The one thing I know about time is that it marches on.
Time doesn’t wait for us to get over a loss. It doesn’t care about our pain, our regrets or the mistakes we make. No, time implores us to move ahead and remain in the present moment. Why? Because that’s all there is.
Saturday afternoon’s gut-wrenching, 27-25 defeat at Michigan Stadium hurts. No two ways about it. The Badgers had built themselves a 19-0 lead and had quieted some 109,000 people for almost a full three quarters. And then the dam broke.
The Wolverines, who had turned the ball over five times during a first half in which they made one first down and accumulated a total of 21 net yards, scored all 27 of their points in a 12-minute span that turned a 19-0 deficit late in the third quarter into a 27-19 lead with 5:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. It was, to say the least, an almost surreal turn of events.
UW quarterback Allan Evridge gamely guided the Badgers down the field for one last-ditch attempt at tying the game. And Wisconsin almost did it. David Gilreath’s terrific 22-yard touchdown reception with 13 seconds left to play brought the Badgers to within 27-25. The UW had to go for two to send the game into overtime. Evridge hit TE Travis Beckum for what appeared to be a successful 2-point PAT, but the Badgers were whistled for a five-yard penalty on the play. Their second attempt failed and Michigan had its biggest comeback win ever at the Big House.
So, where do the Badgers go from here?
When Bret Bielema took over as head coach in 2006, he had a countdown clock installed in the Badgers’ locker room. Regardless of what time of year it is, the clock is ticking. Days, hours, seconds. And it always displays the name of the Badgers’ next opponent.
I noticed the countdown clock in the visitors’ locker room at Michigan (yes, it travels) as the last of the Badgers were filing out toward the team buses. The opponent’s name had already been changed from Michigan to Ohio State. And the clock was ticking.
The Badgers will show up at Camp Randall Stadium on Sunday and they’ll go to work. They’ll study video. They’ll try to learn what they can from the loss to the Wolverines. And then they will begin the process of trying to figure out how to beat Ohio State next Saturday in a night-game atmosphere at Camp Randall that will undoubtedly be electric.
Senior LB DeAndre Levy summed it up following Saturday’s game. “We can’t let this loss lead to another and we need to start working on preparing for Ohio State.”
That’s all they can do.