AP NEWS

Rafael Gaglianone not focusing on career field goals record in final season with Badgers

October 11, 2018

Inside linebacker T.J. Edwards and kicker Rafael Gaglianone clicked from their first moments on campus at the University of Wisconsin, rooming together from Day 1 and playing countless hours of FIFA over the next four-plus years.

Yet even Edwards didn’t know until a reporter mentioned Monday that Gaglianone had tied a program record with his 65th career field goal two days earlier in the Badgers’ 41-24 victory over Nebraska.

“It’s not like I’m really talking to my roommate about I want to do this or I want to do that,” Gaglianone said. “And it’s easy when you’re rooming with an All-American linebacker. You can’t really talk about yourself all that much.”

It’s a milestone not too many players on the sideline recognized Saturday, as Gaglianone has purposefully attempted to set aside any focus on personal accomplishments and wait until after the season to reflect on the final year of his UW career.

“It’s not his thing to bring it up,” Edwards said. “He’s not going to be the one to go around telling people about it, and I think that’s why people love him so much.”

Gaglianone’s now even with Todd Gregoire, who played for the Badgers from 1984-87, and could hold the record on his own by making a field goal this week at Michigan.

It wasn’t long ago that Gaglianone experienced one of the few disappointments of his career, missing a potential game-tying, 42-yard kick in the final minute of a loss to BYU. Forced to wait three weeks before his next attempt, Gaglianone nailed his only two tries against the Cornhuskers in the first half.

That miss against the Cougars came as a uncharacteristic blip in what’s developed into a fantastic five-year career. Gaglianone made four game-winning kicks prior to this season, another school record, and he’s connected on 31 of his last 35 field goals dating back to his sophomore campaign in 2015.

″(My teammates) are always mocking me that I only have one job, so I might as well get good at it,” Gaglianone said. “And that’s what I try to do every day.”

Gaglianone’s been aware of the record since before this season began, although he said the main reason for that was due to the media asking him about it.

After drawing attention to it by tying Gregoire last week, Gaglianone admits he’s been asked enough in recent days that he won’t be able to help but think about it the next time he attempts a field goal.

He’ll try his best, however, to pretend the kick’s the same as any other.

“I got to this point by focusing on one at a time, so I don’t want to get too caught up on records or anything like that,” Gaglianone said. “That will come. We’re midseason. There’s a lot of season left and there’s a lot of kicks to be had. I’m not worried about any of that.

“I knew eventually at some point in the season we were going to be discussing this, but once the week goes by and that kick is out of the way, then we move on.”

Gaglianone missed most of the 2016 season with a back injury, and the senior’s cherishing every opportunity remaining during his time at UW.

He said he doesn’t have many chances left to experience what he and the 15th-ranked Badgers will face Saturday at No. 12 Michigan - playing a night game in a big-time environment against a marquee opponent.

Records or not, he’s enjoying every week.

“Every season has been different for me here, so I’m really just trying to enjoy this moment and enjoy this team,” Gaglianone said. “When I’m older, I get to look back and tell my kids I did this or I did that. But right now I just want to be able to be present and enjoy what’s going on right now.”

AP RADIO
Update hourly