3:30 PM ET, November 12, 2005
Camp Randall Stadium, MADISON, WI
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- It was slated to be a celebration of Barry Alvarez's 16 seasons as Wisconsin coach. Iowa refused to play along.
The Hawkeyes ruined Alvarez's going away party Saturday, beating the 19th-ranked Badgers 20-10 and dashing the thin hopes Wisconsin had of sharing a piece of the Big Ten title.
Alvarez, who will step down after this season but remain as Wisconsin's athletic director, built a program that has been known for a punishing running game and a solid defense.
But Wisconsin had neither Saturday as Iowa (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) dominated both sides of the ball in the final three quarters and became bowl eligible for the fifth straight season.
"The second half they flat out beat us up front," Alvarez said.
A record crowd filled Camp Randall to commemorate Alvarez's last home game. The school gave out thousands of white towels to fans that read, "Thanks Coach. Job well done." Following the game, the a montage of Alvarez's highlights was shown on the scoreboard. Among the best moments were three Rose Bowl wins and a 7-3 mark in bowl games.
"It's hard after a loss to sit there and reflect on the 16 years," said Alvarez, who is 116-73-4.
Wisconsin (8-3, 5-3) seemed poised to send Alvarez out a winner early, jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and moving the ball largely through the air. But Iowa clamped down from there as the Wisconsin offense sputtered to just 72 more yards before its final drive of the game with the outcome well out of reach.
The Badgers' line had been a strength all season, but it gave up nine sacks in a loss to Penn State last week as running back Brian Calhoun was held to just 38 yards. Missing left guard Matt Lawrence, who was injured last week, the Badgers struggled offensively again. John Stocco was constantly under pressure and sacked six times, while Calhoun was held to a career-low 18 yards on 15 carries.
"We were in an attack mode instead of laying back," Iowa defensive back Jovon Johnson said. "In the second half, we got more pressure up front. We did what we wanted to do."
Iowa tied up on the game at 10 in the third quarter after an eight-play, 75 yard drive when Drew Tate hit Champ Davis on third-and-goal from the 6.
Already thin at defensive line, Wisconsin lost defensive end Matthew Shaughnessy on the play, and Iowa seemed to exploit the hole he left behind with its running game.
Albert Young ran for 44 yards on the next Iowa drive before Tate hit Ryan Majerus for a 13-yard touchdown pass. The Hawkeyes took their first lead at 17-10, and Wisconsin didn't come close to threatening again.
Young finished with 127 yards on 26 carries, the sixth consecutive game he's gone over the 100-yard mark and seventh time this season. He now has 1,198 yards rushing, the sixth best season total in Iowa history.
Young's strong second half ensured the Hawkeyes wouldn't repeat last week's performance, when they blew a 27-14 lead in the final minutes and lost to Northwestern 28-27. Iowa's only blemish in the fourth quarter was Young's fumble at the Wisconsin 2 with 1:21 left.
"It was our offensive line doing the job and Albert making the play," Tate said. "We just kept doing what we planned. It wasn't any one player we went after. It didn't matter who was out there."
Despite his struggles Saturday, Calhoun now has 1,274 yards rushing and 556 yards receiving on the year, just the second player in Big Ten history to top 1,000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving in the same season. The first to do it was Iowa's Ronnie Harmon in 1985 with 1,166 yards rushing and 699 yards receiving.
"You play extra hard for the seniors who have given this program so much and for coach Alvarez, who has given this program so much, and it's hard to give this one up," said Badgers defensive back Joe Stellmacher, a junior. "I mean, it's tough. We still had a lot to play for and just didn't get it done."
In a way, Alvarez's coaching career came full circle Saturday. A high school coach in small-town Iowa back in the 1970s, he got his first college job at Iowa under former coach Hayden Fry. After a pit stop at Notre Dame, Alvarez came to Wisconsin for his first head coaching job in college, taking over a program that had been mired in mediocrity and turning it into a consistent winner.
In the last game before Alvarez came to Wisconsin, an announced crowd of 29,776 showed up at Camp Randall as the Badgers finished the 1989 season 2-9. On Saturday, 83,184 packed Camp Randall.
The Badgers have one more regular-season game at Hawaii on Nov. 25.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Iowa outscored Wisconsin 17-0 in the second half in coach Barry Alvarez's final home game.
Gameball goes to... Iowa's defense, which pitched a shutout after allowing 10 points in the first. RB Brian Calhoun was held to 38 yards.
Stat of the game... 83,184: The announced attendance at Camp Randall Stadium for Barry Alvarez's home finale.
The Fan Pick
6.0% of College Pick'em players picked Iowa to win the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||9-17||7-18|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||1-1|
|TD||7:11||BRANDON WILLIAMS 17 YD PASS FROM JOHN STOCCO (TAYLOR MEHLHAFF KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 32 yards.
|FG||0:47||TAYLOR MEHLHAFF 24 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 59 yards.
|FG||11:00||KYLE SCHLICHER 35 YD FG|
Drive info: 14 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||10:11||CHAMP DAVIS JR. 6 YD PASS FROM DREW TATE (KYLE SCHLICHER KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 75 yards.
|TD||1:11||RYAN MAJERUS 13 YD PASS FROM DREW TATE (KYLE SCHLICHER KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||9:21||KYLE SCHLICHER 32 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 47 yards.