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Badgers HC Luke Fickell: ‘Field goals weren’t going to win this ball game’

The Badgers settled on a few instances Monday, which could’ve been the difference maker.

NCAA Football: ReliaQuest Bowl-Wisconsin at Louisiana State Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers suffered a 35-31 loss at the hands of the LSU Tigers on Monday, ending their season at 7-6 in a close contest.

It was a battle in which the Badgers surprised the field by coming out swinging, leading 14-0 after the first quarter and trailing for only 3:10 in the whole game.

However, they ultimately couldn’t win the game at the end of the day, finishing their 2023 season in the loss column.

During the game, one of the more scrutinized issues was the conservative decisions of head coach Luke Fickell, who punted on a few instances near midfield, while choosing to kick two field goals in potential go-for-it situations.

What did the head coach think about those choices postgame?

Clearly emotional in this loss, Fickell, who effusively praised his players for their effort and determination, pointed the blame at himself for some of his decision-making, citing that field goals weren’t going to be the difference maker for the Badgers.

“We got to do a better job as a whole,” Fickell said. “I put it on myself. We had some situations where, whether it’s go for it or whether kick the field goal, we knew field goals weren’t going to win this ball game.”

The Badgers were seeing success offensively, but weren’t necessarily as aggressive as they could’ve been, which Fickell felt would’ve helped place the team in better positions.

“As the thing started to continue to roll and I look back at myself to say a little, be a little bit more aggressive in all that we’re doing to put ourselves in a better position,” Fickell said. “And if, and if you don’t get it, then you got an opportunity to obviously, you know, to know what it is that you need and you just didn’t get it done.”

Go-for-it decisions have been the subject of controversy all season for Fickell, who will now get an offseason to evaluate his decision-making and look forward to a tough 2024 slate under the new Big Ten regime.