MADISON, Wis. - Another sold out season opener at Camp Randall had fans in the stands on pins and needles as the Badgers won by just five points over Northern Iowa.
But an unexpected close call doesn't mean those cheering for the Badgers lack optimism for the remainder of the season.
Kay Roethe joined her UW alumni friends, Peggy Chane and Mary Murphy, at the first football game of the year.
She said though the team's performance was disappointing, she has faith in them to make another Rose Bowl appearance.
"I think the Badgers could be doing a lot better," Roethe said, "and I think that this is a good test for them because they need to go back to the drawing board and see what they're doing wrong."
Others agreed that it was a shaky start to the season. One of them was Kelly Vanderboom, who brought his sons to their first Wisconsin game Saturday.
"It starts a little slow. You get the non-conference going and then the Big 10 is going to be a lot of fun," Vanderboom said.
The players weren't the only ones working hard on Saturday afternoon. UW police made 20 arrests during the game, with 14 of those arrested being students.
Sixteen people were cited for under-aged drinking and ejected from the game.
Though the Badgers didn't meet expectations on Saturday (they were favored by 32.5 points), it was still a win, and because of that, a positive start to the season.
UW student Jackie Bruggink said, "We set our standards high. None less than the Rose Bowl, for sure."
Mike Obershaw and his wife, Lylace, are long time Badger fans. They say there's nothing like a game in Camp Randall.
"It's just got to be awestruck for some of those players, the first time they step onto that field with 70,000 fans screaming and it's just got to be awesome," Mike Obershaw said.
"It is the best college atmosphere, not only in the Big 10, but in my opinion, in the country," Roethe added. "It is so much fun here even when the weather is not the best. You've got the spirit, you've got the great band, you've got the great fans, and a lovely, lovely place to have this game. It's wonderful."
After a road trip out west to play Oregon State on September 8, Wisconsin's next home game is September 15 against Utah State.
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