Following head coach Ryan Day’s press conference on Tuesday afternoon, co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison spent time with the media to discuss his unit’s preparation for Saturday’s game against Wisconsin (12 p.m. on FOX)
Here’s a brief recap of what he had to say:
- Mattison said he was born and raised in Wisconsin, and watched the Badgers growing up.
- Mattison on Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan: “He gets better every week. He’s a very talented quarterback.”
- “I don’t know how he’s evolved. He’s just good. Really good,” Mattison said when asked about Day’s growth as a head coach. “From the first day until now, he’s doing a tremendous job.”
- Mattison on linebacker Baron Browning, who missed the Northwestern game with an undisclosed injury. “Baron is an outstanding athlete. He’s a very, very strong. He plays extremely hard. He does what a very good linebacker is expected to do. He’s a very big part of our defense.”
- “The backbone of any good defense is stopping the run, and our guys have done a really good job at that,” Mattison said.
- Mattison said Wisconsin has run the ball and executed the play-action pass really well. “They’ve done that against everybody they’ve played against.”
- Mattison on leadership of junior defensive end and team captain Chase Young: “He’s done such an outstanding job of doing what coach (Larry) Johnson has asked him to do. You just see him get better every day — and with that comes confidence and success.”
- Mattison said he’s very proud that the backups have treated garbage time seriously. “The players that have gone in have treated it like there’s no score.”
- On defensive tackle Tommy Togiai, Mattison said he’s one of the players who “practices extremely hard every snap.” Adds he makes the most of his opportunities and goes as hard as he can. “That makes it fun to coach.”
- Mattison on containing Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor: “You’ve got to be very disciplined to contain him.”
- Mattison points out that the defense uses packages, rather than a specific depth chart. Also noted Brendon White played 17 snaps while Jahsen Went saw just three.
- “To have our corners is a blessing,” Mattison said, noting their ability to cover one-on-one and allowing the rest of the defense to dedicate itself to stopping the run.
- “This is as big as it gets,” Mattison said of the game against Wisconsin. “We have goals and we don’t want anyone to take away from what they’re trying to achieve.”