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September 16, 2013

Badgers must move on from loss

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin head football coach Gary Andersen said he was looking for closure at the start of his weekly press conference after Arizona State stunned the No. 24 Badgers with a 32-30 win after the officials failed to re-set the ball with enough time for Wisconsin to attempt a game-winning field goal.

The Pac-12 conference issued a statement during Andersen's press conference saying that the league reprimanded and sanctioned it's officiating crew for "failing to properly administer the end of game situation and act with appropriate urgency," Andersen said that at the end of the day there's nothing his team can do about the game now.

"There's nothing else I can look for," Andersen said Monday. "Ideally you'd say let's get on the airplane and kick it and see what happens … but that's not going to happen."

The Badgers (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) don't have time to dwell on the loss, either. The team will host the Purdue Boilermakers (1-2, 0-0 Big Ten) this Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium, one week after the Boilermakers gave No. 22 Notre Dame a scare in a 31-24 loss at Ross-Ade Stadium.

Andersen said he's glad his team gets to return home after a tough road trip, giving them a chance to channel any left-over emotions into their next game.

"I think everybody is a little edgy, a little excited," Andersen said. "I think our kids will bounce back well. It's part of life- you can only control what you can control."

Andersen also said getting out on the field and back into Wisconsin's regular week of practice will help him put the loss to Arizona State behind him.

"It's different for me- I've never been in this situation," Andersen said. "Any time I go through adversity as a coach, the best thing for me is to get out there on the field with the kids. That'll be no different today. These kids will bounce back- they're tough minded, they deal with adversity very well. [The loss] will not be a factor in how we play against Purdue."

At the end of the day, the Pac-12's statement doesn't change anything for the Badgers. The statement didn't include an apology to the Badgers or Andersen from Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, the Badgers will still have the loss on their record, and they'll still have to prepare for the Boilermakers as though they were given a chance to finish the game and didn't execute.

All they can do now is hope that their game against Purdue and all of their games to come will be decided on the field, for better or worse.

"Players make plays, players win games," Andersen said. "That's what we'd like to see happen."

For more Wisconsin Badgers news, notes and discussion, follow John on Twitter.

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