Ryan's Place

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Badgers Beat Wolverines 23-20

Everybody was expecting a run, but a quarterback draw? Nobody anticipated that. Not even the quarterback.

"I was a little surprised by the call, but it was unbelievable," John Stocco said after his 4-yard touchdown run with 24 seconds left gave Wisconsin a 23-20 win over No. 14 Michigan on Saturday night, snapping the Wolverines' 23-game winning streak in Big Ten openers.

With Brian Calhoun, the nation's leading scorer, having already accounted for 214 yards, and 266-pound Matt Bernstein at the ready, the call from the sideline raised eyebrows even in the Badgers' huddle.

"I was expecting to run the ball, personally," Calhoun said. "Me or Bernie. It was a good call. It surprised the defense."

Wisconsin (4-0, 1-0) hadn't beaten the Wolverines (2-2, 0-1), who were ranked third just two weeks ago, since 1994. And it was just the second loss in Michigan's last 38 conference openers -- both were to Wisconsin, which also beat the Wolverines in their 1981 Big Ten kickoff.

Wisconsin also tied its modern-day mark with its ninth straight home win, its longest such streak since the early 1960s.

Calhoun provided the key block on the winning play, pushing a linebacker out of Stocco's way.
The Wolverines said they expected a run because the Badgers had one timeout left. But they were surprised not to see Calhoun carrying.

"We were looking for a run but we just didn't get to the ball fast enough," defensive tackle Pat Massey said.

Calhoun rushed 35 times for 155 yards and a touchdown, his ninth of the season, and gained another 59 yards on seven receptions, the most by a running back during coach Barry Alvarez's 16 seasons as coach.

"I said coming into this year that he's the total package," Alvarez said. "He has it all -- sprinter's speed, soft hands, and he makes you miss. He's carried as much as Ronny (Dayne). I don't know that you can find someone who can do it any better than he can."


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