Luke Fickell and Wisconsin headed out west in Week 2, falling to Washington State in a 31-22 upset. A big factor in that loss was a lack of rushing attack for the Badgers.

When it was all said and done, Wisconsin threw the ball 40 times after falling behind early and managed just 90 rushing yards on 29 carries. Chez Mellusi finished as the leading rusher with 49 yards on 12 carries while Braelon Allen had just 7 carries for 20 yards.

A particularly low output, Fickell said at his Monday press conference it is all about how Allen “handles all those situations.”

“The good and the bad. We talked about this before the season started, your ability to take what is there and what is given is what we’ve got to be able to go with,” said Fickell. “When hopefully you believe you’ve got some more weapons than just 2 tailbacks or what you’re going to hang your hat on every single time that when you do get those opportunities you take advantage of them.”

The head coach did admit the Cougars were able to take away the run for much of the game, but he also wants to get opportunities for Allen on the edge.

“Say what it is: They did a good job taking away the run, stopping the run and doing some things certainly on early. But we have some opportunities to get our guys on the edges and we have to take advantage for him as well,” Fickell explained. “I think he understands that, he definitely understands that, we also know we have to find more ways to create energy through the running game.”

As for Allen’s response, Fickell said he knows the star running back wants the ball more. The head coach said he also agrees Allen can have more of an impact, but for now, the focus needs to be on capitalizing on the opportunities he’s given.

“He obviously wants to touch the ball a lot more and feels like more than just selfishly feels like he can be more of an impact, and I agree with him,” said Fickell. “He can be more of an impact, but the opportunities we give, we all have to take advantage of them.”