Wisconsin football picked up a huge win on Saturday over the Purdue Boilermakers which now sets up an even bigger contest in the Big Ten West as the Badgers get ready for the Iowa Hawkeyes. This game will go a long way in deciding the division, but the Badgers appear confident about where they are at coming off a huge win and getting ready for this contest.
Chryst was first asked about the running game and the expectations he had when both Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi ended up in the Wisconsin football running back room after not having them accounted for for most of the summer at that position.
“I don’t know if you had complete certainty, but you had confidence. From the first time having conversations with Chez you quickly realize who he was... when you see him work and you have a chance to work with him in the room you felt really good... Braelon in his recruitment there was the uncertainty of what was the best position for him... he truly was going to be whatever was best for this team. There’s some self-confidence in that that he can contribute and humble in that because he’ll do what's best for the team.”
Chryst later added that he’s seen the run game grow upfront with the offensive line as well throughout the course of the season.
“The one thing that Joe and the group has done is continue to work and focus on the things that they can control. It doesn't take much for a play to be off, when you recognize that we say how do we clean that up... they just continue to have confidence in themselves and trust each other... for the run game to go it takes everyone. So often it gets put on the line but it takes everyone. It’s the fullbacks, tight ends, receivers, all those add-in. We keep grinding and working at it”
After that, Chryst was asked about the struggle on third down and what the challenges have been for the Badgers offensively in those particular plays.
“It’s a combination... it comes down to did the scheme give them a chance, you always have to look at that, and then when we do, did you execute on them. Certainly on those a lot of them you still have to win a matchup... it’s not just one thing but at the end, you’ve got to be productive and to be productive you’ve gotta be on, there’s gotta be consistency across the board.”
Following that, Chryst went on a similar track in regards to red zone struggles which has been an issue for the Badgers and many other teams in college football this season.
“I spend the time focusing on our team offensively and defensively... ball security has been one of them, you’ve gotta take care of that... there are also good defenses in this league too. That’s part of it. You’ve got to do everything right. For us, there are times we need to be more consistent and more efficient.”
Chryst then touched on the fumbles from this past Saturday and what he noticed to be the reasoning for why those mistakes popped up.
“I think you go back and what drove it, guys we’re trying to make something happen... then you go back and some of it is a technique that you can go back and clean up... everyone’s gotta try to take ownership of how they can help to secure the football.”
Braelon Allen fumbled twice before breaking off that 70-yard run.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) October 23, 2021
"My favorite college player, Melvin Gordon, started his best game the same way. That’s what was going through my head. I knew I could bounce back from it. I just had to keep my mind straight."
Chryst later dove into the team chemistry which seems to be clicking more so over the last few weeks.
“I think we’ve had it (chemistry) going into this year. I like this team, one of the reasons I say that is because I think they truly care about each other... they know if someone is all in and putting it all out there...”
Later on, Chryst dove into the Iowa match-up and talked about what he sees from Iowa as they prep for Saturday’s contest.
“It’s all a body of work that you are preparing for. Each game you see how this game played out. As you prepare for a team you take a look at who are they and what are they doing, what is capable of, and what are they doing... it’s a really well-coached football team they’ve got very good players and they understand who they are and they understand what they are asked to do.”
Chryst ended with touching on Iowa’s defense which has forced a ton of turnovers to set their offense up in manageable field position throughout this season.
“They are a great example of a group that plays together. They’ve got enough experience and understanding to combine that with good football players... the end result is what you’re talking about (in the turnovers). It’s a confident group.”