Who would win in a race between the Road Runner and Speedy Gonzalez? Finding out the answer would be similar to watching the Falcons and Badgers clash this past Saturday. Every respiratory machine in Madison wouldn’t have aided the wheezing occurring on the sidelines from this high scoring battle. Wisconsin donned their throwback helmets and jerseys to “celebrate the legacy” of Camp Randall Stadium as the entire renovation project finally reached its completion. They may have been wearing the old school attire, but they didn’t play like their daddy’s Wisconsin. Bowling Green doesn’t normally pose a threat, but this year they promoted their star quarterback, the elusive Omar Jacobs. Badger fans would soon learn that they had offensive weapons, as well.
Over the off season, head coach Barry Alvarez announced his retirement. His legacy would be celebrated throughout this season with revitalizing the Wisconsin program and creating the monster that it is today. Fans were thankful that Alvarez would remain a part of the program as he would stay on as full time athletic director. But, each game this season felt like a must win so that Barry would be sent off appropriately. Alvarez, who could run for governor in Wisconsin and win by a landslide, appointed his own successor – defensive coordinator Bret Bielema. Knowing the offensive artillery Bowling Green holds, all eyes would be on his defensive strategies and how the future coach would handle this juggernaut.
After last season, when Wisconsin’s offense was as productive as a fish on a hamster wheel, much concern was place in the Badger’s ability to keep up with the high flying Falcon attack. Omar Jacobs began to offer evidence to this notion when he effortlessly guided his team down the field and tossed two touchdown passes to take a 13-0 lead on the Badgers. Wisconsin found the ability to respond with a Stocco to Orr touchdown connection that cut the lead to six. Yet, Bowling Green flexed their offensive muscle with a 63 yard strike from Jacobs to extend their advantage to 20-7.
The situation looked bleak until Wisconsin tailback and Colorado transfer, Brian Calhoun, assumed a leadership role. The scoreboard became a pendulum as Calhoun and Jacobs continued to answer each other’s scoring feats. At the break, the new scoreboards around the stadium already looked worn as each team accumulated thirty five points to tie the situation.
In the second half, something had to give – lucky for the legacy of Camp Randall, it was Bowling Green’s defense. Calhoun tore through the Falcons with a couple more touchdowns stretching the lead to 56-35. The wild Madison crowd jolted with every score and displayed faces of awe knowing that touchdowns usually come as often as Mr. T to a crocheting camp. Jacobs would loft one more touchdown pass to end the scoring with a final of 56-42.
At the day’s end, 98 points were scored and 1,035 yards amassed. Calhoun recorded five touchdowns to Jacobs six passing scores. The “up and down the field” action was enough to make every neck sore in Camp Randall Stadium. But, for Badger fans, the win made up for the pain. Last season, the defense impressed while the offense required caffeine. This year, the offense clearly has revived, while the defense had leaks to cork. Poor Bret Bielema. If it wasn’t for the offense, Badger fans might already have him on the chopping block.