With its running game stifled and its quarterback under constant pressure, the sixth-ranked Badgers did just enough to hold off No. 12 Arkansas 17-14 Monday. John Stocco threw two first-half touchdown passes, and
The biggest play might have been Ikegwuonu's tackle. McFadden's 45-yard run gave the Razorbacks the ball inside the Wisconsin 10, but
"I know that McFadden is a very fast football player," Badgers coach Bret Bielema said. "For us to be able to track him down and pull him down ... may have changed the entire landscape of the game."
McFadden, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, hurt his ankle in the Southeastern Conference championship game Dec. 2, and it appeared to be bothering him still.
"If Darren is 100 percent, I don't think anyone would have caught him on that play,"
This was the Badgers' first win over a ranked team. Their only loss was to
"One of the biggest things we did at one of our team meetings this week was that we played some news clips from some of the news stations back in Arkansas," Bielema said. "Once again, they pointed out that we hadn't played anybody this year ... we certainly used that as a motivational factor."
"We didn't need to beat this team to validate that we're a great team," Stocco said.
Taylor Mehlhaff opened the scoring for the Badgers with a 52-yard field goal, a career long and a Capital One Bowl record. Felix Jones answered quickly for
Stocco threw touchdown passes of 22 yards to Paul Hubbard and 13 yards to Travis Beckum, giving the Badgers a 17-7 halftime lead. Jones, who quietly surpassed 1,000 yards this season alongside McFadden, made it 17-14 on a 12-yard run in the fourth.
Jones finished with a career-high 150 yards on 14 carries, outplaying McFadden and
Most of the second half was played in Wisconsin territory, but
Stocco, the game's most valuable player, went 14-of-34 for 206 yards with two interceptions. He was also sacked six times, part of the reason
But the Badgers passed the ball better than
Dick went 9-of-21 for 98 yards with an interception. Mustain was 5-of-10 for 41 yards with an interception.
McFadden left in the third quarter with a sprained right shoulder, although he returned a short while later. He rushed for 89 yards to finish the season with 1,647, the fifth-highest total in SEC history.
Hill ran for 36 yards, finishing his freshman season with 1,569.
The Razorbacks appeared to make a big play on special teams in the second quarter when Darius Vinnett blocked Ken DeBauche's punt. But DeBauche was able to pick up the ball and throw for a first down. The play was negated by an ineligible man downfield penalty, but
Bielema was in his first season as a head coach. He replaced the retired Barry Alvarez.
"My guess is that there will be several messages on my cell phone from coach Alvarez," Bielema said.