Notebook: Fouth-down call pays off

Williams, Beckum, Rentmeester injured; looking good for the Capital One; fish tales; emotional returns; quick hits

HONOLULU — Friday's college football game at Aloha Stadium here was effectively over as soon as Wisconsin quarterback John Stocco scored on a fourth-down play late in the third quarter.

Prior to that play, Hawaii trailed just 27-17. Stuff UW on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and the Warriors would have momentum on their side.

The Badgers came out with a jumbo personnel package, but faked a handoff up the middle to Brian Calhoun. The Warriors bit hard on the fake, and Stocco ran to his right on a naked bootleg and strolled into the end zone.

"We started the game taking the ball on offense and I think (head coach Barry Alvarez) really showed a lot of confidence in us and he did it again with that call," Stocco said. "You've got to convert when he gives that to us."

Stocco's run capped a 12-play, 74-yard drive that took up six minutes and 38 seconds, melting away much of the third quarter. It was the perfect answer to Hawaii's preceding scoring drive, a 9-play, 80-yard march that spanned 4:21 to draw the Warriors within 10.

Orlando dreaming

The Badgers' spot in the Capital One Bowl is still dependent on Ohio State receiving an at-large invitation to a Bowl Championship Series game, but Wisconsin received a verbal commitment from Capital One selection committee member Rudy Martzke after Friday's game.

Martzke asked UW athletics communications officials to allow him to speak to Alvarez after the game, if the Badgers won. They did and Martzke, a former writer for USA Today and a UW-Madison alum, told the Badgers that the bid was theirs as long as OSU receives a berth in the BCS.

"I just talked to Rudy Martzke, one of our illustrious alums, and he comes from the Capital One Bowl, and just basically said we're in if Ohio State gets in the BCS," Alvarez said after the game. "So nothing's really changed, but this ninth win really helped and kind of solidified our spot."

For the Badgers, snapping a two-game losing streak, improving to 9-3 and likely clinching a bowl trip to Florida was a sweet finish to the regular season.

"It's just good to come out after the two losses and get a win," senior center Donovan Raiola said. "Get that taste back in your mouth. It feels good."

"I would think we certainly deserve it (a Jan. 2 bowl game), based on the strength of the Big Ten and our performance this year," co-offensive coordinator Brian White said. "We won nine games. We should be somewhere in January. We've earned it."

Emotional returns

Alvarez gave out game balls to Stocco and the team's two Hawaiian players: Raiola and special teams standout James Kamoku.

Raiola, a native of Honolulu, lingered on the Aloha Stadium turf for more than 15 minutes after the game ended, saying hello to family and friends in the stands, and collecting about a dozen leis.

He returned from the locker room and was the last to leave the field, along with his father, Tony. Donovan gave his game ball to the elder Raiola.

For Raiola, the trip to Honolulu was the fulfillment of a promise Alvarez made to him on a recruiting trip five years ago.

"That's what he said, sitting in my house, that he'd get me back home and he did," Raiola said. "It's just fun to be playing in front of the home fans. They're great. I had fun."

Kamoku was proud to be playing in front of family and friends for the first time, particularly his father.

Medical report

Senior wide receiver Brandon Williams caught two passes for 58 yards in the first half, but suffered a hip pointer injury and did not return in the second half.

In Williams' absence, senior Brandon White caught two passes in the second half for 39 yards. Senior starter Jonathan Orr, who caught two touchdown passes in the first half, made a terrific 20-yard catch to pick up a first down in the second half.

"I thought JO, the one he makes over the kid was spectacular," Alvarez said. "That was big-time. Brandon was having a nice day until he hurt his hip."

"But I thought those guys really responded, because (the Warriors) are playing man coverage a lot because of the way they blitz. And it's not only your quarterback, it's your receivers have to beat the secondary."

White has been the Badgers' No. 3 receiver all season. No. 4 receiver Jarvis Minton was on the sideline in crutches, with a boot on his lower right leg and foot. Minton suffered an undisclosed injury prior the Badgers' arrival in Honolulu.

The injuries meant more playing time for receivers Luke Swan, Paul Hubbard and Marcus Randle El, though primarily in run-blocking roles.

Fullback Bill Rentmeester split time with Chris Pressley early in the game, but did not play in the second half due to a knee injury.

Defensive end Travis Beckum went down with a right knee injury with 43 seconds left in the first quarter and did not return.

"I don't know where we're going to go with—defensively we keep losing D linemen," Alvarez said. "We keep going to the well and guys did a nice job, we had pressure on the quarterback. Might have to dust out Joe Thomas for the bowl game."

Right tackle Kraig Urbik missed five plays early in the fourth quarter. During that time, freshman Eric Vanden Heuvel played left tackle, with Joe Thomas shifting over to the right side.

Left guard Matt Lawrence returned after missing the Iowa game with an ankle injury.

Defensive tackle Mark Gorman, who broke his foot prior to fall training camp, played for the first time Friday. Along with Mike Newkirk and Justin Ostrowski, Gorman rotated in behind starters Nick Hayden and Jason Chapman. Gorman initially saw action in the first quarter, when UW was forced to sub out its entire defensive line to give the starters a break from chasing quarterback Colt Brennan.

Fish tales

In the Wisconsin media guide, James Kamoku, a native of Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii, lists among his hobbies hula, fire dancing, body boarding and surfing.

Safety Joe Stellmacher, aware of Kamoku's surfing skills, asked for a lesson before the Badgers shoved off for Hawaii.

"I would be glad to teach him," Kamoku said earlier this week. "He's my brother. He's my teammate. He helps me a lot. He's a fellow strong safety too."

"I was telling James he's got to teach me how to surf," Stellmacher aid. "He said I was going to be eaten by a shark, though, trying to scare me. So we'll see.

"He exaggerated that," Kamoku said with a laugh. "I just told him, ‘What are you scared of?' He said, ‘sharks'

"… He's scared of sharks. So I was like, ‘You might get eaten by a shark.' He's like, ‘Oh, I don't want to go then.' He's all like, ‘I'll kick it in the head or something.'"

"I can swim," Stellmacher said. "But if there are sharks out there I ain't going to be out there, that's for sure."

"We went up to the north shore and showed him the waves," Kamoku said after Friday's game. "I think he was like, ‘I'll back up for a few years in the surfing.' Maybe I'll go out in Waikiki with a long board or something with him sometime."

Quick hits: Fresh off being named first-team All-Big Ten, punter Ken DeBauche had a rather light day. He punted once — at the end of UW's first possession — in the entire game. DeBauche's solitary attempt went 37 yards and forced Hawaii to take possession at its 18… Bucky Badger got in the Hawaii spirit, donning a Hula skirt for the game… the Wisconsin women's basketball coaching staff was on the sidelines for the game.


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