Mike Taylor.jpg

CHICAGO -- On paper, Mike Taylor's 22-tackle game against Ohio State last season would appear to be the signature performance of his career.

Not so fast, says the University of Wisconsin senior linebacker. He visibly grimaced at times when recounting that game at the Big Ten Media Kickoff event Friday, and not because the Badgers lost via a last-minute touchdown pass for the second straight week.

"I like the games where you don't make mistakes, and I think I made a lot of mistakes in that Ohio State game," said Taylor, whose tackle count in that game was the most by a Wisconsin player since 1998. "There were plays where I made tackles because I screwed up.

"That's definitely up there as far as a game I'll remember, but I like not screwing up. And when I do screw up, I feel pressure like I'm not doing my job."

How does one "screw up" but still make a tackle, Taylor was asked?

"If you go to the wrong hole, the guy runs through your hole and you have to recover, that's a mistake," he said, chuckling.

Taylor finished with 150 tackles last season, the third-best mark in the country and the eighth-best in UW history.

More important than the aggregate number was that he finished seven tackles ahead of teammate Chris Borland, with whom he had a friendly competition going. Taylor said they'd even banter about their running count on the sidelines during games.

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