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GAME NOTES: No. 8 Wisconsin falls to No. 6 Oregon in Rose Bowl, 28-27

Who said what about what after the Rose Bowl.

@B5QPhotos; Matt Fleming
  • Post game press conference featuring head coach Paul Chryst, Chris Orr and Jonathan Taylor.
  • Jonathan Taylor eclipsed 2,000 yards on the season in the game and moved past Tony Dorsett to become No. 4 on the all-time NCAA rushing list.
  • Taylor and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins both finished the season with 2,003 rushing yards. Only Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard had more rushing yards (2,094).
  • Wisconsin turned the ball over four times in the game and committed nine penalties for 79 yards, while outgaining Oregon, 322-204.
  • The penalty that ultimately decided the outcome of the game was an offensive pass interference call on Danny Davis.
  • Wisconsin has now lost four straight Rose Bowl games by a combined 16 points and falls to 0-2 against Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
  • Paul Chryst is now 4-1 in bowl games as Wisconsin’s head coach.
  • Full post-game quotes from Chryst, Taylor and Orr:

COACH CHRYST OPENING STATEMENT: Well, obviously disappointed in the outcome of the game, and give Oregon credit. And the experience, to me it’s about the game. And it was – ­certainly in this game, I appreciate and the guys put it out there. And everyone knows football. Did some things that make it harder to win, and we didn’t overcome that.

But appreciate this team a ton. And we would have liked to have finished it differently. We didn’t. But appreciate this team a ton.

I’d like to ask Paul and Jonathan first about Jack Coan’s performance, what most impressed you about the way he played. And secondly, how – ­Oregon’s speed on defense, how much of that was a factor in what you weren’t able to do offensively tonight?

COACH CHRYST: Obviously, Oregon’s got a good defense. Knew that coming in, and you had to earn everything you got.

And Jack, I thought, the best part about Jack is that he was himself. He’s tough. He competes. Incredibly selfless. He’ll do anything for this team. And doesn’t mean everything’s always perfect, right? Never is for any player.

But appreciate the way that he plays, and our guys around him know that he’ll do everything he can for them. But it’s a good defense.

JONATHAN TAYLOR: Adding on to Jack, from a player’s standpoint, he’s in the huddle. He’s like, We need it, guys. We need it. Third and one, fourth and one. He brings us together in the huddle. He commands in the huddle.

But we trust in Jack. Whenever he calls us to attention, we’re right there with all ears. Because we know he’ll lead us to where we need to go.

I feel from a player’s standpoint, like Coach said, he was very himself, and we trusted him all game.

Three turnovers, nine penalties, some mistakes on special teams. How uncharacteristic is that of you guys and as a program and why do you think that it occurred tonight?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: When you have those things happen in a game, it will definitely hurt you. Possibly slim chance you could win, but definitely put you in a tough position when you have self-inflected penalties, special teams problems, turnovers.

But when you’re playing an elite team like Oregon, a great team like that, they’ll capitalize on those mistakes. I think that was the biggest part on us, is understanding we should have had to clean things up. You can’t expect a win, a burst team like Oregon, with turnovers, penalties, special teams issues. I think that played a factor with everything, not playing clean Wisconsin football.

CHRIS ORR: Not as clean as it should have been. Hats off to them. Good team over there. Whenever you’re playing a good team, you shoot yourself in the foot too many times. It makes it harder and harder to win. But at the end of the day, still need to find a way to overcome that.

Chris, you guys were disappointed with that loss to Ohio State, I’m guessing you think that you could have won this game today. Just sum up what you’re feeling your last game here.

CHRIS ORR: Hurt, disappointment, mostly in myself. Feel like you let your teammates down, trust in the leadership position, you feel like you let them down when you can’t make, find a way to pull through for them.

But it’s a terrible feeling. It’s the worst feeling in football to lose a game, and to know it’s your last time hurts you even more. You hurt more for everybody else around you more so than even yourself. I’ll probably just say hurt.

Chris, based on how your team played last year, you were a big part of setting the tone for this year, going into offseason workouts obviously beginning the season, and you’re leaving the team, is there something that you can do to help kick start that process for the guys who are returning? And, Jonathan, if you want to address that question however you’d like, that would be great, too.

JONATHAN TAYLOR: Just tell the younger guys. When you talk to the younger guys, you tell them you have to use this in the offseason. That’s the biggest thing. Especially after last year, having the season that we had, kind of not the season that we wanted to have, you use that. You use that as fuel and motivation in the offseason to get bigger, stronger, faster, get into spring ball and start working and developing on your skills. And then when fall camp comes around, it’s time to earn your role.

So I think that’s the biggest thing, is using the season in your offseason workout and spring ball.

CHRIS ORR: That’s the same message I would give everybody too is just to use this as fuel. It should make you mad every day, this feeling you have right now. You should be mad. You should be hurt every day that you go in there to workouts.

I told them take everything that you wish you could have done this year and in the game that we might have fell short, and everything you wish could have happened, if you wish we finished better, then you use that as your fuel in the offseason, you need to finish everything stronger. If you create a turnover, whatever the case is, you need to work on that all offseason.

Paul, what kind of team leader and teammate is Jonathan?

COACH CHRYST: Jonathan is – he’s everything that you would want to be in a teammate. And I’ve loved seeing his progression as a leader on this team, and unbelievable care for his teammates. That’s where it starts. And unbelievable example of how you approach every day.

