Ryan's Place

Friday, November 25, 2005

Badgers Finish With Win at Hawaii



From ESPN.com:

Barry Alvarez is too busy right now to think about the end of his coaching career.

Brian Calhoun ran for 149 yards, including 133 in the first half, and a touchdown to lead No. 24 Wisconsin to a 41-24 victory over Hawaii on Friday night in Alvarez's final regular-season game with the Badgers.

"I'm not thinking about the end of my career because I have another game," Alvarez said.

Wisconsin (9-3) snapped a two-game skid and now waits to find out which bowl it will play in. The Badgers could be headed to the Capital One Bowl if Ohio State earns a BCS bid.

It was the 117th victory and secured the sixth nine-win season for Alvarez, who is retiring from coaching after 16 years. He will continue as Wisconsin's athletic director, a position he has held since April 2004.

"Most people thought a 6-6 season would be a good season going in. To win nine with this group and to have an opportunity to play in the Jan. 2 game, I feel great about it," he said.

Alvarez said the win hasn't changed his decision about giving up coaching.

"I made my decision," he said. "I feel good about it. I'm at peace with my decision."

Wisconsin's ground attack, led by the quick and shifty Calhoun, wore down Hawaii and opened up the passing game.

Badgers quarterback John Stocco was nearly flawless, going 12-of-16 for 191 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also had a 1-yard scoring run on fourth-and-goal late in the third quarter to put the Badgers up by 17.

Stocco said the team was motivated to win for Alvarez.

"Obviously, we want to honor him, and I think the best way to do that is to just win games," Stocco said. "He's been huge for the program. When he got here, he really turned things around and took this program to the top. He's a real classy guy."

Stocco connected with Jonathan Orr on a 17-yard touchdown pass to put the Badgers up 24-7.

The duo also teamed up in the opening quarter. Orr got past a defender and caught a 23-yard TD pass to give Wisconsin a 14-7 lead.

The Badgers totaled 440 yards of offense, including 292 in the first half, on a muggy night at Aloha Stadium.

Before the game, Alvarez emphasized to his players that the trip to the islands was a business trip, and not a vacation.

"The key to this is making sure your kids stay focused until the game," he said.

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