Bielema hopes to build on road success

first_imgAs soon as the 2008 NCAA football schedule was released,many circled the week three matchup between Wisconsin and Fresno State, markingit as an early road trap for the Badgers against a tough WAC opponent.Saturday night, the Badgers (3-0) went into a sold-out Bulldog Stadium andemerged with a 13-10 victory, ending Fresno State’s (1-1) hopes of becomingthis season’s BCS buster.During his weekly press conference Monday, UW head coach Bret Bielema discussedwhat the win meant to the team.“[Fresno State] was the first non-conference opponent thatwe beat that was ranked in the last 50 years,” Bielema said. “It was a greataccomplishment not only for our team, but for our program, and the Universityof Wisconsin.”The last time the Badgers recorded a road win over a rankednon-conference opponent was in 1958.When asked what this win meant for the remainder of the season, Bielema wasquick to point out the team’s next road test in Ann Arbor.“I think it’s just the phrase ‘been there, done that,’”Bielema said. “We are going to be going on the road to Michigan. It’s been along time since we’ve been able to win up there as a program. … I think there’ssomething you want to draw from the way our kids handled the road. Theyembraced the environment.”Hill, Shaughnessy earn game honors from coachBielema handed off the offensive game ball to running back P.J. Hill, whorushed for 112 yards. “Although he didn’t get in the end zone, I don’t know ifI’ve seen him play better,” Bielema said of Hill. “The way that he handled thegame, the situations that came at him, he really did a good job to hang ontothe football.”Despite senior linebacker DeAndre Levy being named Big Ten Defensive Player ofthe Week with an interception, a sack and nine total tackles, Bielema awardedthe defensive game ball to senior defensive lineman Matt Shaughnessy.“Matt Shaughnessy was outstanding in the game,” Bielemasaid. “He obviously created the big play.”Shaughnessy only finished with two tackles, but the big playBielema referred to was a deflection in which Shaughnessy got his hand on apass from Fresno State quarterback Tom Brandstater. The ball was batted intothe air and was intercepted by Levy.Injury reportSophomore defensive back Aaron Henry has missed the first three games of theseason, but Bielema is optimistic that he may be available for next Saturday’smatchup against the Wolverines.“Our goal [for Henry] has always been to be back for Michigan,”Bielema said.Junior linebacker Javery McFadden suffered an injury in Saturday night’s winand had to leave the game with a clubbed hand. He will undergo surgery thisweek and is expected to be back next Tuesday.Both quarterback Allan Evridge and Jason Chapman experienced cramps during thegame. Though Evridge did not return, Bielema said his signal caller is in goodhealth and ready to practice. Bielema noted that Chapman, however, also “hadsome ligament damage to his hands. He will be casted and ready to play.”The Badgers welcomed back senior tight end Travis Beckum and senior outsidelinebacker Jonathan Casillas from injuries. Beckum caught four balls for 51total yards, while Casillas recorded seven tackles. Bielema said havingCasillas and Beckum back was “huge.”“I think just for the energy during the course of the week,” Bielema said. “Agame on Saturday may have been won during the course of the week when Travispracticed the way he did.”Effects of overturned fumble call still lingerThe Badgers managed to hang on despite officials overturning what looked to bea Fresno State fumble. It appeared Levy recovered the ball on the Bulldogs’26-yard line, but a challenge resulted in the call being overturned.“Obviously as a Wisconsin fan, a Wisconsin coach, anybody that has a W on theirheart, they felt that was one that should have stayed with the ruling on thefield,” Bielema said of the call. “But the officials, you’ve got to trust whatthey say.”The ensuing drive ultimately resulted in a missed field goal attempt by FresnoState kicker Kevin Goessling.last_img

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