Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst deftly answered questions about specific Michigan defensive and offensive players by praising pretty much everyone on the team.
That’s what coaches tend to do when they’re preparing to face that team.
Michigan is ranked No. 12 and will play No. 15 Wisconsin on Saturday night at Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines are 5-1, 3-0 Big Ten and have won five straight since losing their opener at Notre Dame. Wisconsin is 4-1, 2-0 and lost to BYU the second game of the season.
Chryst was asked Tuesday on the Big Ten call about Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson and what he has meant to the Wolverines’ offense. Patterson transferred to Michigan from Ole Miss last December and currently is 16th nationally in completion percentage (68.8 percent) and 21st in pass efficiency.
“Obviously, he’s a talented quarterback and yet, it’s not just him,” Chryst said. “And he’s good, I’m not trying to minimize him at all. What makes him effective — and their offense seems to be clicking — I think they’ve got a really good line, the back’s talented, they’ve got good skill players on the perimeter, so together makes them a really good offense.
“They can be effective and attack a number of different ways. When an offense has that, you’ve got to play disciplined, good assignment football. Patterson’s playing well, and he can certainly hurt you with his arm, he can extend plays and he can hurt you with his legs, but what’s really key is he’s one of 11 all on the same page. They’re executing, and an offense that executes is hard to defend.”
Chryst was asked about defensive end Chase Winovich and then linebacker Devin Bush, and he joked that the next question would be about end Rashan Gary.
His point, of course, being that he could just go down the list of Michigan’s defensive players.
“Chase, he’s a heck of a football player,” Chryst said. “Got a lot of respect for him. He’s talented. He plays the game with great energy and he’s tough to block. He’s complemented around him, but he’s a heck of a player. When you go against him, you’ve got to be great in your technique and great in your effort.
“I think their whole defense is really talented and Bush is obviously a heck of a football player. Anytime you face a defense that’s talented and well-coached, I think they have great confidence and knowledge — the players I’m talking about — in their scheme, they play fast. The strength of their defense is that they’ve got a number of talented players, so you can’t focus … the next question will be about Gary or somebody else. They’ve got good players and they’re well-coached.”