I’m currently doing some freelance research work for the Wisconsin Radio Network. My job is to find “shining moments” in Badger history to be featured in commercials for the Marshfield Clinic. Once I find the significant games, I have to assemble a fact sheet and find someone involved in the game to be interviewed.
We just finished the ads for the football season, and they will be uploaded to this site week-by-week.
I had to find significant moments/games against Penn State, Michigan State, Indiana and one other game against a team that UW was not playing this year (I chose the 1981 game against Michigan). Here are the “shining” moments I found:
Oct. 26, 1974: Wisconsin defeats Indiana 35-25
Freshman Mike Morgan rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start as the Badgers defeated Indiana 35-25 in Bloomington.
Morgan filled in for all-Big Ten running back Billy Marek who was sidelined by knee and wrist injuries.
Fullback Ken Starch added 99 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Gregg Bohlig completed 10 of his 17 pass attempts for 160 yards.
The Badgers climbed to .500 in Big Ten play. UW lost their previous two games to powerhouses Ohio State and Michigan.
Wisconsin finished the 1974 season 7-4. It was the Badgers first winning season since 1962.
WHO WE INTERVIEWED: I attempted to get a hold of Mike Morgan to no avail. Since we never got in touch with him, we didn’t use this game and we ended up replacing it with the 1997 UW/IU game. Matt Davenport kicked a field goal with four seconds left to give the Badgers the lead and the win. Davenport would go on to kick another game winning field goal the very next week against Northwestern. (Davenport was interviewed)
Sept. 13, 1981: Wisconsin defeats #1 Michigan 21-14
Former UW Head Coach Dave McClain
“It’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I’ve never had so much fun coaching as today. I told the squad before the game that nobody outside this locker room thinks we have a chance. Only we know that we can win this game.”
-Wisconsin Head Coach Dave McClain
“Our problems were simple. Our offense wasn’t any good, our defense wasn’t any good, our kicking game wasn’t any good, and our coaching was poor. It’s a miracle we were only beaten by seven points.”
-Michigan Head Coach Bo Schembechler
Wisconsin beat the #1 ranked team in the country for the first time in school history when they defeated #1 ranked Michigan on Sept. 13, 1981 at Camp Randall.
Wisconsin had not defeated Michigan since 1962, and the Wolverines had outscored the Badgers 176-0 in their previous four meetings.
It was Michigan’s first loss in a road opener since Harvard did them in 100 years earlier.
Wisconsin’s defense shut down Michigan quarterback Steve Smith (3-18, 39 yards and 3 INTs) and held star wide receiver Anthony Carter to just one catch.
Meanwhile, the Badgers were able to rack up 439 net yards. Quarterback Jess Cole completed 8 of his 17 passes for 182 yards and threw touchdowns to Marvin Neal and John Williams. Fullback Dave Mohapp led the Badgers with 19 carries for 87 yards. Running back Chucky Davis rushed for 71 yards and one touchdown.
WHO WE INTERVIEWED: Safety and punter David Greenwood.
Oct. 16, 1982: Wisconsin defeats Michigan State 24-23
Wisconsin held on for victory as safety David Greenwood intercepted a pass on Michigan State’s two point conversion attempt in the final seconds.
The Spartans got the ball back trailing 24-17 with just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Late in the drive, Spartans quarterback John Leister escaped a savage rush to hit wide receiver Otis Grant with a 28 yard strike, moving the Spartans to the Wisconsin 10 yard line.
Two plays later, Lesiter found split end Ted Jones alone in the end zone, cutting the deficit to a point, 24-23.
Michigan State head coach Muddy Waters decided to avoid a tie (there was no overtime at the time) by going for two points and the victory.
“There was never a doubt about going for two points. We played to win,” said Waters after the game.
Leister rolled right, and with Grant open deep in the end zone, he under threw the pass and the ball fell right into the hands of Wisconsin safety David Greenwood.
The Badgers escaped with a 24-23 victory
WHO WE INTERVIEWED: We actually we’re unable to do a piece on this game. I got a hold of David Greenwood, but he had no recollection of the game. Instead, we interviewed Greenwood about the 1981 Michigan game. Bill Scott from the Wisconsin Radio Network replaced this game with the 1992 UW/MSU game that took place in Tokyo. The Badgers won that game to clinch a berth in the Rose Bowl. (Barry Alvarez was interviewed)
Sept. 30, 1995: Wisconsin defeats #6 Penn State 17-9
Former Badger QB Darrell Bevell, who is currently the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks.
Wisconsin went into Happy Valley and ended the Nittany Lions’ nation-best 20 game winning streak that dated back to the 1994 season. The loss also snapped Penn State’s 12 game Big Ten winning streak.
It was the first time Wisconsin and Penn State had played since 1970, and the first time the two teams had played as Big Ten Conference foes. PSU joined the Big Ten in 1993, but they did not play UW their first two seasons in the league.
Darrell Bevell completed 18 of his 22 pass attempts for 192 yards and two touchdowns. Bevell’s first quarter touchdown pass to tight end Matt Nyquist put the Badgers up 10-0. Nyquist ended the game with 4 catches for 40 yards and the one touchdown.
Bevell later connected with wide receiver Tony Simmons on a 21 yard touchdown pass that put the Badgers up 17-3 early in the fourth quarter.
The game was Joe Paterno’s 500th as a member of the Penn State coaching staff.
WHO WE INTERVIEWED: TE Matt Nyquist; 4 catches, 40 yards, 1 touchdown