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Badgers’ Luke Fickell: Sunday practice after Indiana loss was the best Sunday of the season

The Badgers head coach was impressed by his team’s effort the day after the loss.

The Wisconsin Badgers suffered a tough 20-14 loss at the hands of the Indiana Hoosiers last weekend, dropping to 5-4 on the season, despite being around 10-point favorites heading into the game.

In the loss, the Badgers couldn’t muster much offensively, failing to score consistently despite traveling into Indiana territory on a number of occasions.

Defensively, after a porous first half, the Badgers held the Hoosiers offense to just three points during the final 30 minutes, but it wasn’t enough in the loss.

On Monday, during his weekly press conference, head coach Luke Fickell acknowledged the difficulty of the loss, but pointed out the following day’s practice as one that caught his eye.

“We all know losing stinks. I think the best thing for us was, at least for me, was Sunday,” Fickell said. “To be able to get ourselves back in here [and] to get our players back in here to go through what it is, what happened, and watch the game film and then go out there on the practice field and actually sweat a little bit, get that taste out of your mouth.”

“But it’s tough. It’s difficult. I think that all of us, we talked about it on Sunday as well. There was an expectation, there is an expectation and unfortunately we’re not in a position that right now meets those expectations. But we can’t allow that to stop us from growing and doing the things we got to continue to do.”

The Badgers’ goal is to the flush out the loss, looking to move forward, which requires a strong week of practice ahead of their weekend bout against the Northwestern Wildcats this weekend.

“So we said last week, flush it and then move on. And I thought our guys did a good job of it. We weren’t able to get the job done this past weekend. So we’ve got to do the same thing. We’ve got to look at it. We’ve got to move forward,” Fickell said. “And we can’t dwell upon the past, but we got to find ways to continue to move forward. We got to find ways to continue to get our best eleven guys on the field at one time. And then we ultimately got to find ways to win football games. So this is another great opportunity for us this week, but we got to have a great week of practice.”

Fickell went on to proclaim this past Sunday’s practice as the best Sunday of the season, noting how players pushed through injuries and the attitude around the building, looking to bounce back.

“Be honest with you, I thought, and I said this this morning on the radio, Sunday might have been our best Sunday,” Fickell said. “I don’t know why, but I thought those guys came out there, a lot of guys limping and on an injury report, but yet then they go out there and do what you ask them to do, run around, sweat a little bit, compete a little bit, have a little bit of fun in the midst of all the things that are going on, and they did. So I trust that this is the attitude that these guys have.”

“Unfortunately, they’ve been through some adversity, obviously last year and they’ve handled it pretty well. And they came out on Sunday and handled it really well. So I’m excited about that and about moving forward and getting ourselves another opportunity to get this thing on the right track.”

The Badgers have handled some adversity, but Fickell did not want to use that as an excuse following the game, citing execution as the team’s main issue on Saturday rather than the team’s injuries.

“It’s execution. It’s no excuse,” Fickell said on Saturday about why the team lost. “These guys, we’re all here for a reason. We got plenty of guys that have taken a lot of reps and maybe you don’t know their names as well because they haven’t played as much on Saturday.”

Now, the Badgers will look to right the ship on Saturday, where they’re currently seen as 10.5-point favorites over Northwestern.