With five days and change remaining until the Wisconsin Badgers (No. 18 Coaches Poll/No. 20 AP) take on the Alabama Crimson Tide (No. 3 in both polls), Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst took to the podium and addressed the media for his first Monday press conference of the season.
Among the highlights of the press conference from Chryst were the following:
- He likes where the players are at, and they have a healthy respect for Alabama
- The offensive line listed with junior Walker Williams and sophomore Hayden Biegel at right guard and right tackle, respectively, give them the best chance to succeed, noting that Biegel has had enough drills and meetings. Later in the press conference when asked if both were 100-percent "full-go," Chryst confirmed they were.
- Chryst feels the line's in good shape with junior center Dan Voltz directing it.
- With the uncertainty of who will play quarterback for Alabama, Chryst said adjustments will be needed to be made -- like every game -- but notes he's comfortable with the defense and the veterans on it
- Redshirt senior Tanner McEvoy is a "really a talented football player" and thinks he can add a dimension to the offense while continuing to get better. Later in the press conference, he noted he isn't concerned about the health of the multi-faceted player -- who "tweaked" his leg last week during practice.
- The players have a "tremendous focus" at the moment.
- Chryst noted redshirt sophomore Jazz Peavy would be the fifth wide receiver after redshirt seniors Alex Erickson and McEvoy, along with juniors Reggie Love and Robert Wheelwright.
- More on McEvoy -- when asked if him being at wide receiver was more out of necessity than his best fit, Chryst said playing at both receiver and safety has to "work for both."
- Chryst said he was impressed by the tape of Arkansas' effort against Bama, and did speak with former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema some, but that he'd rather trust the tape and film rather than talk on the phone.
- When asked what a win would do for the reputation of Wisconsin football, Chryst said it's not about him, and that it'll be a great game and opportunity for the Badgers against a program that has a recent and long tradition.
- Chryst is excited for the defense and what they've done -- and sees them getting better. He noted the defense has great chemistry with its players and they trust defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
- Regarding the "big-feel" atmosphere and how to prepare the players for it, Chryst said they're going to get off the plane and head to the stadium. Then on Saturday, they'll do the walk-through there as well. He wants the players to enjoy the opportunity to play at AT&T Stadium, but also focus in on the game at hand.
- When asked about redshirt senior quarterback Joel Stave, Chryst says Stave's 21-7 as a starter and has grown through all of his experiences. The players trust him and know he's in it for them.
- Regarding Alabama's front seven, Chryst acknowledged is a really good defense in general in terms of schematics and the players.