MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Everybody was expecting a run, but a
quarterback draw? Nobody anticipated that. Not even the
"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'
"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
"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
"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
That's precisely why the crowd of 83,022, the second-biggest in
Camp Randall Stadium history, booed the bewildering play calls when
the Badgers didn't put the ball in Calhoun's hands after reaching
the Wolverines' 4 with 38 seconds left down 20-16.
On first down, Stocco's pass over the top was deflected at the
line of scrimmage, then his floater into the right corner of the
end zone was batted down.
But the plays weren't entirely fruitless -- Badgers wide
receivers coach Henry Mason noticed the Wolverines had sent their
two defensive tackles wide to cut off the outside rushing lanes and
apply pressure on the passer.
So, he suggested a play up the middle.
And on third-and-goal, Stocco dropped back for what looked like
another pass, then knifed his way through the goal line.
Badgers offensive tackle Joe Thomas had a hug for Alvarez, who
was just 2-7 against Michigan and 0-6 against Wolverines coach
Lloyd Carr, and will retire from coaching at year's end.
"I know Lloyd Carr has really had his number," Thomas said.
"To get a win in his last year against Michigan is really
It looked like the Badgers were going to come up short again --
they had lost their last four to Michigan by an average of 4½
points -- when Chad Henne threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to freshman
Mario Manningham on a flea flicker that put the Wolverines ahead
20-16 with nine minutes left.
That erased the 16-13 lead Wisconsin had taken on Calhoun's
6-yard touchdown dive with 11:34 left.
"I gained a lot of respect for Brian Calhoun today," Carr
said. "He's one tough guy. He keeps coming. He's proved to have
incredible endurance and he doesn't fumble the football."
The Wolverines played their second straight game without star
tailback Mike Hart, who strained a hamstring in their loss to Notre
Michigan took a 13-3 halftime lead despite getting nothing out
of a 96-yard, 17-play drive that stalled at the 1 when strong
safety Joe Stellmacher and linebacker Mark Zalewski stuffed Grady
Michigan went ahead 10-0 when Jason Avant caught a 4-yard
touchdown pass in front of cornerback Brett Bell, who was the goat
the last time these teams met in Madison, in 2001, when a punt
bounced off his leg in the closing seconds, allowing Michigan to
kick the game-winning field goal.
"I always wanted to beat Michigan," said Bell, now a senior
and co-captain. "When you come into the Big Ten you always want to
beat the teams like Michigan and Ohio State. After what happened a
couple of years ago, it's really great to get this win."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Wisconsin's John Stocco punched it into the end zone on a QB draw with 24 seconds left to give the Badgers the win.
Gameball goes to... Brian Calhoun. Wisconsin's workhorse carried the ball 35 times for 155 yards and 1 TD. He also had 59 receiving yards.
Stat of the game... 23: The Badgers snapped the Wolverines' 23-game winning steak in Big Ten openers.