Streak Over, Mystique Gone WISCONSIN 17, OHIO STATE 10 The defending national champions had their weaknesses exposed by the fired-up Badgers

October 19, 2003

At Wisconsin, where the running game is religion, wideout Lee
Evans has had to learn to make the most of limited opportunities.
The 5'11", 202-pound senior did just that last Saturday at Camp
Randall Stadium in Madison in the Badgers' upset of third-ranked
Ohio State. After waiting the better part of four quarters for
someone to throw him the ball, he took his only reception of the
day 79 yards for the winning touchdown. "Early in the game I had
some opportunities where I was open and the ball just didn't come
my way," said Evans, who was covered most of the night by Chris
Gamble, the Buckeyes' superstar cornerback. "I stayed patient and
let the game come to me."

It was fitting that Evans's score was set up by two players who
don't usually get to shine in Madison. The pass was thrown by
backup quarterback Matt Schabert, who was pressed into duty
midway through the third quarter after Ohio State linebacker
Robert Reynolds--in a move that had the Wisconsin sideline
roiling in anger--jabbed his fingers in starter Jim Sorgi's neck
while Sorgi was on the ground, causing the Badgers quarterback to
gasp for air, rendering him temporarily unable to speak and
forcing coach Barry Alvarez to pull him from the game. Before
Schabert's pass, the heavy lifting on offense had been done by
third-string tailback Booker Stanley, who was filling in for
injured starter Anthony Davis. A 5'10", 207-pound redshirt
freshman, Stanley carried the ball 31 times for 125 yards,
running right over the nation's top-ranked rush defense, which
had given up an average of just 43.4 yards a game. "I think a lot
of teams were kind of afraid to try to run on them," said
Schabert. "Teams were spreading out and just trying to throw the

The Wisconsin players did not buy into the notion of an Ohio
State mystique. The Badgers' front four kept the pressure on
quarterback Craig Krenzel, who was sacked three times and put on
his back on several other occasions. "On film their offensive
line looked pretty slow," said Wisconsin defensive tackle Anttaj
Hawthorne, who had two sacks and two hurries. "They were real
slow off the ball. I was faking inside and going outside, and
getting around pretty much every time."

At the conclusion of the game the fans at Camp Randall stormed
the field in a futile attempt to tear down the goalposts. What
did lie in ruins was Ohio State's 19-game winning streak and the
team's reputation for pulling out close games in the fourth
quarter, something the Buckeyes had done 10 times during the
streak. Worse yet, Reynolds's shocking behavior further tarnished
an Ohio State image sullied by the off-season controversy
surrounding Maurice Clarett. On Sunday, Reynolds apologized for
losing his poise, and a day later Ohio State suspended him for a
game, but damage had already been done. "I lost all respect for
any of them, the whole bench, the coaches, whoever was on that
sideline," said Wisconsin center Donovan Raiola. Added Evans,
"Ohio State is a great program, but for those guys to do
something like that to our quarterback is one of the lowest
things I've seen done in a football game." Hardly a fitting
epitaph for a national champion. --Mark Beech

COLOR PHOTO: TOM LYNN REIGN OUT Jim Leonhard (18), Darius Jones (98) and the rest of the D halted a Buckeyes comeback.

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