Wisconsin Football: Badgers’ 5 Most Devastating Losses In The Last 5 Years

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Aug 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Tanner McEvoy (5) rushes during the second quarter against the LSU Tigers at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Opponent: LSU Tigers

Date: August 30, 2014

Final Score: 28-24

The Badgers’ opening game of 2014 featured a pair of top 15 teams at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Wisconsin had a good chance at a big win against a SEC powerhouse, but the Badgers blew a 17-point second half lead to lose 28-24.

Gary Andersen surprised everybody by announcing that Tanner McEvoy would be the starting quarterback after fall camp, and he completed 8 of 24 pass attempts for 50 yards and two interceptions in his debut.

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Melvin Gordon was having an outstanding game and began the second half with a 63-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. At that point, Gordon rushed for 139 yards, more than 10 yards per carry, and a touchdown as Wisconsin led 24-7 early in the third quarter. Gordon received just three carries the rest of the game.

In his postgame press conference, Andersen and Gordon both said that Gordon was not injured, and Andersen had no explanation for why his Heisman Trophy candidate received the ball three more times after dominating the first half.

Backup running back Corey Clement rushed for 19 yards on eight carries in the second half, and Gordon came in on several plays on obvious passing downs. The fact that Wisconsin’s best player was not involved in the second half is still difficult to understand.

The Badgers’ defense played a solid first half and limited freshman Leonard Fournette to 18 yards on eight carries in his first game. Wisconsin lost defensive end Konrad Zagzebski in the first quarter and Warren Herring in the third, and those injuries opened up huge holes for LSU running back Kenny Hilliard, who gashed the Badgers for in the second half. He finished with 110 rushing yards and a touchdown, including a 28-yard touchdown that gave LSU its first lead at 28-24, the final score of the game.

Next: Devastating Losses: Arizona State