Notebook: squandered opportunities

UW missed chances for big plays; Shaughnessy injured; cornerback carousel; swirling rain; senior class honored; Calhoun in record books; Chapman returns

To lose on Senior Day is tough for any senior, but it was especially difficult for University of Wisconsin wide receivers Brandon Williams and Jonathan Orr.

In the Badgers' 20-10 loss to Iowa Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium, the two had multiple chances for big plays that could have potentially changed the outcome of the game, but the potential big gainers only turned out to be missed opportunities.

Orr had one of his worst outings of the season, nabbing just one catch for nine yards in the game, but his final home game could have been much better.

Late in the second quarter, on first down from the 50-yard-line, the Badgers tried a flea-flicker to Orr deep downfield, but the receiver bent his route too close to the sideline and allowed a defender to close and break up the pass.

"J.O was a little flat. He was behind (cornerback Jovon Johnson)," UW head coach Barry Alvarez said. "That's one that if you get you want to score a touchdown."

Two plays later, on another first down, this time from the Iowa 37, Stocco tried to find Orr in the end zone. Corner Antwan Allen was credited with a pass breakup, but the Orr had a good opportunity to secure the football. The Detroit native couldn't hang on for the score.

"It definitely wasn't my best performance this year," Orr said. "I didn't capitalize on some things."

And while Williams finished the game with nine catches for 132 yards, it could have been an extra special Senior Day for him as well.

Twice Williams narrowly missed big plays that could have changed the outcome of the game on deep passes from quarterback John Stocco.

Williams had a perfect shot at a deep ball early in the third quarter on the Badgers' first drive coming out of halftime.

On second-and-seven from the UW 21, Stocco dropped back and went long down the left sideline.

The quarterback was on the money with the pass, as it hit Williams right in the numbers. But the senior could not hang onto a pass that, if caught, would have at least put UW at the Iowa 20 and may have gone for a touchdown.

"John put one right on the money, [Williams] normally doesn't drop it," Alvarez said. "Those things hurt. That took the air out of us a little bit."

Williams admitted he was thinking end zone on the play.

"I just let one get away from me," Williams said. "I think that really hurt us—we lost a lot of momentum right there. I was thinking touchdown, but I didn't secure the ball."

On just the second offensive play from scrimmage in the game for the Badgers, Williams beat his man deep, but Stocco led him a hair too far and the ball went off Williams' fingertips as he lunged and stretched out to try to reach it.

There are plays that change games if they are converted, and two senior wide receivers each had a chance to nab a pair of them Saturday. Instead, they were left talking about missed opportunities.

"I'm very disappointed," Orr said. "I guess the most disappointing part is we had opportunities, myself personally and towards the end of the first half, to put some more points on the board."

Shaughnessy goes down to injury

Standout freshman defensive end Matt Shaughnessy injured his right leg on the Hawkeyes' first touchdown of the game early in the third quarter.

He was helped off the field and later carted into the locker room. There was no official word on his condition after the game, though Alvarez said he thought it was "pretty serious."

"He's obviously a critical player for us and a guy who's been there for us all year," defensive coordinator Bret Bielema said.

Shaughnessy was replaced by Kurt Ware, who had four tackles, including two for loss, one sack and a pass breakup.

However, Ware made a key error that led to the second Iowa touchdown. With an incomplete pass on second-and-10 from their own 20, the Hawkeyes would have been looking at third-and-long.

"It was an opportunity to get off the field and we weren't able to do it there," Bielema said.

The Badgers weren't able to get off the field because well after Iowa quarterback Drew Tate delivered the pass, Ware came streaking in and knocked Tate to the turf, giving Iowa a first down at the 35. The Hawkeyes drove the rest of the field to take a 17-10 lead.

"I lost my head a little bit," Ware said. "It was a big penalty for the team that helped them drive the ball all the way down the field. I place the blame on myself."

"That had to be real late," Alvarez said. "I don't even know where he came from. I thought that was a huge penalty."

Up and down day for cornerbacks

After a rough outing against Penn State, senior Brett Bell did not get the start at cornerback against Iowa. Instead, the Badgers went with senior Levonne Rowan and freshman Allen Langford.

Bell did join the unit when the defense called for three cornerbacks in nickel situations.

Rowan and Langford weathered the storm, playing solid despite a few big plays as Drew Tate passed for 224 yards on 21-of-34 attempts.

"I really thought at times they played well, but obviously we gave up a couple plays there in the second half that can't happen," Bielema said.

Rowan tweaked his ankle in the third quarter, putting a damper on his Senior Day as he finished with three tackles.

"I think we played fairly well," Rowan said. "We gave up a couple plays, but they have some good receivers."

Freshman Jack Ikegwuonu replaced Rowan after the injury.

Weather plays a role

Intermittent swirling rains may have contributed to Williams' drop in the second half and may have affected several of Stocco's passes down the stretch, but even more importantly it had an effect on the Camp Randall crowd.

"There were a couple where I thought the ball slipped out of his hand," Alvarez said of Stocco's throws.

The attendance was announced as a record 83,184 fans, but at many times throughout the game, the crowd was eerily quiet.

Granted, a dismal offensive showing in the second half did not help the situation. But the cold, wet weather put a damper on things as well.

Senior class honored

Senior Day included a pre-game ceremony and introduction of all 16 members of the senior class as they were greeted at midfield by family and friends in an emotional moment.

Senior guard Jason Palermo was met by his father, UW defensive line coach John Palermo, and the two shared a big hug in what could end up being the final home game for both of them.

Injured senior fullback and perennial crowd favorite Matt Bernstein—wearing his jersey and khakis—received the biggest ovation from the fans.

Calhoun sets another mark

With a 20-yard catch midway through the first quarter, running back Brian Calhoun etched himself in the Big Ten record books.

The junior became the second player in conference history to gain at least 1,000 yards rushing and at least 500 yards receiving in the same season.

Iowa's Ronnie Harmon was the only other player in league history to achieve that standard, doing so in 1985. That season Harmon finished with 1,166 rushing yards and 699 receiving yards.

Calhoun had just 18 yards on 15 carries and eight receptions for 69 yards in Saturday's game. He now has 1,274 rushing yards and 556 receiving yards with two games left this season, including a bowl game.

Chapman returns to action

After sitting out last week's loss to Penn State with an elbow injury, defensive tackle Jason Chapman returned for limited action against the Hawkeyes. The redshirt freshman had one tackle in the game.


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