Badgers "frustrated" after another heartbreaker in Indy
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - In typical Badgers fashion, Wisconsin showed plenty of heart on the biggest stage Saturday night.
"This group is tremendous that’s one thing about this team," Badgers running back Chris James said. "Our heart and love for each other is something you can’t take away."
Something else this team can't take away, the sting of another tough Big Ten Championship game loss. Similar to last season, Wisconsin battled but fell one "big play" short in their 27-21 loss to Ohio State at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"Very difficult," Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor said. "Lot of emotions running through this locker room, we had a great season, so to get to this point, have this opportunity and come upshort definitely hurts."
After trailing 21-7 early in the game, Wisconsin rallied to cut the deficit to six in the closing minutes. The Badgers were set up for a game-winning score but came up short when quarterback Alex Hornibrook was intercepted by Buckeyes cornerback Damon Webb on 4th and 20.
"I? definitely think we’re going to bounce back well," Hornibrook said. "Use this opportunity to learn everything we can from it. We have a little bit of time and we have to get better."
The team’s third straight loss at Lucas Oil stadium is ultimately their most costly. Not only did the team miss out on their first conference title since 2012 but a berth in their first College Football Playoff as well.
"We just have to finish it well," Badgers tight end Troy Fumagalli said. "Whatever bowl game we end up in just remember we are a great team and end it the right way."
In the team's third season under head coach Paul Chryst, the expectations for this program have changed.
"We're always trying to push the standard," Fumagalli said. "Make yourself better, make the team better."
At 12-1 Wisconsin will still earn plenty of respect with a January bowl game. The Miami Herald reports it will be the Orange Bowl against Miami on Dec 30.
Still, the team will have to take it as the silver lining after missing out on a golden opportunity and a chance for something more.
"Guys are upset not shocked up upset and frustrated because we knew we were close," Badgers Linebacker Ryan Connelly said.