Badgers failure to force turnover poses potential problem

Wisconsin linebacker Maema Njongmeta (55) follows a play during the first half of an NCAA...
Wisconsin linebacker Maema Njongmeta (55) follows a play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)(Young Kwak | AP)
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 4:56 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - For the second-straight game, Wisconsin failed to force any Washington State turnovers in the Badgers’ 31-22 loss to the Cougars in Week 2 of college football.

Wisconsin is the only Big Ten team without an interception through two weeks of play.

But, it is not for a lack of trying. Against WSU, a couple snaps went over quarterback Cameron Ward’s head and he dropped another snap. But luckily for the Cougars and unluckily for the Badgers, the football took bounces right back into Wards’ hands. If the ball had rolled the other way, the Badgers could have recovered.

But Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell says turnovers don’t “just happen,” the defense needs to make them happen.

And when they are so close, yet so far away, Fickell’s message to his defense is simple.

“Very simple: don’t panic, keep your poise” Fickell said on Monday. “All the sudden you feel like, ‘we gotta get turnovers!’ We’re looking for the ball, staring at the ball, we’re not doing the things we’re supposed to do. That’s why as a coach, you can’t over-emphasize it. We set standards for things we do at the start of the season, we continue to stick with them, you know, you’ve gotta have confidence that they’re going to come.”

The 1-1 Badgers host 2-0 Georgia Southern at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Click here to download the NBC15 News app or our NBC15 First Alert weather app.