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Young Wisconsin secondary gave Badgers a chance Saturday and hope for the future – The Athletic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard stressed midweek that the most important elements for success against Michigan would be to help his young secondary perform fast and confident. They needed to trust their technique and take the field comfortable in the knowledge that their work in practice would be good enough, lack of starting experience be damned.

Given that an injury-riddled defense had surrendered 407 yards passing one week earlier to Nebraska — the Badgers’ first 400-yard passing game allowed in 13 years — there was serious cause for concern. When the lone returning starter in the secondary, senior D’Cota Dixon, showed up on the Michigan Stadium field for warmups not in uniform because of injury, that level of apprehension elevated even higher.

But if there is a silver lining from Wisconsin’s 38-13 loss to Michigan on Saturday night, it’s that one of the team’s perceived major weaknesses actually provided hope.

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