To The Shed for lunch (hot dog, BLT, tortilla chips, raspberry yogurt, milk; for $4.64) and back to looking at films of Lorenzo. White is again the focus of Davey's world. "Man, he's quick," mutters Davey. Meetings, films, a pause to pose for a photo for a local magazine.
In his office Morton appraises Davey as "solid, consistent. I don't know how good he can be. But he's doing some awful good things against quality competition." Yet Morton frets that Davey is an awkward size, not quite big enough to be a down lineman and not quite fast enough to be an outside linebacker. Davey plays the old-style defensive end, frequently brawling his way into the backfield and messing things up. Daly, the defensive coordinator, agrees and says, "He's so undersized and under strength. But he's a kid we believe in."
After a nothing workout the players are bused over to the Inntowner Hotel, where they will spend the night before the game in Camp Randall Stadium. Morton is working on their minds again, aware that his players are concerned because they have climbed so many mountains during the year, only to fall back as they neared the summit. Says Morton, "People with not much invested in Wisconsin football have labeled this season a failure. They are dead wrong. This season has not been in vain. And don't ever underestimate the human spirit. Anything is possible. We have every right to win this game." The players' eyes are bright. Of course they can beat Michigan State. It's great to be a Badger.
The players retire to their hotel rooms, where Davey's roommate for the night, starting defensive tackle John Banaszak, pulls off Davey's cowboy boots.
"Wouldn't it be great to beat Michigan State, John?"
"Yeah, sure would." They settle in for a night of fretful and mindless TV watching. Silently. Davey feels great. He can't remember his back ever having hurt. Goodnight, Lorenzo.
The day dawns bright and cold. Daly has his defensive players look at just a few more plays on film—of White. There is breakfast and a bus ride back to the stadium. By 11:56 a.m., Davey is sitting in front of his locker—in fact, he is almost inside his locker—concentrating.
At 12:12 p.m. he puts on his shoulder pads; at 12:16 he works his jersey over his pads; at 12:27 he snaps on his helmet; at 12:41 Engle shakes his hand, pats him twice on the left shoulder pad. And at 12:50, Morton tells the players to "grab a knee, grab a hand." Says Morton, "Men, I readjust the other day that walking the tightrope is living, everything else is waiting. So let's take advantage of these rare moments to lay it all on the line. You have a chance in the next 60 minutes to live those 60 minutes, to walk on that tightrope."
The fired-up Wisconsin team stampedes into the stadium. It's great to be a Badger. Then, two minutes into the first quarter, Lorenzo White rambles 17 yards—around Davey. A minute later, however, Davey sacks Spartan quarterback Bobby McAllister for an eight-yard loss. But that is his day. Davey plays hard, but the action is all away from him. Plus, he is held on nearly every play by State's 297-pound tackle, Tony Mandarich. Davey complains to the officials, who pay no attention to him.