Home openers in Madison are a blast…especially when your team is already 1-0 and well oiled. The Badgers had just defeated San Diego State a week earlier out in California. It was a typical 80-degree and humid September day in Wisconsin and the stadium was crammed with many shirtless cheeseheads.
Despite having a powerful rushing performance the week before, Ohio really didn’t stand a chance against the Badgers’ defense. Moreover, tailback Ron Dayne captured a hat trick scoring three TDs. At 31-0, Wisconsin put in the backups and the pounding persisted.
This was a tumultuous way for the Bobcats to begin their season. They had already lost one and coming to Camp Randall Stadium is not welcoming. From the band to the zany crowd, the Badgers smacked the MAC as they should every time they visit. When the final gun blasted, the scoreboard read 45-0.
Although seeing the Badgers cruise to 2-0 was exciting, the most intense conversation around the stadium surrounded the new turf put in over the summer. No longer did the endzones need repainting every September. This method was growing rather antiquated as evidenced by the faded red (with hints of green underneath) that was leftover by the final home game in November. Withering color was no longer an issue as the new turf’s original hue was a vivid red – no need for repainting.
Sometimes, Wisconsin struggles against Middle American Conference teams and the mood in Camp Randall Stadium is harsh. Knowing this, I would rather have the spongy new field turf spark conversation as opposed to a scoreboard bearing an appalling outcome.