MADISON – The University of Wisconsin simply cannot get healthy on the defensive side of the ball.
"You know how much time he puts in and how much he truly cares about this team," senior safety Leo Musso said. "It's tough from that aspect."
Cichy suffered the injury trying to tackle Iowa tailback Akrum Wadley along the sideline in the final minute of the first half in Wisconsin’s 17-9 victory Saturday. The team’s leading tackler with 60, Cichy had consecutive double-digit tackle performances and also had seven tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks on the season.
Despite the injury, Cichy returned to the field in the second half with his left arm braced. He played the third quarter and half the fourth quarter before being replaced by junior Ryan Connelly.
"I love the way he played and put it out there," head coach Paul Chryst said of Cichy. "He brought it up and he goes, 'I'm glad I played the way I did. I didn't cheat it at all.' And he did, he put it all out there. You feel bad for him missing these opportunities to play."
Connelly is expected to fill in when Wisconsin hosts No.7 Nebraska this weekend. It will be the second tour of duty for Connelly, as he filled in when sophomore inside linebacker Chris Orr hurt his right knee on the first defensive play of the season against LSU. Connelly has 12 tackles in seven games.
"We really have a bunch of guys who embody what Wisconsin is all about, that's tough, smart and dependable," Musso said. "I think more than anything we're a group of guys who have fun playing with one another. How much focus we have going throughout our week, our preparation and everything, I think how much fun (we have) trumps all of that. That's a product of what everyone sees on Saturdays."
Despite all the injuries Wisconsin has dealt with on all three levels of its defense, the Badgers (5-2, 2-2) head into this week ranked fourth in scoring defense (14.3 points per game), ninth in the country in total defense (300.6 yards per game) and 10th in rush defense (102.9 ypg).