“I think we knew what spot we were in and we need it to be better. We just needed someone to step up.”
Those were the words of Wisconsin wide receiver Reggie Love after a shocking 28-24 loss to LSU in the Advocare Texas Kickoff. Of course this quote came after he was asked if the team let up after being up by two scores. But this quote can go well beyond what happened Saturday night in Houston, Texas.
For Love, this is his year. This is the time to show the Wisconsin faithful who he is, or more so who he can be seeing that the last time he was in the lineup was 2012. At that time, he played in seven games and had one reception (for 19 yards) to his credit.
Fast forward to the present, in the first game of the season, Love was responsible for the game’s first score for the Badgers when called his number and he went 45 yards for a touchdown.
“It was a great feeling. It’s great to contribute to the offense,” Love said. “It’s good to be in that spot. It was a bit of a surprise to come with the Reggie Love sweep.”
And this is the spot that, and the standard to which he wants to hold himself. The guy. The man. One whom the team can count on to make a play. This line of thought is not something that he perhaps came into the program with. But after taking last season to redshirt and process a few things, Love has come into to 2014 with a new mindset.
“I think my mental attitude is that I need to make an impact this year. And I need to be a key factor in this offense,” Love said. “I’m not going to take ‘no’ for an answer. The thing is they (the coaches) needed me to step up. I think I am doing my best to step up right now.”
“I made some mistakes out there. I will go back and watch the film, clean it up and get better.”
Taking responsibility was the main idea of the latter part of that quote in all facets of his game against LSU. But in the same sense, he also has owned his baggage as this past off season was somewhat of a rebuilding year for him mentally.
So what is seen now is a result from the work that was previously done.
“Just immaturity. And not being where I needed to be on time,” Love said. Mainly, just not paying attention to detail and things like that. Those things needed to be cleaned up, and for the most part I cleaned those things up.
“Now, I like the spot where I am in right now. I pushing and working my butt off to be that guy this year.”
Well, it looks as though he is in the right state of mind to do so. And if Saturday is the start of what’s next to come, Badger fans worldwide should expect nothing less than a great season.