MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Badgers didn't have the
defense to keep up with Omar Jacobs. They still found a way to stop
Bowling Green's prolific passer: by putting the ball in Brian
The transfer from Colorado rushed for a career-best 258 yards
and a school record-tying five touchdowns on 43 carries in
Wisconsin's 56-42 win over the Falcons on Saturday.
"They kept the ball to keep our offense off the field," Jacobs
said. "That's normally the way we play."
Calhoun, a Milwaukee-area native, played two seasons for the
Buffaloes before returning home and sitting out last year while
awaiting his chance to join the long list of premier running backs
The wait was well worth it.
Nobody in the proud program's history rushed for more yards in
his debut, and his five scores tied the school mark set by Billy
Marek in 1974 and tied by Anthony Davis in 2002, both against
"I haven't played in a year and a half now," Calhoun said.
"So, I'm as fresh as any other back in the country."
Calhoun, who bested Alan Thompson's 220-yard debut against
Oklahoma in 1969, scored on runs of 20, 5, 5, 1 and 9 yards.
Calhoun was careful not to take all the credit for his
spectacular opener, saying his teammates made it easy by opening
big holes for him all day: "They were huge. Me, Coach Alvarez,
anybody in this room could have run through them."
His first three scores came during a 35-point second quarter
eruption, the biggest in Barry Alvarez's 16 seasons as coach. But
his shortest score might have been his biggest.
It snapped a 35-35 halftime tie and set the tone for a vastly
different second half after the defenses had been shredded for 10
The 98 points were the second-most scored at Camp Randall
Stadium, trailing only the Badgers' 106-0 shutout of
Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1890.
With eight new starters on defense, the Badgers had a tough time
slowing Jacobs, who picked up right where he left off last year
(4,002 yards passing with 41 touchdowns and just four
interceptions) by racking up 305 yards passing and four touchdowns
in the first half.
But after Calhoun's fourth TD made it 42-35, Jacobs misfired on
his first five passes and was sacked twice as the Falcons generated
just a single yard of offense in the third quarter.
"I spent most of the third quarter on our sideline cheering for
our defense," said Jacobs, who finished 30-for-51 for 458 yards,
five TD passes and one interception.
"We had a couple of three-and-outs, which are uncharacteristic
of us. They stopped us when they had to and we couldn't stop them
Booker Stanley (103 yards on 14 carries), scampered 15 yards for
a score and Calhoun's 9-yard run made it 56-35 before Jacobs
regained his rhythm, throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Charles
Sharon with 10:16 remaining.
"I knew how good of a team they were," Alvarez said. "I just
hoped we could keep up."
Jacobs' TD tosses of 17 yards to Corey Partridge and 18 to B.J.
Lane gave the Falcons a 13-0 lead. After Jonathan Orr's 21-yard
touchdown catch from John Stocco on the first play of the second
quarter, Jacobs connected with Steve Sanders for a 63-yard
touchdown just 23 seconds later that made it 20-7.
The Badgers struck back even faster.
Brandon Williams, who needed 46 yards to break Nick Davis'
school record for career kickoff return yardage, returned the
kickoff 85 yards before being knocked out of bounds at the 8. Matt
Bernstein did the rest, bulling his way 8 yards up the middle for
Calhoun's 20-yard TD on fourth down gave the Badgers a 21-20
lead and he added a shifty, 5-yard scoring run to make it 28-20.
Falcons running back P.J. Pope was hit from behind while
blocking on the ensuing kickoff and he left the game with a
sprained left ankle. The Falcons drove 77 yards without him and
Lane's 5-yard TD combined with Jacobs' 2-point toss to Partridge
tied it at 28.
Calhoun scored again from 5 yards out with 41 seconds left in
the half, but Jacobs drove the Falcons 83 yards in just 33 seconds
to tie it at 35 with a 10-yard toss to Sanders.
Calhoun's previous career best of 137 yards rushing came against
Nebraska in 2002.
"We felt we could score on them," Falcons defensive tackle
Mike Thaler said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't stop them."