4 Quotes from Head Coach Luke Fickell that Will Define the 2024 Season

Head Coach Fickell has given us some insight as to what we can expect this fall.
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Head Coach Luke Fickell will enter his second full season with the Badgers with a lot to prove. 2023 wasn't exactly a huge success and he'll look to improve upon that 7-6 record. With spring practices wrapped, Fickell has offered up some interesting quotes and clues as to what we can expect this season. Here are five quotes that might shed a light on what's to come in 2024.

1. Finish

"So we got to really push, we got to push here to the finish, we got to push these guys to find out who the competitive leaders are on this team. I didn't just say leaders, I didn't just say the competitors, but the competitive leaders. And when your best players are your most competitive leaders, you got a chance. You got a hell of a lot better chance to finish."

Fickell's desire to finish out games, which the Badgers struggled to do in the fourth quarter last year, will be emphasized even more in 2024. And not that he didn't emphasize those things last season, but this year he obviously really wants to put the onus on his team's "competitive leaders". The Badgers will have to be much better this year in that department if they want to improve on that 7-6 record and a heartbreaking loss in the final minutes of the LSU bowl game.

2. The Good Place

"I thought we were in a good place last year, but there were a lot of unknowns. At least we've found out a lot of these unknowns with some of the adversities we went through this year and it's going to pay off in the long run for us."

Last year in Fickell's first full year as coach, there was a lot of figuring things out on the fly. This spring, even with some new roster additions, he must feel a lot better in knowing the team's strength's and weaknesses. One example might be the offense, which was highly anticipated in 2023, yet only yielded a paltry 23.5 points per game. Hopefully last year's mistakes were not made in vain.

3. New Faces

"You think you've got some ideas of what it needs to look like or what your staff looks like or the things you got to do, and you recognize that, man, this game is evolving. This game is ever changing, and I don't just mean the game on the field."

Fickell added four new coaches to the staff this year and with that comes change. He spoke about how the football isn't just about the product on the field, but everything leading up to it, including recruiting. In fact, the first transfer commitment of the year for the Badgers was thanks to new offensive line coach AJ Blazek's connections to his former team, Vanderbilt.

4. QB1

"The best thing for us is to have a legitimate competitive battle. Some would say it's better if you can name a starter at whatever position, particularly the quarterback. But, I think it's much better if you can continue to have a competitive battle because you're going to find out what you got. Because, probably like last year, you're going to need them both."

The battle at quarterback has been going on all spring and Fickell has made no indication he will make a decision on QB1 anytime soon. Most fans can probably assume Tyler Van Dyke will win the job over last year's backup Braedyn Locke, but the head man is in no rush. It seems like Fickell wants make sure he's covered and confident in either player in the case of injury.