Wisconsin Football: 0-1 Conference Record Nothing New


The Wisconsin football team took a step backwards on Saturday when the Iowa Hawkeyes left Camp Randall with the Heartland Trophy and handed Wisconsin a loss in its Big Ten opener. This Badgers squad, however, should be able to bounce back. They’ve done it before.

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Just last year, Wisconsin also found itself on the wrong side of a Big Ten opener, and is in an oddly familiar place this season. Paul Chryst noted that the players felt it after the game Saturday.

"“There is, there’s a ton of the season to go. First Big Ten game didn’t go the way we wanted. First guy that said something in the locker room afterwards was Joe Schobert and said, ‘hey, Coach, same thing happened to us last year,’ and like we’ve talked about, the end of the year you’ll get what you earn, and the thing we’ve got to focus on, the opportunity that we have is this next week against Nebraska.”"

Schobert himself talked to reporters after the game and repeated that the Badgers are by no means out of the race in the Big Ten west.

"“Just reminded them, like last year’s Big Ten opener didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but last year we had the chance if we just grind out the rest of the season and win out our games. Everything that we wanted to achieve at the beginning of the year was still within our reach. Football is a funny game, so you never know what’s going to happen.”"

Last year Wisconsin found itself at a crossroads in the Big Ten opener. Tanner McEvoy wasn’t getting the job done at quarterback and the Badgers made a switch midway through the game to Joel Stave, who finished out the season at the helm of the offense.

As Wisconsin proved last year, you can still win your division with a loss in the opener, the road just gets a little bit tougher.

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While Iowa proved it is an extremely tough team defensively, and might be one of the best teams in the west, the Badgers lost a game they needed to win at home, and a game the defense continually gave its offense chances to win.

So the Badgers will probably have to do what they did a season ago — run the tables the remainder of the Big Ten schedule. That means heading to Nebraska and leaving with a win. That means welcoming a talented Northwestern team to Camp Randall late in the season and sending them home with a loss. That means going into Minnesota in the final game on the schedule and earning a win against a bitter rival, possibly in the bitter cold.

The Badgers have their work cut out for them after digging themselves a hole in week one, but like Schobert said, the opportunity is there to move forward and still earn a trip to the Big Ten Championship Game.

Chryst said the team will look to build on the loss to Iowa and move on to Saturday’s game against Nebraska.

"“There is — the games like this, they hurt to lose, and we’ve got to take that pain and take that frustration, take the lessons, and that’s got to help fuel us so that we get better.”"

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