UW football gets off to trying start

· Sep 5, 2001 Tweet

Two games into the season, Wisconsin’s young football team has endured enough adversity to gain valuable experience.

With only 10 returning starters for UW, there were question marks as to how the Badgers would respond with new faces in new positions. After beating Virginia and losing a close game to Oregon, head coach Barry Alvarez is pleased with the amount of experience his young squad is gaining.

“I know we’re going to have some growing plays and we’re going to make some mistakes and that type of thing with young players, but I see them playing and I see them maturing and I see them growing fast,” Alvarez said during Monday’s press conference. “That’s what I like best about them: they’re getting in the mix and they’re not in awe of anything; they’re going out competing and playing.”

Against Oregon, two youngsters in particular contributed for the Badgers.
Freshman Darren Charles caught his first touchdown pass of his UW career on Saturday when he connected with Jim Sorgi for a 13-yard score.

“He was definitely excited,” Evans said of Charles’ reaction after scoring against UO. “He has more than enough talent. I can’t even begin to say how much talent he has.”

Another freshman that stood out for the second-straight game was freshman defensive back Scott Starks. Alvarez praised the freshman’s efforts after the Virginia game, saying that he was pleased with the competitive performance he gave and he was excited about the potential he had. Against Oregon he shone again, recording six tackles and one interception. But Alvarez is pleased with the talents of all of his young players, not just Charles and Starks.

“I don’t have any complaints with these guys,” Alvarez said. “They’ve held up against some good competition so far; they’ve held their own. It’s hard to be dominant when you’re a freshman or redshirt freshman, but they’ve competed pretty well.”

Veteran relapse: While the youngsters seem to be getting acclimated with their new D-I surroundings, veteran Nick Davis has looked a bit awkward on the field for UW recently. Against Oregon, Davis made four receptions, but he dropped key catches, including a reception that could have kept UW’s drive alive late in the fourth quarter with the game still on the line. But according to Lee Evans, Davis is aware of his poor performances and is trying to correct his mistakes.

“Sometimes you drop a ball, and that’s life,” Evans said. “It’s all a matter of how you respond to it. [Davis] was down after the game and I talked to him briefly, trying to get his spirits back up. Then we came out today and he practiced hard. As long as he responds well, you know he has the right attitude.”

Bollinger still bruisin’: Alvarez told the media on Monday that quarterback Brooks Bollinger is still not quite 100 percent healthy after suffering a bruised liver against Virginia. Alvarez said he does not know the actual status of Bollinger’s progress, but that he is still day-to-day. Alvarez said that Bollinger will become more involved in practices as his injury heals, but that he will remain out of games until the trainers inform the coach that he is 100 percent healed.

Badger honors: Following the game against the Ducks, Wisconsin named Wendall Bryant and Lee Evans its defensive and offensive players of the game, respectively. Evans recorded eight catches for a career-high 168 yards against Oregon, and Bryant recorded seven tackles and one sack for a loss of 11 yards.


This article was published Sep 5, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 5, 2001 at 12:00 am


UW-Madison's Premier Independent Student Newspaper

All Content © The Badger Herald, 1995 - 2023