MADISON — Despite a 48-3 blowout versus Illinois this weekend and the overall confidence and assurance that the Wisconsin Badgers control their own fate of a Big Ten Championship in their last two games of the season, head coach Paul Chryst and his team are building more energy rather than slowing down in the final stretch.

“I feel like we’ve been gaining momentum after each week. I feel like each week we’ve improved on something that we’ve needed to improve on,” wide receiver Jazz Peavy said.

Against Illinois, the Badgers made the plays to have success on both offense and defense. The Badgers were able to put up the most points in a Big Ten game since their 48-10 win over Rutgers on Oct. 31, 2015.

From the outside, these final two games against Purdue on the road and Minnesota at home do not appear to be as difficult as the Badgers’ early schedule of LSU, Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State, but that is not the case for the players.

“It’s not one of those things where we can lay back and think all things are finished out and we’re good to go,” Peavy said. “We’ve got to keep the momentum moving for us.”

This weekend of college football saw several big upsets that proved to be good reminders that anyone can fall short and anyone can come through to win.

“Anyone can lose any week. That was a perfect example this week,” Peavy said.

“You have to take every opponent seriously. These guys are getting recruited to play football too. They’re really good athletes. They were the top dogs at their high schools, and they do really good things in college too,” outside linebacker T.J. Watt said.

This is not a week to slow down for the Wisconsin Badgers, especially after the improvements they have made late in the season.

“We’ve needed to get more explosive run plays. We’ve been able to do that. We’ve needed to get more pass plays going. We’ve been able to do that. We’ve definitely been improving, and it’s great to see,” Peavy said.

Even the defense that has shown success all season feels there are places of improvement.

“It’s just the little things, tackling, footwork, making the pass rush, getting to the quarterback. There’s always room for improvement in certain coverage breakdowns,” Watt said.

And leading this successful season for the Wisconsin Badgers is head coach Paul Chryst. Watt says Chryst’s demeanor towards players and coaches has allowed and contributed to the success of this team.

“Everyone knows he’s the leader of this team, but at the same time, he wants his players to be free and have fun playing. There’s a good relationship between player and coach, but also with him and his coaches. He does a good job of being there for you.”

The Wisconsin Badgers head to Lafayette to take on the Purdue Boilermakers this Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

Advertisements