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Wisconsin had a steep hill to climb late in today’s 23-13 loss to Minnesota, as the team trailed by 10 with only four minutes left and two scores needed.
It was an unlikely comeback with how the offense had performed all game, yet it was in the realm of possibility. The first drive of the comeback effort saw Wisconsin face a 4th-and-1 at its own 21 yard-line.
Instead of immediately going for it, the Badgers sent the punt unit out on the field. The result: a false start (as the team was attempting to punt), a timeout by Wisconsin and a 4th-and-6 situation.
The Badgers picked up the first down. But the team was left with only one timeout in a late-game situation where time was of the essence. The gaffe probably did not matter in the grand scheme of things, though it was one that drew a lot of criticism as the time was ticking on Wisconsin’s chances.
Paul Chryst spoke about the situation after the game, saying “Never should’ve even been thinking to punt. I didn’t handle it well, flat out.”
#Badgers Chryst said the punt unit is sent out by the ST coach cut added: “Everything goes through me.” My view: PC Is covering for the mistake of his ST coach.
— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) November 28, 2021
Here is the head coach’s explanation:
Paul Chryst on calling out the punting unit in on fourth-and-1 down two scores. pic.twitter.com/BT2u4IVQgo
— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) November 28, 2021