College football bowl season is just starting to hit its stride and we’re creeping up on the Capital One Bowl when the Wisconsin Badgers take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Badgers have not played in this bowl game since 2007 and it will only be the third time competing in the Capital One Bowl.
Here we take a look at the two previous games that the Badgers played in, both of which Bucky came away with a victory.
January 2, 2006: Wisconsin 24 Auburn 10
This victory was the final win in the illustrious career for Barry Alvarez. The scoring got started when John Stocco found Brandon Williams for a 30 yard touchdown in the first quarter. After a Taylor Mehlhaff field goal, Owen Daniels scored on a 13 yard pass from Stocco to put the Badgers up 17-0 at the half.
Auburn made it a game however as they reeled off 10 straight points when Tigers wide receiver Courtney Taylor caught a 9 yard touchdown from Brandon Cox to make it 17-10. But the Badgers answered right back when Brian Calhoun took a 33 yard run to the house and Wisconsin was able to come away with the win. Calhoun won game MVP as he racked up 213 yards and one touchdown as the win was number 118 for Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez.
January 1, 2007: Wisconsin 17 Arkansas 14
First year head coach Bret Bielema put the cherry on the top of what was a remarkable inaugural season. This game was one of many that New Years Day that ended up being a classic. It went back and forth and was close throughout. Mehlhaff kicked a 52 yard field goal to put the Badgers on the board first in the opening quarter. Arkansas answered quickly on a Felix Jones 76 yard run for a touchdown. But Wisconsin would get a score right before the end of the opening frame on a 22 yard touchdown from Stocco to Paul Hubbard.
A 13 yard touchdown pass from Stocco to tight end Travis Beckum extended the Badgers lead to 17-7 in the 2nd quarter. The Razorbacks closed the gap to 17-14 on a Felix Jones 12 yard touchdown run, but that would be the last of the scoring as Wisconsin won by that score. Stocco was named MVP as he threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Bielema and the Badgers finished the season with a remarkable 12-1 record, becoming the third coach in NCAA history to win at least 12 games in his first season.
So there you have it. Two trips to one of the best non-BCS bowl games out there and two victories to show. Hopefully the Badgers and first year head coach Gary Andersen will have the same success when they take on South Carolina on January 1st.
Thanks to sports-reference.com for helping take a stroll down memory lane.