September 3, 2006

Special victory

CLEVELAND - Surprises. The University of Wisconsin football team's victory over the Bowling Green Falcons, 35-14, here Saturday was full of them.

The game's opening series - a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive led by BGSU redshirt freshman Freddie Barnes - was the first surprise, not to mention the way the Badgers' highly-publicized defensive front handled the athletic signal-caller. Barnes only threw for 82 yards in favor of the ground game in which he compiled 165 of the Falcons' 219 total rushing yards.

Even the way BGSU kept things close until late in the second quarter was a surprise. But two special teams blunders - leading the Badgers to a 21-7 halftime lead - and the Falcons saw their valiant effort drift away.

It was certainly a special surprise, although UW teams are known for strong special teams play. Going into the contest - and taking into account the preseason expectations placed on the defense and the above-average play of the offense Saturday - observers of the Badgers weren't predicting the special teams unit to occupy the headlines.

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