Badger Notebook: Emotional win for Wisconsin

Another classic border battle between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Iowa Hawkeyes came down to the last stand on defense. Tyler Donovan led the Badgers to 27-24 victory in his first start, and Luke Swan led all receivers with 114 yards. Bret Bielema earned his first win as a head coach against his alma mater.

RUSHING IT A LITTLE

Everyone knew that Tyler Donovan was a much more mobile quarterback than John Stocco. But, did anyone expect the Arrowhead High product from Heartland, Wisconsin to lead the Badgers in the first start of his career? Well, he did that for three quarters – logging 62 yards on 10 carries. At the time, PJ Hill had 18 carries for 57 yards. Hill ended up being the leader yard gainer with 77 yards on 28 carries. Donovan finished with 13 carries, 61 yards. The last Badger QB to lead the team in rushing for a game was Brooks Bollinger in 2000 vs. Minnesota (127 yards). We will never have to worry about Stocco in this conversation, and you can take that to the bank.

FUTURE COACH?

If you were paying attention at all (at the game), or if the TV cameras were, John Stocco was doing a lot of coaching during the timeouts. Donovan was nodding his head over and over as Stocco was doing all the talking. It makes perfect sense that a quarterback would want to be a coach. Especially one who had directed a Big Ten school in 35 consecutive games. I am sure he would rather be playing…for now. He also garnered a sideline warning as well in the fourth quarter. Much to the chagrin of head coach Bret Bielema.

CAREER DAYS

Luke Swan grabbed four balls for a career-high 113 yards. It was the first time in his career that he eclipsed the century mark. Tight end Travis Beckum had a career-high eight receptions for 70 yards. He is no longer slowly becoming the best tight end in the Big Ten, he may be running away with the award. Donovan had career highs, obviously, in passing and rushing. Tyler finished the game 17 of 24 for 228 yards and two touchdown passes.

YOU CAN NEVER GO HOME AGAIN…OR CAN YOU?

Coach Bret Bielema won in his first attempt against his alma mater. Bielema, who played at Iowa from 1988-1992, was with the team in 2004 when it lost in what proved to be a Big Ten title clinching victory for the Hawkeyes. "We did not like the feeling from that game (in 2004) or from last year," said the first year signal caller. "To get a win here is very special. But, it is just another week for me. 1-0 is the mentality we take each week." Watching him run off the field after a win into the pink locker room was probably a bit surreal for many Iowa fans. For me, not so much. I have been watching him run onto and off of the field all season following a victory for Wisconsin.

CAPITALIZING ON ANOTHER BIG WIN

When asked if the Capital One Bowl could go ahead and hand out their invitations to the January 1, 2007 game in Orlando, bowl representative Bruce Laughrey had this to say: "They sure travel well. We would love to have them. If I was able to do it (hand out the bid to Wisconsin), I would. There is no doubt it is who we like." So, like I said yesterday, get your travel plans ready. BadgerNation.com and Premiere Sports Travel have set up an informational webpage for you to be up to date on pricing and travel plans. CLICK HERE

QUOTABLE

Joe Stellmacher

"This is a big win. As a fifth year senior, to beat Iowa at Iowa, is a great feeling. I am not surprised at all that we are 10-1. Nor was surprised when we were 5-1 or 6-1 or anything else."

Luke Swan

"As a receiver, when a ball is thrown your way you have to go up and grab it. That is what my job is, to catch the ball."

Mark Zalewski

"If you are going to ask me if I ‘hate' Iowa, I would say I just dislike them. I respect them a lot as well. You cannot beat us four years in a row and not be respected or not taken seriously. This IS a big win, no doubt."

Tyler Donovan

"Maybe I quieted some of you critics who said I cannot throw the ball that well. I have been practicing well and have a great coaching staff. It is not like those guys do not know what they are doing."


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