MADISON–At 2:01 a.m. Sunday morning, cornerback Derrick Tindal tweeted out his disappointment after the Badgers tough overtime loss against Ohio State at Camp Randall Stadium Saturday night.
“Two games in a row I let my team down the pain I’m feeling is unbearable :(,” the junior from Fort Lauderdale said on Twitter.
In the Badgers’ back-to-back losses against Michigan and Ohio State, Tindal was covering both of the receivers who scored the winning touchdowns, Ohio State’s Noah Brown and Michigan’s Amara Darboh.
“I was a little frustrated that we lost, upset,” Tindal said of his postgame tweet. “I felt that I let my team down… I was just frustrated. I knew we had a chance to win, and I just wanted that victory bad, so it was kind of wearing me down.”
He thanked his teammates, however, for their immense support after the game with many tweeting at him or even some, like his best friend safety D’Cota Dixon coming to his house on Sunday.
“I’ve got great teammates. They picked me up and let me know it’s not just one play that made the game.”
Tindal admitted that one of his flaws is thinking too much about how others perceive him. One thing that Dixon told him on Sunday that he is focusing on is “don’t worry about them. Play for yourself and God.”
After little sleep Saturday night—Tindal said he didn’t go to bed until 5 in the morning—the cornerback entered the week ready to prove himself and focus on the win against Iowa. As he said, you need to have “a short memory as the DB.”
But his personal reflection of his performances against Michigan and Ohio State motivates him. It motivates him to make those key tackles, and it motivates him to win.“I hate letting my brothers down,” he said.
Against Iowa this weekend, the Badgers defense will face a great quarterback in Iowa’s C.J. Beathard. The quarterback has a 138.3 passing rating, completing 101 of 168 throws for 1,227 yards for 11 touchdowns and only four interceptions. The Iowa offense has two strong running backs in Akrum Wadley, who has 80 carries for 592 yards and eight touchdowns, and LeShun Daniels Jr., who has 109 carries for 589 yards and six touchdowns.
“They’re going to be in the right spots, and they’re going to be ready to play,” Tindal said of the 5-2 Iowa team.
Despite the pressure of two back-to-back losses, the Badgers are still ranked high in the polls at #10. Rankings, however, make no difference to Tindal and many of his teammates. Neither do projections.
“It’s no more pressure than we had before,” he said. “They thought we were going to lose almost every game. It’s no more pressure. We’ve just got to go out there and stay within our game and just play.”
This week, Tindal goes out with an even greater competitiveness to prove to himself and his teammates that he can represent the Wisconsin defense the way he feels he should—as a smart, tough, dependable player. That’s what he believes represents physicality, and that’s what he believes he can display on the field this Saturday in Iowa.