Calhoun annihilates Illini defense

first_imgMATTHEW KUTZ/Herald photoCHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Despite entering Saturday as heavy underdogs, Illinois’s offense seemed to have Wisconsin’s number. But Badger running back Brian Calhoun always had the answer, leading the UW to a 41-24 win at Memorial Stadium.Calhoun rushed for 197 yards and five touchdowns on 35 carries Saturday, tying the school single-game scoring record for the second time this season. The junior is now tied with former Wisconsin great Ron Dayne in the school record books for most touchdowns in a single season with 21 on the year, and is just two shy of matching Dayne’s mark for most rushing scores (also 21).Three of Calhoun’s touchdowns came directly after the Illini had cut the Wisconsin lead to 10 points or less. And, for an offense that wanted to re-establish its rushing attack, the win served as the perfect venue.”We came in wanting to establish the run,” Alvarez said. “That was one of our plans. We really squeezed down our game plan coming into this game. We limited just to a handful of runs, showed a lot of window dressing, but just wanted to condense the runs and execute them well. We thought maybe we were trying to do too much and not executing.”After taking the ball to start the game, Wisconsin did not attempt a single pass on its opening drive, an 80-yard march. Calhoun alone rushed for 53 of those yards, capping the score with a six-yard touchdown to give Wisconsin a 6-0 lead (via a missed extra point) and set the tone for the game.”Obviously we’ve gotten away from it the last couple of weeks, and we felt we could establish the run against Illinois,” Calhoun said. “Even if we had a couple losses or one-yard plays, we kept pounding it and pounding it, and eventually we had some long runs in the end.”In fact, the first 15 plays of the game were all runs — a bit of a reversal from the past several weeks when the UW coaching staff went to the air early on.When the Badgers did throw the ball, they did it effectively. Quarterback John Stocco’s first pass of the game went for a touchdown, a 62-yard strike to a seemingly uncovered Brandon Williams.”That was the exact same look that we had all week against the scouts,” Williams said of the play. “They did bring a blitz from the nickel back, but other than that it was exactly how we expected them to play it and it worked to perfection.”Stocco finished the day completing 14 of 22 attempts for 225 yards and the one touchdown.His counterpart, Illinois signal caller Tim Brasic, also enjoyed a career day, breaking the school record for quarterbacks with 116 rushing yards on the day to go along with 277 yards through the air. His ability to tuck the ball and scramble in passing situations repeatedly hurt the Wisconsin defense.Brasic led the Illini — who actually out-gained the Badgers in total yardage — on a pair of scoring drives to cut the Badger lead to 13-10 with 7:42 remaining in the first half, but as was the norm, Calhoun led the Wisconsin response. On the ensuing possession, he accounted for 45 of the 51 yards that the drive spanned, including his second touchdown of the game, a two-yard plunge to push the UW advantage back to 10 points.”Over the course of the game, there’s going to be a lot of momentum changes,” Stocco said. “It’s like a pendulum, it’s going to go back and forth, and any time we lose it we want to get it back and get it back fast. And I think we did a good job of that today.”Two possessions after Calhoun scored his third touchdown following UW freshman Jonathan Casillas’ second blocked punt of the season, Illini running back Pierre Thomas cut the lead to 10 points once again with 4:28 left in the third quarter. Yet again, though, Calhoun had an answer on the ensuing drive.Carrying the ball on the final five plays of a 73-yard scoring march, the junior slashed off right tackle for another six-yard touchdown.However, Calhoun saved his best run of the day for last.Just 13 seconds after Brasic connected with Kyle Hudson to pull within 10 for the second time in the half, Calhoun took a carry off left tackle, bounced outside and used a big block from fullback Chris Pressley to spring himself down the sidelines for a 46-yard touchdown, his longest run of the season.”Great patience, great vision, great burst,” co-offensive coordinator Brian White said of the run. “Chris Pressley just threw a phenomenal block, and he did an unbelievable job of tight-roping that sideline. I didn’t think it was humanly possible, that someone could stay in bounds as tight as he was to the sidelines, but that’s what makes Brian a special back.”Still, heading into next Saturday’s battle for first place in the Big Ten with Penn State, Calhoun knows both sides of the ball will have to be ready to answer the challenge.”It’s tough when you see the other offense put up points, but we can’t worry about that,” Calhoun said. “All we do is, we’ve got to go out there and score points, and today 41 was enough. So hopefully we can tighten things up on offense and defense next week and be ready to play.”last_img read more



first_imgUp to 20,000 visitors are expected to arrive in Bundoran this Friday as both spectators and competitors head to the European Surfing Championships, Eurosurf 2011.The event is expected to generate €3m for the local economy and considerable exposure for Donegal as a tourism venue.Bundoran has long been associated with world-class surfing along with the neighbouring surfing destinations of Rossnowlagh, Streedagh, Iascaigh and Enniscrone and is a natural home for the event. To boost the appeal of the event, Bundoran town is gearing up to welcome the influx of surfers and will have plenty of music and entertainment on offer during the tournament including traditional Irish and contemporary music.Mr Michael Ring T.D., Minister of State for Tourism and Sport welcomed the European Surfing Championships.“I am very pleased to see such a prestigious and important surfing event taking place in the northwest. Eurosurf 2011 is not only an important surfing event but is also a positive showcase for Donegal and the northwest region as a tourism destination.“I would like to welcome all visitors to Bundoran for this event and, with top class accommodation, music, culture, food and entertainment on offer, there will be plenty of opportunities for all to enjoy and sample a genuinely warm Irish welcome.” The European Surfing Championship is a significant addition to Fáilte Ireland’s calendar of festivals and events and the tourism authority has been working closely with local businesses to ensure that the event is a great success and one that generates as much marketing value as possible, not just overseas but in Ireland as well.Looking forward to the event Paul McLoone, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Operations in the Noth West, said –“The development of surfing is crucial for the further development of tourism in Donegal. In fact, Fáilte Ireland believes that there is great potential along the whole western seaboard to grow our tourism industry by actively targeting adventure-loving visitors who are seeking outdoor activities and water sports such as surfing. An event like this provides us with the perfect marketing opportunity to show that market how good a product we really have.”Eurosurf Bundoran 2011 can be described as the highlight of the European Surfing Calendar with 16 European countries to take part including Ireland, England, Wales, Channel Islands, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Morocco, Norway, Sweden, Malta.Ireland is currently ranked 8th in Europe with France and Spain at positions one and two respectively. One of Ireland’s best known surfers Al Mennie, who has surfed the biggest ever recorded swell in Irish waters (on December 1st, 2007), ranks his home country highly as a surfing destination –“I’ve travelled all over the globe to surf yet I’ve discovered some of the best waves in the world right here in Ireland. The Irish coastline faces into the wild North Atlantic providing everything from one foot mellow beach break waves to 60 foot expert only monsters.“We have waves at golden beaches, long point breaks, shallow slabs and huge offshore reef breaks – there really is something to suit every level of surfer here in Ireland. It’s amazing to see our coastline introduce some of the world’s best surfers to some of the world’s best waves.”For further information, please see editor’s note attached. More details on the event are available at http://eurosurfbundoran.com/ . UP TO 20,000 EXPECTED IN BUNDORAN FOR EUROPEAN SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS WEEKEND was last modified: September 19th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:bundoranEurosurf 2011last_img read more