And it’s impressive what he’s done on the field, and it’s incredibly impressive who he is and how he’s done it, is more impressive to me.

CHRIS ORR: His character, I’ve told people in interviews he’s the humblest person you’ve ever met. If you hadn’t met him, didn’t know his name, you wouldn’t know that he’s the greatest college running back of all time.

He’s always been a leader, even when he was a freshman. It was more so from action then, from his work ethic. He was always one of the hardest workers, and you appreciate that. He was always somebody who is never satisfied with anything that he’s done. So you definitely appreciate that more.

And then away from football, he’s a great friend. And makes it easier and easier to be a great teammate when you’re a great friend.

Jonathan, talk about the play of your offensive line today.

JONATHAN TAYLOR: I think we did a good job. We picked up a lot of pressures today. We also had our fair share of misses today as well.

I think that’s the biggest thing, when you go into a game, you would love to be spot on every single play, every single rep, play a perfect game. But of course that’s not going to happen. But that’s why you work. You work to play a perfect game.

I think we did a good job at communicating. If there was something new that we hadn’t seen or there was something we missed, we were communicating. I think that’s the biggest thing, no matter what offensive line, running back combo anywhere around the country, as long as you’re communicating, things will work out in your favor.

Paul, did you get an explanation on the offensive pass interference call, and how did you think that changed the game there?

COACH CHRYST: No, I didn’t.

With Justin Herbert’s legs, what did you think about how he was able to make a difference in that aspect today?

COACH CHRYST: Yeah, he was effective. And obviously knew he was really talented coming into the game, but he made some big plays, and certainly was a factor in him running the ball.

Paul, I know the turnovers hurt, but you guys had a missed field goal. You had to settle for a field goal what you thought should have got a TD. How much did those contribute to the eventual outcome today?

COACH CHRYST: Huge, I mean, lose by one point, those are opportunities, and you just have to kind of keep finding ways, and we didn’t. But all those are big. We’re driving. We get a penalty. J.T. has a nice run and we get a penalty and didn’t overcome that. We didn’t overcome ourselves.

Talking about the way Herbert ran again. Last week we saw Trevor Lawrence do it, and we’re seeing a lot more of that from quarterbacks, it seems like. Why do you think that is becoming more widespread? And also, when you run against man-to-man defenses with people with their back’s turned, how much more effective does it make it?

COACH CHRYST: I think the two examples you’re talking about are two really good quarterbacks in college football and it fits their skill set, and obviously that’s why they’re two of the better quarterbacks. And, yeah, anytime that the defense has their back turned, it’s hard to stop that.

Regarding the two fumbles, was it something that Oregon’s defense was doing? Were they swiping at the ball, hitting harder? Did you guys just not take care of the football? And, Coach, regarding Justin, did you game plan for him running the ball, because typically this season he has not run?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: Really, with the turnovers, no matter what the defense is doing, if you’re taking care of the football, then turnovers won’t happen. So poor job of taking care of the football, fighting for extra yards. Trying to make sure you get the first down, keep the drive alive.

And that’s the biggest thing you’ve got to understand you have the fight and passion in you, but at the same time you have to use great technique with the ball.

Jonathan and Chris, with the way things were going with the turnovers and the penalties, how did the momentum and the feelings change on the sideline when Aaron would set you guys up with great returns?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: You get a guy electric like that, on the return, you think it can go any given moment. You’re always on the edge of your seat when he’s back there. You don’t know if they’re going to kick it to them or not. You always think they might not kick it to him because that’s not a really good idea to kick it to Cruickshank.

But we know that he’s a playmaker and he sets us up with great returns and we have to capitalize on that.

CHRIS ORR: He’s a momentum shifter in himself. He gives us a sense of no panic, more so when he’s back there and he’s breaking off those big returns. You know that if you gave something up, he’s going to set our offense up with good field position. They’ll get it in there and we’ll handle our business on defense. It’s just a calmness that he brings.

Jonathan, I know you need some time on the future of what your career may hold, but being in the locker room just a couple of minutes ago, is it kind of a surreal moment that you shared with the team?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: Anytime a game doesn’t go your way it’s always is a surreal note. You don’t want to end the season off with a loss, want to cap it off with a win. When you get to the Rose Bowl you want to cap it off with a win. Definitely emotional moment in the locker room when you have your final game of the season and you don’t come out with the win.

J.T., when you were coming off the field with Madison, you got a lovely little ovation from the fans that were still up in the stands waiting for you, what has it meant to be a part of this team and this city and state for the last three years?

JONATHAN TAYLOR: It’s been amazing, people ask me about Camp Randall, but it’s just a stadium like any other stadium. But it’s the people that fill the stadium and the fans that take time out of their jobs and daily lives day in, day out to spend their hard earned money to come watch us play a game we love.

It’s definitely the fans that make Camp Randall what it is. Coming out here, we travel well. They made it feel just like Camp Randall today.

Chris, Paul answered one of my questions by saying we couldn’t overcome ourselves, and I’m sure you want to give Oregon credit, but does that summarize how this game went today, not being able to overcome all the mistakes – offense, defense, special teams?

CHRIS ORR: I think it’s a combination of that. It’s a combination of the mistakes that you make, not only people love to point out the turnovers, but it’s not just that. We missed stuff on defense. You have the little things that people don’t notice when you’re just watching the game.

I think it’s a combination of them being a really good team and us making mistakes as well.