Sully Says: A defeated coach
It's no fun seeing a defeated Bret Bielema.
It's an especially sad scene after a game his Hogs should have won.
We don't get to see the coach on Sunday morning. Imagine how painful it was for the coaching staff to relive that gut-wrenching loss, frame by frame. There had to be at least nine or 10 plays where the coaches played the "what if" game. What if they had stopped the Aggies on that 4th and 4 late in regulation? What if they had done a better job on either of their final two kickoffs? What if they had made the Aggies' freshman quarterback drive his team the length of the field?
Bret Bielema's Wisconsin teams didn't beat themselves.
You can't underestimate what a win over the Aggies would have meant to the program.
The whole narrative would have changed. The post-game buzz would have centered on finally breaking through at Jerry's World, and the way the team finally fought back in the 4th quarter. Imagine the post-game press conferences after that win. Austin Allen, Cole Kelley, and Chase Hayden come to represent the offense. Kelley would tell everyone about his new role as the Hogs' short-yardage quarterback and Hayden would share his thoughts about the successful debut of the Wild Hog offense. Defensive stars Dre Greenlaw, Josh Liddell, and Santos Ramirez would have shown up to talk about finally beating those Aggies.
What could have been?
No tears, just big smiles at Coach B's press conference.
What concerns many Hog fans is how they lost.
I've learned at both work and home that you get what you tolerate. There's a reason Navy is always ranked in the top 5 in penalty yardage. They don't tolerate penalties. You get whistled multiple times, you sit.
After what happened last season and last Saturday, allowing any more of those non-contested mega plays can't be tolerated and four plus years of special teams mediocrity must change.
What have we learned the first three games? The offensive line remains what Coach B called a "hodgepodge" unit and several first-year starters are still learning their way.
This young team is also minus its top tailback, receiver, and cornerback.
You have to believe the margin for error for this Hog team is slim.