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 frustrated with loss

Wearing a black suit with black-and-white leather shoes to match, UW defensive lineman Wendell Bryant rushed past the media en route to a weight bench in the UW weight room at the McClain Center following the Badgers 32-20 loss to Fresno State. Wendell was mad, and he was ready to voice his aggravations.

And just like that, with one “unacceptable” after another, Bryant had made it oh-so-clear that the honeymoon is over for his Wisconsin squad.

Three games into the season, with two losses and one victory to show, the Badgers are no longer being polite and understanding when it comes to poor performance.

During the post-game interviews, a usually tight-lipped team let their tempers flare.

By far, Bryant was the most outspoken, as he announced to the media that there is no more room for excuses on this UW team, and, more specifically, that blaming losses on having a young squad is no longer acceptable.

“These boys have played too much football now,” Bryant fumed. “People are like, ‘Well, we’re a young football team,’ — forget that. That’s a cop-out. We’re better than that. We’re a better team than that. And our coaches have trained us to be better than that. We keep letting [games] slip away. Last week slipped away, this week slipped away. We’ve got to do something — soon. If not now, tomorrow. We were focused this week, we had a great football week, we came out with a great first half — in the second half, I don’t know what happened. I don’t know, and I still don’t know.”

Bryant’s feelings of confusion and anger were shared around the interview room.

Though not as visibly angry as Bryant, safety Joey Boese was also vocal with his frustrations about the game and the use of excuses to explain bad play.
“When it’s your turn to make a play, you’re expected to make the play,” Boese said. “The conversations tomorrow aren’t going to be ‘oh, well, we had a mental breakdown.’ If it’s your turn to make a tackle or make a play, you have to do it.”

And when you don’t make the play? Perhaps junior flanker Lee Evans put it best.

“We just keep killing ourselves and killing ourselves, and killing ourselves,” Evans said about his offensive unit’s mistakes.

The rantings of juniors and seniors, who were around for the Rose Bowls, differ greatly from the freshman perspective: that the outlook of last weekend’s game is simply another learning experience and not a debacle.

“We keep reminding ourselves that we have yet to play a conference game, so we’ve just got to keep our heads up and get better and keep improving,” freshman running back Anthony Davis said. “We know we’ve got a long way to go to get better. There’s a lot of room for improvement, so that’s a good thing.”

While Davis’ analysis may be overly optimistic, senior linebacker Nick Greisen sees the benefits of helping the new players improve instead of reaming them out for missed plays.

“[We have to] make sure [the younger players] have the confidence to keep playing,” Greisen said. “Because if they start getting down and start doubting themselves, then they’re only going to get worse.”

Or perhaps there has to be a crack-down to take care of the basics. During his post-game press conference, head coach Barry Alvarez admitted that during the kicking sequences, some of the freshman players were not prepared to take the field or paying attention to the happenings of the game; the coaches had to find them on the sidelines to tell them to enter the game.

But give Greisen credit — he’s just making an attempt to smooth things over on his squad in order to prevent further disasters.

“The one thing is, being a senior and being a captain, I know we’ve got to keep this team together, because if the team breaks and we start pointing fingers, it’s really going to go downhill from there,” Greisen said.
A loss to Western Kentucky next weekend would put the Badgers and all of their frustrations right at the foot of that hill.

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