6:00 PM ET, September 24, 2005
Camp Randall Stadium, MADISON, WI
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- 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."
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 special."
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 Dame.
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 on fourth-and-goal.
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.
The Fan Pick
31.8% of College Pick'em players picked Wisconsin to win the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-14||8-17|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-0|
|FG||9:44||GARRETT RIVAS 44 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 32 yards.
|TD||4:27||JASON AVANT 4 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 71 yards.
|FG||1:17||TAYLOR MEHLHAFF 35 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 57 yards.
|FG||0:04||GARRETT RIVAS 28 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 53 yards.
|FG||8:59||TAYLOR MEHLHAFF 43 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 37 yards.
|FG||12:47||TAYLOR MEHLHAFF 27 YD FG|
Drive info: 15 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||11:34||BRIAN CALHOUN 6 YD RUN (TAYLOR MEHLHAFF KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 12 yards.
|TD||9:03||MARIO MANNINGHAM 49 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 61 yards.
|TD||0:24||JOHN STOCCO 4 YD RUN (TAYLOR MEHLHAFF KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 52 yards.