UW forced to regroup for Michigan
After No. 1 Ohio State came from behind to beat the Badgers with four unanswered touchdowns in the second half on Saturday, Wisconsin (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten) hosts No. 13 Michigan (8-2, 6-0) this weekend.
Coach Bret Bielema said Monday his Badgers were disappointed after the 38-17 loss at Columbus, Ohio, but they can’t dwell on it.
“I told them it was OK to feel disappointed,” Bielema said. “I don’t think you’ll see guys feeling sorry for themselves.”
Michigan knows all about playing after losses. The Wolverines started the season with a stunning loss to Appalachian State and then were soundly beaten by Oregon, now the No. 3 team in the AP poll.
Since then, Michigan has won eight straight and could win the Big Ten championship with victories over Wisconsin on Saturday and Ohio State next week.
Wisconsin will be depleted by injuries when it faces the Wolverines, who handed the Badgers their only defeat in last year’s 12-1 season.
Star running back P.J. Hill remains uncertain, suffering from tightness and soreness in a leg injured in a 33-3 win over Indiana on Oct. 27. The X-rays on Hill’s left foot and leg showed no broken bones, and an MRI revealed a bruise around the plate in the lower leg.
Bielema said Hill’s leg remains “extremely sore,” and if he’s able to practice this week, he will. But it’s up to him whether he plays in the game.
All told, Hill could play this week, or he could be out until the bowl game, Bielema said.
Hill is just one of several injuries facing the Badgers.
Defensive tackle Jason Chapman is out at least for this week because of a knee injury suffered against Ohio State. Cornerback Allen Langford is out for the season after a knee injury against the Buckeyes. Freshman Aaron Henry is set to start in his place.
Junior tackle Eric Vanden Heuvel, who injured his foot during the Ohio State game, remained in considerable pain and was to undergo additional tests to determine its cause, Bielema said
-- Extra points: Wisconsin will retire Ron Dayne’s No. 33 jersey at halftime of Saturday’s 11 a.m. game, which will be televised by ESPN. Dayne, the 1999 Heisman Trophy winner, will become the sixth former UW player to have his number retired.
Dayne had his best game of the NFL season in rushing 21 times for 122 yards Sunday in the Houston Texans’ 24-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders. The Texans have a bye this week, making Dayne available to be at Camp Randall.
UW seniors also will be honored at the game. Nineteen seniors will be playing their last home game. Wisconsin finishes the regular season at Minnesota.