Bret Bielema is hoping that the Badgers narrow 26-21 victory over FCS opponent Northern Iowa will teach them more than if they had blown someone out to start off the season.
"You've got to touch a hot stove once. Once you get burned, you're not going to do it again. And hopefully our guys learn, hey, you've got to put people away when we can." he explained afterwards.
"To me, we get a lot better out of this than a 42-0 blowout. I don't see what that gets. I know our fans, it kept them in their seats."
Northern Iowa has been an FCS power during recent years, winning at least 7 games every year dating back to 2003, including a ten win season last year. Back in 2009, the Panthers lost to Iowa and Iowa State by only a point each.
The Wisconsin defense played well for most of the night, up until the last part of the third quarter. Up until that point, the Badgers hadn't allowed UNI to cross midfield but in the fourth quarter, the Panther offense put together a few long touchdown passes to close the gap and make the last possession count.
"I told our guys any win is a good win, but this was one of the most beneficial teaching tools we could secure.
"Wisconsin football may not be the prettiest thing to watch, but we get W's" Bielema noted.