Ryan's Place

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Badgers Knock Off Indiana 41-24

The 17th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers have more than an awesome ground game. They have Brandon Williams, who has a sudden knack for finding the end zone.

The senior wide receiver who hadn't caught a touchdown pass in nearly two years, had two of them Saturday and also scored on a 63-yard punt return in Wisconsin's 41-24 win over Indiana.

Although Williams had scored on a 66-yard punt return against Temple last month, he hadn't caught a touchdown pass since Oct. 4, 2003, against Penn State.

"It's been a while," Williams said. "I'm just happy to finally get that out of the way."
Jonathan Orr added 128 yards and a touchdown on four receptions, giving the Badgers dual 100-yard receivers for the first time since Oct. 23, 1993, when Lee DeRamus and J.C. Dawkins went over the century mark against Minnesota.

"I really think their game plan was to slow me down and stop me and they did a good job of that," said tailback Brian Calhoun, who rushed 26 times for 101 yards. "But obviously, they took the [fall] when J.O. had over 100 yards receiving and Brandon Williams had a great game, too."

The Badgers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) won for the 10th straight time at Camp Randall Stadium, their longest home winning streak since reeling off 25 straight from 1900-03. They also denied the Hoosiers (3-1, 0-1) their first 4-0 start in 15 years.

Williams, who had all six of his receptions for 113 yards by halftime, became the fourth player in school history to top 2,000 career yards receiving, the fourth to return two punts for TDs in a season and the first to go over 2,000 career yards in kickoff returns.

With the Badgers' ground game stifled by injuries and a defense determined to crowd the line of scrimmage, John Stocco threw for 274 yards, the second-highest total in his career, and three TDs.

"That's what a balanced attack should be," said Williams, who aggravated a shin injury and didn't play in the fourth quarter.

The Badgers went to the air more than usual, by both design and necessity.

Fullback Matt Bernstein (shoulder) was in street clothes, backup Chris Pressley hurt a foot in the first half and tight end Owen Daniels limped off with a left leg injury after Wisconsin's first play from scrimmage. Plus, the Hoosiers continually brought safeties down to slow Calhoun, who scored his 10th touchdown.

Williams made them pay, catching touchdown passes of 17 and 13 yards, both on third down, sandwiched around his 63-yard TD punt return which helped the Badgers pull away despite glaring mistakes in the defensive backfield and coaching strategy.

"I feel fortunate to win," Badgers coach Barry Alvarez said. "You are very lucky if you don't play well and win. I didn't think we played very well today."


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