GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Wisconsin's Brian Calhoun ran away from Hawaii players, from left, Melila Purcell, Keao Monteilh and Tanuvasa Moe in yesterday's game.
Wisconsin offensive line dusts Warriors
The Wisconsin running game just kept coming last night and Hawaii had no answer for it.
First Brian Calhoun and then Booker Stanley pounded on the Warriors' defense behind an offensive line that controlled the line of scrimmage in a 41-24 victory.
The yardage piled up fast. Calhoun had 133 at the half and finished with 149. Stanley added 78 and the Badgers netted 249 on the ground.
That big offensive line did a lot more than move people. The big boys played with smarts, too, in staking ownership of the Aloha Stadium turf for one night.
Former Kamehameha standout Donovan Raiola was one of those who executed his assignments to open the cracks and occasional gaping holes for Calhoun and Stanley.
"Against Penn State and Iowa (two straight losses), we didn't play up to our capabilities," said Raiola, the starting center. "We went back to working on fundamentals, especially technique -- covering up (the opponents) and finishing. I think it was evident tonight, because we went out and did it."
Raiola went head to head with UH nose tackle Michael Lafaele, but said he wants to wait and see game tape before rating his performance.
Coach Barry Alvarez talked about the team's old-fashioned, Big Ten-style philosophy.
"Our attitude was to get 4 yards and not worry about hitting the home run. Move the ball," he said. "The last two weeks the line struggled and was less effective. For as many stunts as we saw tonight, I thought they played a pretty good game. The line play, we emphasize it. We like to run, just like Hawaii emphasizes throwing."
Quarterback John Stocco, who Alvarez said played one of his best games, benefited from the successful running game. It opened up the air assault as Stocco efficiently completed 12 of 16 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a TD.
"We knew coming in that Hawaii had an explosive offense, so we wanted to do a great job and capitalize by pounding the ball," Stocco said. "The running backs and offensive line played great and we were able stay on the field."
Wisconsin's defense, which held Hawaii's usually high-scoring offense to 17 points until garbage time, was also a major factor in the outcome.
"We knew (UH quarterback Colt Brennan) could move well, but we didn't realize just how well he could move," Alvarez said. "He made our guys work a lot harder than they thought they would have to work. We did a better job on him in the second half. We blitzed more and that was more effective."
Linebacker Dontez Sanders had a big game for the Badgers, with an interception, a pass breakup and 2 1/2 sacks.
"It's my last year, so I really like to do that. Sacks and picks," Sanders said.
Raiola gave out 80 tickets for the game, including two for his parents, Wendy and Tom, who also produced another big-time lineman -- Donovan's older brother Dominic Raiola, a veteran starting center for the Detroit Lions.
But Alvarez, who was coaching in his last regular-season game, was the main man of the night, at least in the eyes of Wisconsin fans. They gathered in the south end zone and shouted "Barry, Barry, Barry" as he went up the tunnel to the locker room after the game.