Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW brings confidence to IU

[media-credit name=’KRIS UGARRIZA/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]FB17_KU[/media-credit]

Sitting alone at the bottom of the Big Ten standings, the Wisconsin football team is still confident — confident about its defense, confident about its quarterback and confident about its upcoming game at Indiana.

Hoping to get back on track, the team will need that confidence Saturday when the Badgers (4-5, 1-5 Big Ten) travel to Bloomington to take on the Hoosiers (3-6, 1-4 Big Ten).


“Every week you have to go in with confidence,” cornerback Allan Langford said. “You have to feel like you have a great chance of winning, and that’s how I feel.”

Despite UW’s record, the team recognizes the importance of staying positive.

“Indiana is a great offensive team,” safety Jay Valai said, “but if you’re not confident you shouldn’t be on the field.”

Wisconsin snapped a four-game losing streak with a win at home against Illinois two weeks ago but was beaten last week by a field goal in the closing seconds against Michigan State.

It was the third time this season Wisconsin had lost a game despite leading in the fourth quarter.

“We’ve got to stop making mistakes [late in the game],” Valai said. “It’s a mental and a physical thing.”

This week, UW will once again put emphasis on closing teams out and not fading down the stretch.

“You’ve got to finish. … It’s very, very important for us to finish games,” Langford said.

“It takes 11 guys. … All those 11 guys have to focus in.”

Safety Chris Maragos said it’s the big plays late in the game the team needs to put an end to.

“The biggest thing that’s killing us right now is the big plays,” Maragos said. “Just limiting big plays is something we’re trying to cut down on.”

Against the Spartans, the Badger defense was able to contain MSU’s star running back Javon Ringer and hopes to build on that this weekend.

“There’s a lot of good things if you look at the film from last week,” Maragos said. “There’s a lot of good things that we’ll try to carry into this week.”

Ringer finished with just 54 yards last week, his lowest total of the season.

“I think we’ve turned a corner, especially on defense,” Valai said.

“We’ve got a little spice to us … a little A-1 sauce.”

Though its record might not indicate it, Indiana will be a test for the Wisconsin defense this weekend.

“Those are some fast, athletic guys,” Valai said. “You go to sleep on them, they’ll run by you.”

Last season Wisconsin easily handled Indiana 33-3 at Camp Randall Stadium.

A repeat of last season’s outcome rests largely with its quarterback.

Dustin Sherer has struggled a bit in his two road starts, and the Badgers will need a solid performance from the junior if they hope to avoid slipping into a deeper hole in the Big Ten.

Sherer completed just 50 percent of his passes against Michigan State but did throw for a touchdown and no interceptions.

Meanwhile, the Badgers find themselves in danger of not reaching a bowl game despite being ranked in the nation’s top 10 earlier this season. In order to become bowl eligible, the Badgers must win two of their final three games, but the team isn’t looking at anything other than Indiana for now.

“If we want to do some of these things into the future,” Maragos said, “we have to handle this week, right now.”

Looking ahead may have cost the Badgers a couple of times already this season. But the team has learned from its mistakes.

“You look above and beyond,” Valai said, “and I think we’ve done that a couple times this year; you find yourself beyond on the scoreboard.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *