Lucas at Large: Badgers have history against No. 1

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The last time it happened, the indefatigable Charles Woodson was more effective as a "quarterback'' than a defensive back or a wide receiver or a kick return specialist.

 Yes, that Charles Woodson, the indispensable playmaker of the Green Bay Packers secondary and the former Heisman Trophy winner from Michigan.

The last time it happened, a Griese was the quarterback and not merely a color analyst (though that's where you will find Brian Griese today doing college football, just like his old man, Bob Griese).

The last time it happened was 1997. That was the last time the Badgers played a No. 1 ranked team at Camp Randall Stadium.

The Michigan Wolverines were atop the national polls and riding high after a 34-8 dismantling of Penn State the week before.

 Meanwhile, the Badgers had bounced back from a disappointing loss at Purdue with back-to-back victories over Minnesota and No. 12 ranked Iowa.

The last time it happened was Nov. 15, 1997. And No. 23 Wisconsin put a scare into Michigan with its No. 3 tailback (Carl McCullough) before the Wolverines escaped with a hard-fought 26-16 win.

McCullough, a former Prep All-American, was pressed into service because the No. 1 tailback Ron Dayne was sidelined with an ankle injury and the No. 2 tailback Eddie Faulkner was ineffective.

McCullough was the centerpiece of an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive at the start of the third quarter that pulled the Badgers within six points (16-10) of the top-ranked team in college football.

That got everybody (79,806) jumping around. Especially after a Kevin Stemke punt pinned the Wolverines into a hole on their own 8-yard-line with 5 minutes and 31 seconds left in the third quarter.

If the Badgers get a defensive stop, who knows what happens? Michigan would have been punting from the vicinity of its own goal line with a first-year punter, Jason Vinson, who had averaged only 32.3 on his first three kicks.

Instead, the methodical Wolverines showed their national championship mettle by marching 85 yards on 19 plays to reverse the momentum with a 24-yard Jay Feely field goal. In converting three times on third down, and once on fourth down, the Wolverines burned 7:23 off the clock.

Brian Griese wound up completing 19-of-26 for 254 yards.

Woodson was 1-of-1.

 On a third-and-5 from the UW 29, Griese flipped a pitch to Woodson in the left flat that was designed to fool the defense, which it did. Woodson, in turn, hit a wide-open Griese running down the opposite boundary for a 28-yard gain setting up the first score of the game.

McCullough got everybody's attention by rushing for 102 yards on a Michigan defense which was giving up only 80.9 per game. Still, this was one (a No. 1) that got away.

But the Badgers do have some history in taking down No. 1 at Camp Randall. We'll get to that later today.

1 Comment

Mike,
The boyz from Ohio want you to remember us when we took down Michigan in 1981 when they were rated number 1. John (Shakey Joe) Williams screen play for an 80 yard touchdown. Also that year we beat the Buckeyes in Madison 24 to 21. One of highlight of my badger career. I'm back home in Columbus, the talk around here is we don't stand a chance. It's been 30 years since that victory. I believe the Badgers can do it. On Wisconsin. Vaughn Thomas