MADISON, Wis. - During his time as the Wisconsin offensive coordinator, Paul Chryst has come up with elaborate schemes that tend to throw opposing defenses off. This year, another new wrinkle to the offense has come about. And it involves two quarterbacks.
Following a recent practice and film session, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with coordinator. The following is a question and answer discussing the quarterbacks with Chryst.
What were your impressions of the first game?
Chryst: You know, I mean you can't do it and you've got to learn from it, but the two picks you hate having. Overall, I thought we did some good stuff. It's one of those films, it's cliché and all that, but there's enough good stuff to feel like you got off to a start, but you've got to clean it up. Then you got to be better that way. I thought with the running game we were on edges a little bit and we can finish better. I thought the backs ran okay, but I thought they could be better there. In the passing game, I thought we did some good things and yet a couple of costly mistakes. Overall, first time out, I thought there was some good stuff we've got to build on and certainly stuff we've got to clean up.
Is that first play a vote of confidence from you to Scott Tolzien? Or are you just seeing something that was there and trying to take advantage of it? Or both?
Chryst: Yeah, it's both. I think we thought there would be a chance for something like that and truly felt confident that he could execute it. So, I don't think it was much more than that, but certainly didn't feel like there was anything you would limit doing with Scott. It worked out pretty well and I was happy for him and I was happy for Isaac Anderson. So, it was a good start.
You say you thought Scot could make that play, was that something before the game, or something you're looking at before you break the huddle?
Chryst: It had to be before the game because we didn't know anything going in. It was the first play. So, yeah, it was before. It worked out alright.
I think the two interceptions came after the series he (Tolzien) came out. He didn't think there was any issue with losing rhythm or anything. Do you agree with that or is there any correlation there?
Chryst: No, but surely you look at it and think about that. Yet, the first one, we missed on a protection deal. We say, 'Did that have anything to do with it or not?' Then the second one, where he was going with the ball, he was going the right place. I thought he was a little bit late and then the DB made a nice job. He fell off of Garrett Graham, I think he played his eyes a little bit so I think it was as much timing as anything. But, I think you have to look at it and say, two picks off that. Now the one you throw out a little bit. But, you try to look at all those things so I think that's something we've got to work through if we continue this way.
Did you use Curt Phillips as much as you expected?
Chryst: Overall, I think Scotty had 47 plays and Curt had about 18. You know, the thing I give Curt credit for was an 11-play and eight-play drive so he kept the sticks moving. You know, we had the holding call on his first drive and he had an opportunity to get some of those yards back and kind of overthrew Garrett. You kind of go in, and think the guy's first couple of passes, (if) he's going to miss, he's going to miss high. He might take a little bit extra time and that's kind of what happened. I thought he came in and made some nice throws. I thought it was a nice third down conversion that he had. So, I thought it was probably the right proportion of plays. We only had 65 plays or something, so it wasn't a ton of plays. We didn't really do much in the fourth quarter. We finished up one drive in the fourth quarter and then had the pick and that was it other than the end of the game.
How much extra does that give opposing defensive coordinators to think about. That dimension, that's a lot extra to prepare for isn't it?
Chryst: Yeah, it certainly is different. But, I don't know.
How are you expecting to use Curt the next game? About the same?
Chryst: I haven't even figured it out yet.
Talk about the playmaking ability on this team. Is it more so than last year?
Chryst: You know, the thing that I thought, when you've seen John Clay can be a playmaker for us. Zach Brown is certainly capable of it. The thing that I was impressed with the receivers was that they kind of attacked more. I think every throw they caught in their hands. It showed too, that Scotty's location was pretty good. Aside from the couple that Curt missed location, that adds to it. If you can throw on time and get them in stride
.the one third down where we hit Nick Toon on the cross, that was a good location and you're able to get some yards after it. I thought that was a big time play of the first drive, second half, third down. They brought pressure and Scotty stayed in. It wasn't great location, but Nick went down and made a play on it and got some yards after. That part was good and was fun to see.
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