Badgers rush Falcons, 35-14

Freshman running back PJ Hill gained 126 yards on 22 carries and collected two touchdowns. John Stocco made his return to the saddle. Bret Bielema earned his first win. Here is the a short game summary.

CLEVELAND -- First-year head coach Bret Bielema and the University of Wisconsin football team opened the 2006 season with a 35-14 victory over Bowling Green Saturday in Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Wisconsin put points on the board in all four quarters en route to the win. Quarterback John Stocco, who started the game, went 9-of-15 passing for 124 yards and one touchdown. Running back P.J. Hill, playing in his first game as a Badger, also collected over 100 yards of offense. Hill rushed for 130 yards on 22 carries and scored his first touchdown late in the game.

On the defensive side of the ball, Mark Zalewski led the Badgers with a career-high 14 tackles. Teammates Joe Stellmacher and Jonathan Casillas tallied 12 tackles each. Casillas also had a blocked punt that he recovered for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Bowling Green opened the scoring, going 80 yards in 10 plays on the opening drive of the game. Quarterback Freddie Barnes scored on a 21-yard run. Wisconsin then responded on its very first possession as Dywon Rowan capped a 10-play, 66-yard drive with his first career touchdown. He scored from seven yards out to tie the game at seven.

After being stopped on a fourth-and-one deep in Bowling Green territory, the Wisconsin defense held and forced a BGSU punt early in the second quarter. Casillas blocked the punt and recovered it in the end zone, marking his third career blocked punt in just 13 games as a Badger.

After another BG punt, Ben Strickland returned the ball 33 yards to set up good field position and the Badgers drove 17 yards in five plays, capped by John Stocco's one-yard quarterback sneak to give UW a 21-7 lead heading into halftime.

The Falcons were first to strike in the second half. After keeping the drive alive with a fake punt, Barnes capped a 16-play drive with a two-yard quarterback draw to cut the Badger lead to 21-14 with 6:58 left in the third quarter.

UW extended the lead to 28-14 on its next drive when Stocco hit Bill Rentmeester with a four-yard touchdown pass, Rentmeester's first career touchdown. Another Wisconsin scored added to the lead when Hill tallied his first career touchdown from 10 yards out with 5:19 to play in the game.

Seven different receivers tallied receptions Saturday, led by Travis Beckum's three catches for 49 yards.

Wisconsin (1-0) plays host to Western Illinois at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium in the team's home opener.

Badger Nation Top Stories