At the half the Badgers are behind 23-9 and look awful. No need to talk adjustments and fine tuning. This is a team that has to block and tackle. Period. Morton is pleading: "Men, you have to go out there and compete. They aren't real fired up about being here today. Come on, give yourself a chance. Give us a chance." At which time, Wisconsin retakes the field and plays worse. Michigan State wins 30-9, with an uninspired effort. White gains only 92 yards on 19 carries, but his backup, Blake Ezor, destroys the Badgers with 150 yards on 28 carries. Wisconsin should have been thinking Ezor all week instead of White.
"Grab a knee, grab a hand," instructs Morton in the gloomy dressing room afterward. He thanks the seniors for their "dignity and class" and points toward this fall. Engle gets directly to the point with his defensive linemen: "I want you to make a commitment that you'll be a helluva lot better football players next year. Remember, everything starts with each individual saying, 'I want to be a success.' "
Davey is pulling off tape. He's bleeding from his forehead and hands and knees and elbows. "Not a whole lot to say, is there?" he mumbles. "Except I can hardly wait for next year. I've got to get big. I have to eat like crazy, lift like crazy."
Outside in the tunnel, Davey's parents, Ken and Gail, wait. Football parents are good at waiting. Ken is no braggart concerning his son: "Frankly, we're surprised he has done as well as he has." And Gail is similarly deprecating when she explains how Don got so smart: "It happens every other generation."
Davey appears, cap on backward. "Nice game," says Ken. "Thanks," says Davey. Above him the sign reads, IT'S GREAT TO BE A WISCONSIN BADGER. He has a lot to look forward to. First thing tomorrow, he gets to design an adjustable motor mount for a small electric motor at the drawing lab. "That's gonna be fun," Don Davey says.