HONOLULU (AP) -- 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
"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
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.
The Warriors (4-7), who have one more regular-season game next
weekend, couldn't get their high-powered offense fully going.
Hawaii has failed to reach the postseason for the first time in
Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan was 33-of-53 for 403 yards and
three touchdowns, but had problems with Wisconsin's aggressive
defense. He has now thrown for 3,975 yards and 32 TDs in his first
year with the Warriors.
The Badgers sacked Brennan five times, intercepted a pass in the
fourth quarter and forced him to fumble on Hawaii's 9, which was
converted to a 24-yard field goal by Taylor Mehlhaff, giving
Wisconsin a 27-10 lead.
"We had a huge fumble and the interception, we just didn't make
plays," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "We had sacks that killed
drives. We just have to learn to get it done."
Brennan had touchdown tosses of 3 and 8 yards to freshman Davone
Bess, who had four receptions for 34 yards and saw his string of
100-yard receiving games end at five.
Fellow freshman Ryan Grice-Mullen had 11 receptions for 140
yards and joined Bess in the 1,000-yard receiving club.
Grice-Mullen has 1,062 yards this season.
Nate Ilaoa had a quick start for Hawaii, rushing for 51 yards on
five carries in the first half, but only carried the ball two more
times for 17 yards.
Calhoun, who wrapped up the regular season with 1,423 yards
rushing, scored Wisconsin's first touchdown on a 10-yard sweep to
the left side, knocking down the pylon. The score was setup by a
38-yard, play-action pass to Brandon Williams.
Hawaii quickly tied it 7-7 on a short pass from Brennan to a
leaping Bess, just in front of the thousands of red-clad Wisconsin
fans in attendance.
That was as close as it got, as Wisconsin proceeded to run over
Booker Stanley rushed 15 times for 78 yards and had a 6-yard TD
run in the final quarter.
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