Well, here’s Wisconsin’s opportunity to bounce back after a disappointing defeat to Penn State last week – take advantage of the little guy and restore confidence. Someone didn’t inform the Badgers that the little guy has decided to choose this weekend to retaliate for being incessantly pounded into the Big Ten cellar. Everything appeared right with the world at the onset of the battle. Wisconsin fans showed in tremendous numbers hollering obnoxiously while Indiana fans reacted as dainty and docile as those attending a debutante ball. Wisconsin students huddled in the end zone preparing to bully everything related to Hoosierland. Indiana students sat quietly and patiently preparing for another Big Ten heartbreak.
The first half was grotesque as usual for both Badger and Hoosier football. Mistakes accompanied by bedridden offenses clouded the excitement level more than the gray cumulonimbus blanket covering the sky. However, by the third quarter, Badger fans were seeing some sunshine as a few rushing touchdowns by Anthony Davis and Matt Bernstein (one set up by a Jim Leonhard interception) finally paid homage to Wisconsin’s top 25 ranking with a 29-10 lead.
As the third quarter neared to a close, strange things began to occur. Without warning, pigs began flying – hell began freezing – cows were coming home – and Indiana found a consistent offense. Armed with nothing but a questionable arm, Indiana quarterback Gibran Hamdan suddenly began firing passes like he was involved in a three-point contest or a home run derby- and Hamdan hit many homeruns. A late third quarter touchdown pass was followed by a fourth quarter stunner that cut the lead to five. Badger fans, particularly the students, began to fall flaccid.
Hoosier fans sensed an upset, but were not yet prepared to admit it. With just over two minutes left, Indiana snatched the lead when Hamdan threw a twenty-yard dart for his fourth touchdown pass of the day – all to different receivers. Wisconsin corroded on both sides of the ball during the final quarter and couldn’t recover after the Hoosiers crescendoed. Everyone filing out of Memorial Stadium wore stunned faces with glazed looks. With a recent history of being whiplashed on the field, Indiana had much difficulty comprehending this outcome. Fans were looking at the scoreboard and then turning to each other in amazement and uttering, “We won!”
For Wisconsin, they can begin paying rent in the Big Ten cellar. With Ohio State coming to town next week, plans to move from where they are appear futile.