Prince comes to mind when I consider the recent history of Wisconsin’s visits to Ryan Field – the Badgers haven’t partied there since 1999. In the four games Wisconsin has played in Evanston this century, all have ended with Badger players sulking. Kudos to the Wildcats for maintaining an undaunted approach in the clashes with their neighbors to the north. Purple reign, Purple reign. I told you – it all reminds me of Prince.
The Badger band made the trip down to add to the pageantry of the day. The sounds of “On Wisconsin” and “Go U Northwestern” swirled through the raindrops that fell upon Chicago’s north shore, while an unseasonably frigid wind pierced through the ponchos of teeth-chattering onlookers.
The running game for UW provided plenty of prideful moments for Badger fans as Melvin Gordon reached a career record of 259 yards. The passing game helped the Wildcat secondary to pad some stats of their own. Three interceptions by Godwin Igwebuike exposed the quarterback qualms in Badgerland. Northwestern notched the victory and had Big Ten fans scratching their heads at the final score.
The win had Wildcat fans pouring from the stands onto the field in celebration – a reemergence into relevance after a slow start to the season. Meanwhile, the Badgers made the slow funeral procession back to the locker room trying to figure out how this could happen. The purple continues to reign in Evanston over their rivals from Madison, and now that these two teams will meet every year due to conference realignment, Wisconsin hopes it won’t be long before they’re partying like it’s 1999.