November 1, 2008

Post MSU: Notes and quotes

EAST LANSING, Mich. - When the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard at Spartan Stadium Saturday afternoon, it was Michigan State's players storming the field celebrating a 25-24 win that looked unlikely late in the fourth quarter. For Badger fans and players, it was just another chapter in a dreadful book that cannot end soon enough.

The following are notes and quotes following Saturday's game:

-Wisconsin freshman running back John Clay logged his first career 100-yard game against Michigan State. He finished with 111 yards on 14 carries.

-Junior P.J. Hill had his first 100-yard game since he rushed for 112 at Fresno State in mid-September.

-Following his career day last week against Illinois, freshman punter Brad Nortman averaged only 39.9 yards per punt, but he did pin MSU inside its own 20 two times.

-Senior linebacker Jonathan Casillas paced UW with 10 tackles, his highest of the season.

-Freshman wide receiver Nick Toon set a new career high with 44 receiving yards and catches in a game with three.

-The Badger defense held Javon Ringer to 54 yards rushing. But he did add two more touchdowns to his season total.

The following are quotes following Saturday's game:

Bret Bielema on what he told his team after the game:

"I told our guys in the locker room that, for whatever reason, they are being tested the most they will ever be in their life from a football standpoint. We had a certain message going into this game about being able to persevere and respond and what this team has been through obviously put them in a very difficult spot. I thought out guys kept competing and kept fighting. Obviously the outcome wasn't what we wanted."

Mark Dantonio on getting off to a slow start:

"I think a lot of that had to do with Wisconsin. They played very well, Javon (Ringer) was sick a lot of the week-he actually lost 10 pounds-he hung in there and ran the football, but he was 192 rather than 205. But give credit to Wisconsin. They came to play.

Nick Toon on where the team goes from here:

"We just got to move forward, that's been one of our goals this season. If something happens you just got to forget about it and the next play mentality and move forward."

David Gilreath on the atmosphere in the locker room following the game:

"A couple guys yelling here and there. We feel that we are better than that and it's just, you just got to keep your head up and just keep rolling from here."

John Clay on miscues:

"It was frustrating because we had positive gains and then, you know, we get a flag or doing something stupid and then get called back. It was like we didn't ever gain any yards."

Chris Maragos on head coach Bielema's penalty:

"Well, you know, obviously coach B, he wants to express his opinion. He kind of backs all of his players and that's what he felt was necessary to do. That's what happened. Obviously 15 yards hurts, but at the same time, he needed to handle the team and he needed to tell the refs his opinions. It just resulted in that. Coach B is great coach. I have a lot of respect for him. He's phenomenal, phenomenal, I wouldn't question anything he does ever.

Mike Newkirk on his mindset and his senior year:

"My mindset is for no one but us. It's something that, you go out there, you play your heart out every game and let the scoreboard reflect what it's going to reflect. But, there's a lot more to a game than what that says. It's how you play, it's who you play for, and it's why you play. Anybody that would question whether we have anything to play for anymore, it's something that they don't understand what it is to be a player."

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