Expectations for maintaining a consistently strong program is an annual outlook for the Badgers. Coming off a strong shutout of Illinois State, Wisconsin was set to host Washington State, a team coming off a less impressive victory over Idaho. In the off-season, Camp Randall Stadium had undergone a facelift with upgraded seating in the south end zone and the renaming of the field after coaching legend, Barry Alvarez. These improvements only add to the expectations for a successful season and increase the hype for an even brighter future.
Gameday in Madison never fails to impress, especially on a watm afternoon in September. Strutting around State Street, beers on Lake Mendota, and the collective scent of grill smoke in the air blended with the sounds of the Wisconsin band collectively activate fan enthusiasm.
That energy carried into Camp Randall through the post-third-quarter jump around. But, all that emotion drained from the stadium once the Badgers woefully missed a field goal at the onset of the fourth quarter that would have tied the game.
Any hopes that new offensive coordinator, Bobby Engram, would assist Wisconsin in diversifying their offense quickly became a concern. The run, run, pass approach seemed to be a backwards move for the Badgers. Washington State’s brought in a solid defense that took advantage of Wisconsin’s offensive growing pains and provided a historic upset for their fans who traveled from Pullman.
Happy Cougar fans trotted around Madison after the game while Badger fans drank away their sorrows. Inauspicious starts have become a bit of a theme lately at Wisconsin, but so has bouncing back from them. On the other sideline, Washington State hopes to build on this victory and carry that momentum into their Pac-12 season.