A lot of people wrote Wisconsin off after 4 games. The Badgers started the season 1-3 and suffered blowout losses to Notre Dame and Michigan.

Bowl eligibility appeared to be the team’s ceiling. A shot at winning the B1G West and returning to Lucas Oil Stadium in December appeared pretty bleak.

Seven wins later, the Badgers sit just a victory over Minnesota away from a return trip to Indianapolis on Dec. 4. It’s been one of the most improbably turnarounds this season — one that has depended heavily on strong defensive play and an improved rushing attack and quarterback play.

As Wisconsin prepares for the rivalry bout vs. Minnesota on Saturday, linebacker Jack Sanborn outlined why the team was able to have such a successful turnaround this fall. It comes down to poise.

“The worst thing that could have happened would have been if guys started freaking out and panicking,” Sanborn said, per Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “Thinking you’re going to be able to change things overnight. That’s not how it is done. That is not how you win football games.”

Wisconsin has found incredible success over the last 7 games. Running back Braelon Allen has reached 100 yards on the ground in each of those contests and quarterback Graham Mertz is averaging just 17 passes per game.

Pair that with the Badges’ suffocating defense, and it’s an excellent recipe to get back to Indianapolis.

Can Wisconsin close the deal with a win over Minnesota on Saturday?