MADISON — For the first time in 2017, the No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers head out on the road.
Wisconsin (2–0) will head to Provo, Utah, to take on the BYU Cougars (1–2) for their Saturday contest (2:30 p.m. CT, ABC).
BYU gives up 376.3 yards per game (166 rushing, 210.3 passing) but only 17.3 points per game over three contests (27 vs. LSU, 19 vs. Utah).
“The one thing that sticks out to me is a front seven that’s seniors and juniors, and I think they’ve got a good system and they understand it,” Chryst said. “I think they have good skill in the secondary, but they play hard. I think they got good players and a couple of guys that I think are physical players. Enough movement and pressures, and a lot of different types of pressures that you have to prepare for. You may not see it all in a game, but we don’t know what we’re going to see, so it’ll be a good week of preparation.”
In Wisconsin’s favor is the fact BYU has played three games, which has seen Kalani Sitake’s squad face the likes of LSU, Utah, and Portland State.
“We’ve got three games [of film] on them, which is better than when you go into Utah State, we weren’t sure what they were going to do, and even FAU, not so sure, so now I think it’s good for our players that they have some tape,” Chryst said. “Typically, you see something that you haven’t seen. How are they are going to defend us? We don’t know, but I’ve been impressed watching their defense.”
More from Chryst’s press conference on Monday:
On BYU’s offense and maybe seeing the pieces for some problems for Wisconsin’s defense: “You do see what they’re doing and watching it in the off-season, liked a lot of what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. So I think kind of like what we’re talking about earlier, where we got pieces going but haven’t put it all together on a consistent level, my guess is that they’d probably be saying the same.”
On BYU’s players who have gone on Mormon missions and if it makes it more of a challenge with the players having experience: “I think you can see, and you don’t know if you’re projecting that because that’s in your mind, but they play the game tough and the right way and you see them when they’re relentless. I’d like to say that when you see some of our upperclassmen, and so I think it will be a challenge. Our younger players, I think, will sense that and you see it on their special teams as well.”
On the differences in climate and elevation and how they approach/prepare for it: “That’s a real fact. We can prepare them the best we can here, right, and so I think you just got to focus on all the things that you can control. Then they’ve got to get adjusted to it, and I don’t know how much you can talk about it, but you can’t simulate it here.”
On the offensive line and its depth with both Jon Dietzen and Beau Benzschawel questionable: “It’ll be probably this way, certainly for different position groups at different times, but we’ll see how Beau and Jon progress this week. Certainly, we got to keep working with or developing whether it’s Erds’ or whoever it may be that has to go, make sure that they’re ready and confident in what we’re doing in themselves to help our team.”
How having Jonathan Taylor and his abilities opening up the offense: “I think big plays, you love getting them, but I caution the players to try to make big plays. I think big plays happen when everyone executes together, whether it’s a run or a pass. I think we’ve got some players that are capable of it, and yet we’ve got to go back to making sure that everyone just— what was one big play, was certainly Jonathan made a guy miss, but then it was Danny Davis going down and getting a block onto the safety. So I think when they see that and they realize that there’s a guy who can make someone miss, and Chris James had one, we had a safety who was right in the whole, and then he bounced it, and we didn’t finish a block. And that would have gone [for a touchdown], the guy came from behind and hit it, so I think it’s just everyone understanding that you’ve gone to play through the whistle and then you’ve got to do your job. When we all do that, then big plays, I think, are the byproduct of everyone doing the right thing.”
How has Leon Jacobs started this season? “I think he’s off to a really good start, and Leon, I felt like he had a really good spring, and I know he had a heck of a summer so he’s invested in it. That’s what fun when you’re around seniors and guys like Leon that maybe haven’t had the opportunity that he has now where he’s the clear cut starter. I also like the fact that Leon, he thinks he should impact the game, so I’ve loved the two starts that he’s had, and can he keep building on that? I don’t feel like there’s a reason why he couldn’t. Like what we were talking about earlier, that’s the opportunities that come. And I think he’s been having fun, because he knows what he’s invested, and now he gets to go do it. I think we need more like that.”
On Isaiahh Loudermilk: “I think Isaiahh’s made huge strides, and he’s growing and he’s played two games so he’s getting comfortable and yet there’s a lot of room for growth.”
On Kendric Pryor and what to expect from him: “I thought ‘KP ‘was having a real good camp. Last week, he was really able to start going non-contact, but for the receiving position, was able to get a lot of routes in. The conditioning was as much as any part of it that he had to get back, so I’m anxious how much more he can do this week than last, and it’ll be good to get him going. I really thought he was playing with confidence. I thought he was in a position to help us not just on offense, I thought certain areas in special teams so it’ll be with him fully cleared now, don’t know how fast it’ll come, but looking forward to it. I know he’s anxious as well to get going.”
On Andrew Van Ginkel: “I think Andrew in both games, he’s made some plays. I know in the last one he’d like to have the—they kind of bounced it outside of him and lost leverage on one. He’s a guy, that when he came here in the spring, made plays, and he did it in fall camp. I think he’s got that ability and so two games in, still a lot of growth to be had, but I really like having him out there.”
On Alex Hornibrook and what happens when he goes “sideways” and when he’s good: “I think that when with Alex, with any quarterback really...if you go back and look at it, when you’re in rhythm, that’s when they’re playing their best. That’s when they’re throwing their best hows. I think that’s when they’re seeing the field clean. I thought that a lot of—I thought Quintez made two really big-time catches. Other than that, the first third down with Chris and then Alex missed “Fum”—neither one picked each other up. The ball was just a little bit off, and Alex can have helped the receiver and the receiver could have helped him. Twice I thought he could have hung too long on the first option and could have progressed through it. What was interesting on one of them specifically when you play our defense, that second option’s not a great option, and yet we’re not playing our defense anymore.”