Badgers say revenge for loss to Illinois last year not on their minds

Two weeks ago Wisconsin running back Nakia Watson made some waves when he said Illinois deserved a “butt-whooping” after handing the Badgers an embarrassing loss last season. A number of Illini players took notice of his words, with one even calling the sophomore an “internet gangsta.”

Since then, multiple other UW players have been asked about potential revenge in next Friday’s season opener for their lone Big Ten West lost a year ago and none have come out as strong as Watson. In fact, they’ve come out just the opposite.

“Getting revenge on Illinois is the last thing we want to think about,” cornerback Faion Hicks said. “It was disappointing what we did last year but that’s in the past. We’ve got to move forward. It’s a new year.”

Wisconsin was ranked No. 6 in the country and were 31.5-point favorites going into that game in Champaign last October. The Badgers turned the ball over twice in the final quarter and ended up losing on a last-second field goal.

“It really isn’t a revenge game,” outside linebacker Noah Burks said. “It’s a new season, a new focus. We’re just happy about the chance to play and we’re going to treat every game as like it’s its own game that we’ve got to win.”

The Badgers are 23.5-point favorites in the game, according to