Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Badgers try to bounce back for bowl
By Adam Rittenberg
The Vegas oddsmakers Bill O'Brien mentioned in his speech to Penn State players after their win at Wisconsin weren't the only ones surprised by what happened Nov. 30 at Camp Randall Stadium.
The fans in the stands had seen Wisconsin beat its previous six home opponents by an average margin of 35.2 points. And the Badgers' players had come to expect victory, in dominant fashion, especially on their home turf, on senior day, and with a potential BCS at-large berth on the line.
Was the loss a shock?
"Absolutely," Badgers guard Ryan Groy told ESPN.com. "It took a while to sink in. You look back and think what you could have changed, what you could have done better. It's definitely rough."
A win would have marked the seniors' 24th in Big Ten play, which would have broken the four-year record set from 1997-2000.
"It's not what we wanted," White said. "We had a great opportunity in front of us to play in a BCS game. We didn't capitalize on it, and now we have to move on."
The 19th-ranked Badgers move on to the Capital One Bowl, where they'll take on No. 9 South Carolina on Jan. 1 in Orlando. A victory would make the 40th for the seniors and give Wisconsin 10 wins for the fourth time in the past five seasons.
If Wisconsin’s large senior class get the win, it would tie its predecessor and the 2007 class for the most wins (40) in a four-year period. It's a group that has won three Big Ten championships and made three Rose Bowls, and carried a 25-2 home record into the Penn State game.
Groy said it was beneficial to have some time to decompress after the Penn State loss. But he's not worried about a hangover effect.
In fact, the loss has only made the Badgers hungrier.
"Our team's been resilient for the whole time I've been here," Groy said. "You can keep it in the back of your mind just to remember how it felt, but it's something you can't let linger."