It had been several hours since Joel Stave trotted into the tunnels of Camp Randall Stadium on the wrong side of a 10-6 final that showed on the scoreboard.
The fifth-year senior quarterback for the Wisconsin football team tried to fall asleep, but he couldn’t.
So he pulled out his iPad and watched some tape of his performance earlier that day.
“Whether I wished I would have or not remains [undecided],” Stave joked. “I did just because you’re thinking about it and you’re thinking about it, and then you try to go to bed and you’re thinking about it. That’s how it is when things are important to you.”
Saturday’s performance is one Stave would like to leave in the past: four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles), no touchdowns and 234 yards through the air.
And that’s what Stave will do. He’ll mentally place the underthrown passes, poor decisions and frustrations from Saturday’s loss in the past and focus his attention toward the rest of the season.
“That’s what we got Saturday’s for,” Stave said. “You got all of Saturday to kind of sit around and run plays through your head and then [Sunday] we watched it and now you’re just trying to move on from it.”
Stave and the Badgers find themselves in a familiar situation. Last season, Wisconsin lost at Northwestern 20-14 when the offense sputtered to open Big Ten play.
Wisconsin then won seven consecutive games en route to a Big Ten West division title and a trip to Indianapolis. That experience, Stave said, will help this year’s team.
“Not every game is going to be perfect. Not every game is going to go how you want it to,” Stave said. “We just got to make sure that you’re learning from it and moving on. I thought last year’s team did a great job of responding.”
Moving on is easy for Stave. He doesn’t pay attention to what fans and the media say. He doesn’t have a Twitter or Instagram account. He doesn’t own a smart phone (but says his PanTech cell phone texts and makes calls just fine).
“I do a pretty good job of steering clear of all that,” Stave said.
And now, he’ll steer clear of the distractions and direct the Badgers into Lincoln, Nebraska to take on the Cornhuskers this Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
“Watching them on film a little bit, I think they’re a good group,” Stave said. “I think they’re very athletic but they’ve been that every year that I’ve played them. I think it’ll be a good test for us.”