Hoosiers up next for Badgers
UW coach Bret Bielema says he won’t allow his team to be lulled into complacency. He said the Badgers (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) need to keep their edge.
“One of the roles we love to be (as coach) is a humbler,” he said. “We got after people pretty good last week and challenged them during the course of the week. I’m sure they’re feeling good, but not that good.”
Indiana (1-5, 0-2) is off to a rough start under first-year coach Kevin Wilson, and his team will face a Badgers team hitting on all cylinders. Bielema makes no apologies for the romp against the Hoosiers last season, but he realizes the high score created a bit of commotion.
From a late defensive touchdown to a score by a reserve quarterback, he said the victory “raised some eyebrows” for Wisconsin, and likely has led to more exposure this season.
“The stars were kind of aligned for us that day,” Bielema said. “I do believe it’s created a little bit of talk about Wisconsin, a little bit of a buzz in the way we finished and the way we’re playing this year.”
A star has emerged for the Badgers in quarterback Russell Wilson, who holds an FBS-leading 216.89 rating with pass efficiency, and ranks third in the nation in completion percentage at 74.8. He has completed 83 of 111 passes for 1,391 yards and 13 TDs and a single interception.
As for last year’s score against Indiana, Wilson said he is focusing on the opponent, not history.
“It’s a new year, and a new opportunity for us and them,” Wilson said of the Hoosiers. “We have to come out prepared and have a great game.”
Bielema spent Saturday watching college football, including the Hoosiers’ game against Illinois. Indiana scored a touchdown on the opening kickoff and got a field goal to take a 10-0 lead, but the Illini rallied to win after capitalizing on defensive breakdowns and turnovers.
Bielema said the Hoosiers have shown they’re “right there knocking on the door.” He also said he heard from a handful of sources that the score from last season’s game is displayed prominently in the Indiana football locker room, and a point of emphasis for Indiana heading into Saturday’s game.
“We’ve got an (opponent), I know, whose win-loss record isn’t that good, but they’ve been competitive,” Bielema said. “To me a true sign (of improvement) as a head coach is if your team is improving each week, and that makes a big statement to me. And they definitely do that.”