Bielema wants ‘1-0’ mentality

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoAfter avoiding a trap game at Fresno State weeks ago, the Badgers found themselves badly wounded by the Michigan Wolverines in a heartbreaking 27-25 Big Ten loss Saturday afternoon. Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema discussed the defeat at his weekly press conference Monday. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve only had to endure a loss six times,” Bielema said. “It’s not easy. It’s nothing I want to ever get used to, but it’s something you have to endure. Our players made references to 1-0, and this is the mentality we have to take.” For a team that usually comes out firing after halftime, the Badgers could not have looked more unlike themselves, allowing 27 points in the second half after forcing five turnovers in the first two quarters. “They were not as good in the second half as they were in the first half,” Bielema said of his defense giving up big plays late in the game. “There are only 68 snaps, but when things start to go against you, when momentum starts to swing to that other side, every rep you start to feel it a little bit more.” Bielema also said he felt a better effort could have been given at certain times during the game. “On a PAT or field goal attempt, you define who you are by the way you play the PAT or field goal opportunities because that means something negative happened against you,” Bielema said. “That has to be when you dig down and play harder than you ever played, and there were a few occasions where that didn’t happen.” Senior quarterback Allan Evridge, who completed 20 of 37 pass attempts for 226 yards on the game, had an up and down game and drew some of the attention after the loss. “There were a lot of things Allan did well and some things he didn’t do well,” Bielema said. “A popular discussion topic was the option calls. … Those are things we felt we would be able to execute with Allan at quarterback, and when those things don’t come through, that’s a disappointment we have.” Bielema recognizes Casillas, Fenelus for individual effort Bielema praised the efforts of junior defensive lineman O’Brien Schofield, but ultimately gave game honors to senior linebacker Jonathan Casillas. “O’Brien probably had one of his best games, but we still gave the MVP to Jonathan Casillas,” Bielema said of his decision. “He played extremely well.”Casillas finished the game with seven total tackles and an interception at the end of the second half that he returned for 49 yards. On special teams, freshman Antonio Fenelus earned recognition from his coach. “Out of six kickoff coverages, he had a tackle on five of those six,” Bielema noted. “He just did a tremendous job for us on punt returns as well. He almost got a blocked punt.”Fenelus also forced a fumble on a punt in the second quarter, which the Badgers recovered. Ineligible man penalty costly Senior tight end Travis Beckum did not play through the first three quarters of Saturday’s game, though he was medically cleared for action. Beckum almost saved the game for the Badgers, catching what appeared at the time to be the game-tying two-point conversion before his mental lapse resulted in a penalty for an ineligible man downfield. “After he saw certain things go a certain way in the fourth quarter, he felt compelled to get out there,” Bielema said of his star tight end. “He obviously was able to catch a nice pass, but I think everyone knows how that two-point conversion turned out. … I point out the fact that if Travis had lined up one half-yard deeper, he would probably be the hero of Wisconsin football right now.” Injury Report Junior tight end Garrett Graham sustained an injury during practice, and the coaches sat him out Saturday. He is expected to be available this weekend. Sophomore wide receiver Maurice Moore also suffered an injury during the bye week. “Everything tells us that he should be able to practice [Tuesday],” Bielema said of Moore. Sophomore defensive back Aaron Henry has yet to see action this season, and it is still unknown when or if he will return this year.“He is slower than we thought in his rehab process,” Bielema said of Henry. “We have this week and next week to get through our six games before the NCAA makes us make a decision about redshirting.” He is not expected to play against Ohio State.last_img read more

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