinger: To be honest, right now I can't remember much of anything from that game. I know Jonathan (Orr) dropped the one, and he just came back and I just said, `Hey, we're going to make this play guys. You're going to make a play to help us win this football game. Keep your head up. Don't anyone doubt it for a second.' It doesn't always end up that way, but today we had an opportunity and we made the plays when it counted at the end.

Q: Is this the best way you could go out?

Bollinger: No, I feel like I've been asked that 30 times already. I really can't. This game was, obviously it started out a little rocky for me on that first drive actually. I think this game kind of illustrates all the things this program is about and really the season that we've had and the last couple of years. Just never quit. (Alvarez) gave me credit for that, but it starts with him. That's what this program is built on. I've just been fortunate to be a part of it the last five years.

Q: Barry, you really seem to relish the underdog role in these bowls.

Alvarez: People never think we can win.

Q: What did it take to convince your team it could win?

Alvarez: Well you know what, somebody asked me that yesterday. I don't think we even talked about being an underdog. It doesn't have anything to do with being an underdog. It's about how we played. We didn't talk about that at all. We talked about us, and what we had to do, and then we wanted to play better, we wanted to improve, we wanted to finish strong. But we didn't talk about being an underdog. This is athletics. You play to find out who's the best. So we don't put much onus on that.

Q: Brooks, is this the best of your nine comeback victories?

Bollinger: Yeah, I think you always want to go out on a positive note. To have my last game be like this, in that jersey and with this group of guys, makes it the most special football game I've ever played in.

Q: Is it tough to take the uniform off for the final time Brooks?

Bollinger: Yeah, I've got the pants on still, so maybe I'll keep them on a little while. They took the pads off me pretty quick. Yeah, there's no question. Like I said, I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity, just to be a part of all the people I've met, all the things the program has done for me. I've taken as much as I can from this football program and it's made me a better football player and a better person.

Q: Jeff, it's been a frustrating year for you personally with injuries. Were you even more focused tonight after what you've gone through this year?

Mack: Definitely. Coach has instilled in everybody to just persevere. And he talks about momentum and how the pendulum swings. Just with some of the things I've had to go through, I was hoping the pendulum would swing back my way. We came out and played a good Colorado team. A cocky one, but a good Colorado team. I apologize, I don't like to…I'm sorry Coach.

Alvarez: Hell, the game's over now. (laughs)

Mack: I don't like to give them bulletin board material, but they can put it up now. They're a cocky bunch, and that's alright. They want to run the ball and we want to stop it. What better way than to ram it down their throat.

Q: Can you talk about the job the defense did against Chris Brown?

Alvarez: I thought our front really played well. I thought we had a good scheme. We did a lot of substituting, as we normally do according to their formation groupings. And they use a lot of groupings. Normally, they run the ball on everybody, and that's a great back. Now there were times we made contact at the line of scrimmage and he gets six or eight (yards). He's got a tremendous future. But I just thought our guys really competed and played the run and (Brian) Calhoun is really quick. So they really have a nice change-up there. But I was really pleased with the way our guys…I thought they wore us down a little bit when we had to go back-to-back series to start the second half, but when we had to stop them we did.

Q: Two of your guys that had up-and-down years really came through for you, Darrin Charles and Mike Allen.

Alvarez: Well, you know what? Mike Allen…it's amazing. And I don't even want to try to figure out kickers, but for some reason I was confident on that last kick. He had the best look in his eye, he had a very confident look in his eye, he was hitting everything all game. I didn't look into the eyes and see the back of his head or anything. He looked at me and had a smile. He was very confident. It was nice to see Darrin come up with that big catch down inside the one-yard line. He went up and took it. I like to see those guys (succeed) because they are young, they are young, they are going to be in the program a long time, to have that kind of success in a big game like this.

Q: Why were you so confident Mike was going to make the kick?

Alvarez: Just the way he looked, because he was confident. He was very confident. When they called timeout to ice him, he came over, he had a big smile on his face and a good look in his eyes. I felt very confident that he was going to knock that ball through there.

Q: What does this win say about this team and this program?

Alvarez: What we preached was just stick with it. Just stick with things. You are going to have some bumps in the road, you're going to have people take shots at you. Just stick with it, just keep battling, playing hard, be competitive play four quarters, do all of the things that we talk about. The thing it tells me is our guys have bought into it. Bought into the program, bought into what we're selling. And to see so many guys come around and stick with it…we knew it was going to be a four-quarter game, we had four and change, but man did they play.

Q: With your birthday just around the corner, did this win age you?

Alvarez: This is getting easy. Games like that…that was a great football game. It's fun to be a part of games like that. (Gary) Barnett and I have had a few like that. But it just feels good to win. It's always good to win.

Brooks, you are looking around the room like you still can't believe it

Bollinger: Yeah, it's a weird feeling you know? So much has happened in the last few minutes. I'm just trying to soak it all in. Alvarez: You know what? These questions are getting slow, and we need to go celebrate. Thank you.

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