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Barry Alvarez Post Game Quotes

January 1, 2015

OUTBACK BOWL HEAD COACHES POST-GAME NEWS CONFERENCE
Thursday, January 1, 2015

WISCONSIN COACH BARRY ALVAREZ

Opening statement:
"Let me just first say I couldn't be more proud of a group of guys, and you know I'd say that, that have gone through so much in the last, not only this month, but the three classes that have gone through changes. The last month for these guys has been very hectic, yet they bought in. I think they've learned lessons in their tenure at Wisconsin. They're very resilient. But I thanked them for believing in me and the plan I would give them in a very short time. I told them I'd have them ready for the game. We tried to get them stronger, we tried to get them healthier, and we gave them a good game plan. Our assistant coaches were very professional throughout this process and gave them a good game plan and game the kids a chance to win. They beat a very good Auburn team. Gus (Malzahn) runs a great program; they have a number of outstanding players that the things they do offensively create problems. But our guys were able to answer it and find a way to win. I'm very happy also for the fans of Wisconsin. We got a dry spell in bowl games. We went a while there were we won every year, and we can get the ball rolling that way now. I'm proud and pleased with the hospitality that we had here in Tampa. Jim (McVay, Outback Bowl CEO) and the Outback people do such a tremendous job. I want to thank them for the tremendous hospitality and the way we were treated, and the first-class manner in which this bowl is run."

On the key to Wisconsin's success in the Outback Bowl:
"Melvin's running has to be in there, but I would start with the offensive line. Our game plan was to open it up early, throw the ball to loosen them up, to get them running around up front, and let the offensive line take over and establish our running game. I really liked what I saw in that opening drive in the second half. We ran the ball down the field. Basically we had a hard time with them and they had a hard time with us in the second half. I'd go with the offensive line, but Melvin is truly special. We've had a lot of good backs come through here. For him to break that record, I think someone had told him you couldn't have the numbers that you had if you played in the Southeast Conference and I think he begged to differ."

On going for it on fourth down instead of a 51-yard field goal attempt:
"It was a tough kick. Quite frankly, I wanted to go for the win. We're playing with a guard who's got a leg he's dragging for an entire half. I didn't know how much longer he'd go. He was having a hard time with a combination of things. I just didn't want to take a chance with a kick and go into overtime when we had a chance, if we can get a first down, we can go in and have a shot to win, and we had a shot. It didn't quite work out, but that was my thinking right there, let's go for the win."

On the Gatorade bath he received after the overtime win:
"You know what, I've had a couple of those, and I like them. It's a little uncomfortable afterwards, but I like them. And it's special for those seniors. It meant a lot to them. They've won a lot of games here; they haven't won a lot of bowl games. So they put a lot into it, they bought into it, they gave us strong leadership when it was needed, so now they can enjoy it."

On returning to the sidelines for the Outback Bowl:
"First of all let's make something clear; I didn't want to coach these guys. I first initially said I would feel uncomfortable doing that again when they asked me, and they asked me to sleep on it and they would come back. I thought maybe they would forget about it. But they did show up the next morning and I had two hours before I was flying down here for the press conference and they came in and visited with me again. I started thinking, and I thought about it actually that night, if they came back and asked me again, why are we all there? Why are we at the university? It's still about the kids or we wouldn't have jobs. So the least I could do, if I could bring them some stability, and that's what they felt like they needed, then I should do that. That's why I went back."

On offensive lineman Kyle Costigan playing hurt:
"Costigan was coming in and out of the huddle, he's hopping on one leg and he wouldn't come out of the game. That's how legends are made, you know."

On Wisconsin's offensive game plan:
"That was Andy Ludwig's plan from the very beginning, that we wanted to open the game throwing the ball, open it up and make them run around maybe try to tire their front up, loosen them up a little bit because we knew they would hug the line of scrimmage. Then we told the offensive line they have to take the game over in the second half."

On how the win impacts the program:
"There are a lot of young players in that room. Winning is good, especially now. They beat a very good team. It's 11 wins guys and gals; 11 wins is hard. There aren't many teams out there that will have 11 wins at the end of the year and we're going to be one of them. These guys know how to win, the young guys see what it takes to win, and that will carry over."

On whether there is a Barry Alvarez Part Four coming:
"That's it. No mas. No mas. And you people down here in Tampa understand that. No mas."