Badgers show UH Big Ten drive
IN every game there is a drive that seals the deal. Always. Could be the first drive. Could be the last drive. It's always different. There's no telling ahead of time when it will come.
But it's like the definition of "obscene." You know it when you see it.
Last night, that drive came in the third quarter. It came with Wisconsin firmly in control but with Hawaii looming, with Colt Brennan scrambles and Davone Bess catches, always a threat to strike.
The two were magic, last night. That lead was big, but tenuous. We've seen BCS teams wilt in the Halawa humidity, when Chad Owens pulled a rabbit out of his hat.
So Wisconsin needed a drive.
And this was the third quarter. In the first half, Wisconsin had been unstoppable. In the first half the Badgers offense looked like a living chalkboard; the X's and O's aligned so perfectly. The guard pulling. The fullback filling. Power football. Perfect.
It looked exactly the way it was drawn up.
Football plays rarely look the way they're drawn up. But these did. Wisconsin tailback Brian Calhoun had 133 rushing yards in the first half.
Then came the third quarter. Hawaii clamped down. Lono Manners, T.J. Moe, Kila Kamakawiwo'ole crowded the line.
"I may coach 10 more years and the good Lord may not give me three more like that," UH defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville would say.
Calhoun gained only 16 yards in the third quarter. That's how tough the yards were.
And Calhoun is a good back. The average back gets exactly what his line gives him. Calhoun always seems to find 2 yards more.
Which meant, in the third quarter, he was sometimes getting 2 yards.
Hawaii was clamping. Brennan was looming. Homegrown Wisconsin center Donovan Raiola was limping. And then another Badgers lineman started doing the same.
Suddenly, every inch was tough.
But Wisconsin needed that drive.
John Stocco, to Brandon White for 18 yards. Stocco to White for 21. Stocco scrambling for 12 yards.
"I gave John the game ball," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez would say. "I thought he was super."
And Calhoun for 3 yards. Calhoun for 4, hit hard by Manners. Calhoun for 4 yards on a third and 3.
"Our approach is to get 4 yards," Alvarez would say. "Our attitude is we'll take 4 yards. And runs will come off tackle. We want the back to push in there, not try to hit home runs."
Calhoun for 1 yard. Calhoun for 2. A pass to Calhoun, but short.
Fourth and goal from the 1.
This was Wisconsin. It was 1 yard.
"That was my call," Alvarez said, "so it wasn't tough."
Stocco scored, naked bootleg, untouched. Nine plays, 80 arduous yards. It was 34-17. The Badgers had done the job.
"We're going to take them snorkeling tomorrow," Alvarez said.