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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, September 29, 2023

Football: Defense looks for redemption against Purdue in Big Ten opener

Moving forward. That was the attitude surrounding Badger football practice Wednesday afternoon as Wisconsin looks ahead to hosting Purdue (1-2) this Saturday.

Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said there were strengths and weaknesses in last Saturday’s game against Arizona State, and the team will continue to work where necessary.

“We were okay at applying pressure on Saturday,” Aranda said. “We can be better against Purdue in that department, and that has a lot to do with playing man to man. So we’ll continue to improve in that area and put the defense together the way it needs to be.”

Senior nose guard Beau Allen, who registered a touchdown against the Sun Devils, admitted that while the team’s morale may be slightly bruised, looking ahead remains a priority.

“Obviously a lot of us are emotional,” Allen said. “But now it’s just about putting that behind us and focusing on Purdue.”

As far as containing the Boilermaker offense, Allen attributed the Badgers’offensive practice routine to the defense’s strategy.

“They have a lot of pre-snap movements and shifts, but that’s one thing that we’re pretty comfortable with defensively because our offense does a lot of that stuff as well.”

Additionally, pressuring the quarterback will be a top strategy Saturday afternoon.

“We only had one sack on the D-line [against Arizona],” Allen said. “So we want to get more pressure on the QB, harass him, get in his face, bat down balls and just hit him to get those sacks to try to effect his throws and get in his head a little bit.”

Being in the right place at the right time is always a key on defense, according to redshirt senior safety Dezmen Southward. This is no different against Purdue.

“I think anytime you contain any offense your thing is to be on your keys, be in the right spots and you’ll do well,” said Southward. “As long as we can do that we’ll be fine. Whether you’re against the most high octane offense or the worst, if you’re not in the right spot, they’re going to beat you.”

“There are times when we’re going to need them to step up,” Aranda added. “And when you’re on the sideline about to head on to the field, you fell that time of the game.”

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