MADISON--The Wisconsin special teams enjoyed a banner day, for the most part. The unit produced the Badgers' first nine point of the game, picking up the slack for an offense unable to capitalize on early scoring opportunities.
Matters were not as cheerful however, for senior kicker Mike Allen, who missed both of his field goal attempts in the game.
"Sometimes kickers don't have a good day," head coach Barry Alvarez said. "You miss an easy one, then you miss another one. Mike's a good kicker and we'll get a lot of mileage out of Mike down the road."
Allen's first miss came after the Badgers had put together 60-yard opening drive that chewed up more than six minutes. With the drive stalled at the five-yard-line, Allen missed wide left on a 23-yard attempt.
He got his chance at redemption in the second quarter. Teeing up a 49-yard try, Allen came up wide right.
"I just missed it," Allen said. "I'm not going to make excuses. I never have, I never will. It's something that happens. I came up with a couple of bad hits. That's the life of a kicker."
Despite the rough day, the easygoing Allen's confidence is hardly rattled.
"Not a problem," Allen said of his confidence. "A couple of misses, it's not a big deal. We still won, we came out with a ‘W.'"
Allen, who connected on two of his three field goal attempts in the season-opening victory over Central Florida, is ready to put Saturday's nightmarish outing behind him and move on.
"It wasn't my day," Allen said. "We were able to win without it, but we can't have that anymore. I can't do that anymore. The team needs me and luckily today we didn't have to rely on field goals. It's going to come down to it sometime and I'm not going to falter anymore."
Fortunately for Allen, his fellow special teams players stepped up when he struggled, just as they did for the Wisconsin offense.
"That just shows the character of our team and the character of our special teams," Allen said. "One guy might screw up and today I had a horrible day. Our punter (Kenneth DeBauche) is killing the ball, dropping it inside the five yard line two or three times. On kickoffs, Taylor (Mehlhaff) is killing it. We're blocking field goals and running them back for touchdowns. That's what we need to do. If we do that on a consistent basis, guys can have off days and we'll still make it."
Allen struggles in victory
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