Wisconsin picked up a huge win over the Iowa Hawkeyes this past weekend which now puts the Badgers in control of their own destiny in the Big Ten West. Boy, what a difference a month makes. This week, the Badgers will look to continue that success they’ve had of late as they travel to New Jersey to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Here is what coach Chryst had to say about both their most recent performance and their upcoming battle.
Chryst was first asked about the Wisconsin run defense which, like most weeks, had another incredible performance.
“It takes everyone to do that. That's what you are seeing, everyone, doing their part and then some. They're playing with confidence... the process and the play is what is enabling that.”
Chryst was then asked about Isaiah Mullens who has been an underrated piece of this Wisconsin-run defense. When discussing him Chryst had this to say.
“I thought he got off to a good start and I think he’s continued to build on that. There’s no doubt. Shame on me for not talking more about it. I’ve also been appreciative of Bryson who’s going and giving us things... there’s confidence in the next guys as well, but no doubt Isaiah has been playing good football.”
Chryst was then asked about the current state of college football in regards to transfers, just a few days after Wisconsin was hit with two more players entering the portal.
“Certainly we’re kinda entering into this. Last year was such a unique year, this year is the first year where we are starting to get a sense of how it plays out, and yet there’s still is the need to develop and to grow... there’s still that group that wants and needs that. There are others that there is a little bit different of an agenda. That’s where it comes down to finding the right fit in the recruiting process. We’ve got some guys that have come in and can impact.”
After that, Chryst added some further comments on why players are transferring more mid-season than waiting till year's end.
“Certainly I don’t know...but I think that there’s a thought that if I am out there that they can start talking to me. You can’t secure anything, you know there is no signing. If they don't want to be there, I think it’s the right thing to not be part of that team. That’s what I love about a team when there’s a group of guys all into it... if they don't want to be part of that team I respect them not being there. If you want to be here you gotta be all in to do this.”
Chryst then was asked about the turnaround and what he saw from his team that led him to believe this team could still be in a position to win a division after a 1-3 start.
“You play out the season, and you play it and you take advantage of each moment you get. I believe in this group, I like the makeup of this group. I like who they are as individuals, and we have good leadership. This whole time we’ve got enough talent. Certainly, you’ve got to play good football... we knew the things that we were doing well and that we had to continue to build on and we knew the things that we weren't and how do we correct those... we can play better football. We can continue to grow and develop and be a little bit better.”
Chryst then touched on Graham Mertz and if he’s gained some confidence to give him more opportunities in the passing game.
“I think that we’re working at it. The games will present times when you’ve gotta take advantage of opportunities. When they do you wanna be confident and ready to do that. We have confidence in them. What can you expect to see? I don’t know. If I did, I wouldn’t tell you anyway.”
Chryst lastly touched on Rutgers and what he expects to see from the Scarlet Knights in their contest this weekend.
“It starts with a lot of respect for Gregg (Schiano). You see them, it’s a tough team. You can see them play hard, you can see them play well. You see talented players. It’s been a while since we’ve played them but you see it coming together. Gregg has a really good staff and they’re playing good, sound football... In all three phases they want to be a physical team and you see that on film. You see a good, well-coached, tough team.”