Paul Chryst is treating Wisconsin’s upset over LSU with tempered enthusiasm. It was a big victory for the Badgers, but one Chryst views as indicative of how his team will perform all year.
The Wisconsin Badgers trotted onto Lambeau Field on Saturday an unranked team looking to make a statement on a national stage.
One resounding upset later, the Badgers are now ranked No. 10 in the AP Top 25.
Regardless, head coach Paul Chryst doesn’t think his team is any different from the one that opened the season outside the rankings. At least he hopes it isn’t, other than maybe a little extra experience in big games.
Chryst said during Tuesday’s Big Ten media conference that he doesn’t believe the 16-14 victory over then-No. 5 LSU should be viewed as some monumental victory for the program. Sure, it marked Wisconsin’s first non-conference win over a top-5 opponent since 1974, but getting caught up in a victory like that could only cloud the big picture of what the Badgers are trying to accomplish.
“What (the win) means for this year is to be determined by how we play (the rest of) this year and moving forward,” Chryst said. “We’ve had some big games in the Big Ten, too. They’re all good experiences.
“For our younger players, maybe that’s the first time they played in a big game. For our older players, they rely on all their experiences.”
Quarterback Bart Houston sort of fits into both categories. The redshirt senior made his first career start on a field made famous by the man he was named after, Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr, and was a bit of a mixed bag. Houston guided his team to victory, but he also threw two interceptions – one that was returned for a touchdown. Chryst acknowledged that his quarterback must improve when the Badgers host Akron on Saturday.
“He put himself in the moment and whether it was good or bad, he turned the page,” Chryst said. “We’re hoping that’s the game experience he needs to learn from. He can’t be a rookie quarterback on everything.”
Wisconsin Injury Update
Linebacker Chris Orr suffered an ACL injury on Wisconsin’s first defensive series against LSU and will miss the rest of the season. The Badgers moved Leon Jacobs from linebacker to fullback this year, but Chryst said that Jacobs will take practice reps at both positions and possibly play both ways against Akron.
Fellow linebacker T.J. Edwards sat out the LSU game with a foot injury suffered during the offseason. It’s still unclear if he’ll be able to go against the Zips.
Barry Alvarez Signs An Extension
Wisconsin announced on Wednesday that athletic director Barry Alvarez has singed a contract extension that will run through January 31, 2021. Alvarez’s new contract went into effect on September 1.