GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Wisconsin Badgers were the overwhelming underdog going into Saturday’s game against the #5 LSU Tigers. In one of the biggest games in recent Badgers history, Wisconsin upset LSU 16-14.

Wisconsin fans young and old came out in heavy attendance to what many call one of the greatest upsets in Wisconsin football history. Of the 77,823 people in attendance, it was about a 70 to 30 ratio of Badgers fans to LSU fans. While LSU fans made themselves heard through most of the game, it was all quiet from the purple and gold fans when a costly interception turned the ball over with 57 seconds left. Houston and his offense took a knee to end the game.

“It was a great atmosphere,” Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said after the game. “I appreciate everything the Packers organization did, the fans that came…We wanted the kids to be able to enjoy this. The opportunity that we had because of this game, I wanted them to enjoy it, but it is also a great challenge to them.”

The Badgers dominated the first half, despite only leading by 6-0 at halftime. Wisconsin’s defense was the key factor in shutting LSU out in the first half. Despite constant coverage of Dave Aranda’s departure from UW this week, Badgers current defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox displayed a Badgers defense with unrelenting physicality against a top-rated LSU offense with NFL prospect running back Leonard Fornette at the helm.

LSU head coach Les Miles congratulated the Wisconsin team after the game, specifically praising the Wisconsin defense led by Vince Biegel.

“I thought that Vince Biegel is a really good player,” Miles said. “I think they just played really solid defense. They had some good concepts and they are a very strong defense. I think Biegel could play for a long time in the NFL.”

“I think Justin [Wilcox] put a great defensive game plan in,” Biegel said, “and it was for us just continue to go out there and executing, kind of what we did in spring and what we did in the fall camp and continue to build upon what we did…I’m excited about what the future holds for this defense and the Wisconsin Badgers football team.”

Fornette was held to 35 yards in the first half, though he did break LSU’s school record as the fastest player to achieve 3,000 career yards (26 games). LSU starting quarterback Brandon Harris only completed 3 of 7 passes for 38 yards, and LSU punted three times.

While they only put up six points in the first half, the Wisconsin offense controlled the clock, nearly tripling LSU’s time of possession with 21:52 to 8:08.

Wisconsin struggled a lot more in the second half with foolish penalties from the offensive line, a tired defense, and some inconsistency between quarterback and receivers. The team quickly rushed down the field in their first drive of the second half which produced a rushing touchdown by Clement to put the Badgers up 13-0. From there, however, sloppy mistakes led to back-to -ack touchdowns by LSU in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the offense was able to drive the ball down the field for kicker Gaglianone to make his third field goal of the game. In the last four minutes of the game, however, LSU was able to move the ball down the field and into Badgers territory. With a minute left to play, safety D’Cota Dixon picked off LSU quarterback Brandon Harris. From there, Houston was able to take a knee three times to win the game.

“They just kept playing,” Chryst simply stated following the game. “I thought guys did have a good mindset. And I thought there were times where we were really physical and where we needed to be today.”

Following the game, Dixon spoke to the media about the moments you have to appreciate and to be grateful for. The interception, he said, was one of them. Dixon described the moment as happening very suddenly.

“The next thing you know the ball is coming my way, and I was just like, ‘oh don’t drop it,’” Dixon reflected after the game. “I’m very grateful, very fortunate, very thankful for our team. If it wasn’t for the pressure, I don’t think I would’ve gotten the interception. I’m very grateful for our boys.”

“You just never know the moments you will have in life,” he said. “All you can do is just thank God at the end of the day.”

Senior Bart Houston made his debut as starting quarterback in a casual fashion. While he made several poor throws including 2 costly interceptions, Houston finished 19 of 31 (61%) with 205 yards. He proved his mobility in the first half when he ran for 13 yards.

Of Houston’s first performance as starting quarterback, Coach Chryst said, “I thought he was himself. I thought he competed. I thought he made some plays. Obviously, a couple plays that we’ve got to learn from, and you’d like not to do, but I thought he kept his poise in it and did some good things.”

Houston said following the game that he learned a lot from his first experience as the starter and from the mistakes he made, though he hopes to not do them again.

“Having the confidence to keep striving to, as Coach says before our game, score one or more points than the other team,” Houston said of his mindset during the game. “I was talking with the line, talking with the receivers and running backs and just keeping their heads up and don’t let them slack off or anything. Just keeping confidence, that’s what I did with the offense.”

The dynamic between Houston and tight end Troy Fumagalli was especially noticeable in Saturday’s game. Fumagalli made 7 catches for 100 yards. Chryst said during the post game press conference that Fumagalli’s performance was simply an example of the work he has been putting in during practice.

“Me and Bart have been working together since I got here freshman year,” Fumagalli said. “We feel really comfortable with each other. We’ve been roommates for two years on the road now.”

Of his overall team performance, Fumagalli said, “We think highly of ourselves, what we are capable of, so we’ve just go to keep putting in the work and things will work out for us.”

Senior running back Corey Clement saw the most carries for the rushing offense in the game. He carried 21 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. Clement pounded the ball against a tough LSU front seven.

“It was a very emotional win for me,” Clement said, “especially getting back on the field, being my senior year, playing at Lambeau, just playing with a great group of guys that have the same purpose as you—victory.”

Something to note on Wisconsin’s special teams was the change in starting punter from the original Badgers depth chart prior to the start of the season. Freshman Anthony Lotti was listed on the Badgers depth chart to be the starting punter going into this Saturday’s game. Instead, redshirt sophomore P.J. Rosowski started and played through the game. He punted four times for 163 yards with his long being 51 yards. While not terribly great, it was an acceptable starting point for the second year punter. The change was made on Thursday, according to a source.

Kicker Rafael Gaglianone made three field goals Saturday that helped Wisconsin seal the win against LSU. It was also an especially emotional experience as Gaglianone decided to wear the number 27 this year in support of his friend Sam Foltz, the Nebraska punter that tragically died in a car accident in Wisconsin this past summer.

“It’s amazing just to play for Sam and just kind of spread the word for who he was on and off the field,” Gaglianone said after the game.

As far as injuries go, inside linebacker Chris Orr left in the first quarter with a right leg injury, left guard Micah Kapoi left with a left leg injury. Both did not return.

Coach Chryst and his players stressed that while this win is great, the team must focus on the next game and the following and the following. It’s about continuing success rather than relishing in one win. That being said, for tonight Badger players will take satisfaction and pride in their victory.

“It was electric,” Biegel said. “It was everything I thought it would be and more. I grew up in Wisconsin. I went to Green Bay Packer games. I’ve said that before. I’m used to the stadium being green and gold, and for it to be red and white was a special moment.”

The Badgers will take on Akron in the season home opener at 2:30 PM next Saturday.