The Wisconsin Badgers 2023-2024 football season kicks off Saturday September 2nd, versus the Buffalo Bulls. You might say this is a give-me game to start off the year so there’s no noteworthy things to focus on, however there are still very important implications regarding this season’s debut for the Badgers.
For starters, being ranked 19th in the preseason AP poll, means there’s additional pressure to win the game. More so than that however, is the style points that the Badgers might need to work their way up the college football ladder. If you don’t already know, ” style points “, refers to the concept of how good your win was.
For instance, if you beat lets say Rutgers by 20 points versus only a point, the shift in the AP and playoff committee polls will reflect based on the dominance. Think of it like an unofficial version of goal differences in soccer.
If this argument doesn’t move you to care about this match-up that’s fine, but also consider the hard big ten schedule looming large for the Badgers later this year. Then think about how key it is to start off the season well for the Badgers, especially as a confidence boost heading into those more high-stakes game days.
It’s also very important to get the little things, such as tackling and keeping ahold of the ball, right before those kind of mistakes kill the Badgers in bigger games down the line.
I am not the only one saying this by the way, here’s what head coach Luke Fickell had to say about where his head is at heading into Saturday, in a press conference Monday afternoon.
Goal of the week: Playing clean
In the presser, he outlined one thing he hopes to achieve versus the Bulls on Saturday.
” What does Saturday look like for us? It’s about being able to play clean “, he said. ” In week one that’s things you kinda study right? Those pre and post snap situations, to take care of the football “, he continued. ” And then your ability to tackle, those things you don’t get a chance to do as much in all of fall camp “, the coach said. ” Those are the things that kinda leave me in particular laying awake a little bit on Friday night “, said Luke.Badgers football head coach Luke Fickell in a press conference Monday afternoon
It seems as if his emphasis heading into this game is more on the little things, on cleaning up the bad habits now versus teams like Buffalo, so they don’t leak into more important games later down the line. Either way, I am as excited as everybody else to kick off the college football season!