Game 55: Western Michigan @ #4 Wisconsin

The Broncos didn’t stand much of a chance entering the cavernous concrete mountain known as Camp Randall in Madison…or did they? Wisconsin opened this season ranked in the top five and coming off two Big Ten and Rose Bowl titles led by Heisman trophy winner, Ron Dayne. Even with Dayne’s graduation, the Badgers appeared like an impenetrable monster for visiting squads.

However, just hours prior to kickoff on this rare Thursday night contest, an anxious buzz drifted over fans making the slow crawl toward the stadium. News had just broken about a shoe scandal involving 26 members of the Wisconsin football team. At the time, it was difficult understanding all the details, but we did know that eleven players would be suspended for the game against Western Michigan for accepting free shoe merchandise from a local store. Two of the eleven players included star wide receivers Nick Davis and Chris Chambers. Fans were uncertain of which players would be allowed to participate, which dimmed some enthusiasm.

All eyes darted toward the field as the starters took the field – there were many unfamiliar numbers getting ready to battle in this opener. If the inexperience on the field didn’t cause discomfort for onlookers, the extreme temperature and humidity should have. A dragon’s breath would have been more pleasant than the sweltering heat that seemed to hover over the stadium causing everyone to drip. Despite these unpleasantries, Wisconsin used solid defense and a punt return for a touchdown by back-up Josh Hunt (filling in for Nick Davis) to help escape this sticky, sweaty mess. The 19-7 final left everyone feeling uneasy, especially with the high flying Oregon Ducks coming to Madison next week…



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *