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Fans flood field after upset victory

October 17, 2010

MADISON — Pandemonium.

That was the consensus description of the scene on the field at Camp Randall Stadium after the Badgers’ 31-18 win over No. 1 Ohio State. And why shouldn’t it have been?

Despite repeated warnings not to do so, fans poured onto the playing surface as the clock wound to zero, mobbing the 18th-ranked Wisconsin football team as it secured its biggest win in recent program history.

Within minutes, the green field turf was replaced by a sea of red.

“I’ll remember how quickly that thing can fill up,” Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. “Mark Taurisani, my office guy, told me, ‘If they rush the field, go out the far tunnel,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, you better tell everybody else the same thing.’ We hadn’t exactly gone through an evacuation plan.”

Without any briefing on what to expect after such a momentous victory, a number of players found themselves in precarious situations, surrounded by classmates and alumni.

With the Badgers defeating the nation’s No. 1 team for the first time since 1981 and the fourth time in school history, everybody wanted to be a part of the big moment.

“It’s so much excitement and so much joy,” free safety Aaron Henry said. “Coming into this game, we knew what to expect. I know a lot of people on the outside looking in, they didn’t really give us a chance, and that’s fine. As long as the core group of guys in that locker room believe in each other man, the sky’s the limit.”

Before the game, the Badgers were a picture of quiet intensity, according to Bielema and other players who recalled their teammates showing a surprising, but intense, calmness.

Afterward, as Camp Randall exploded in excitement, the Badgers celebrated their first win over Ohio State in the Bielema era.

“That was nuts,” said linebacker Blake Sorensen, who had a big late-game interception. “It was a big win for the team and the fans as well. That was huge. The last I saw the goal post was rocking back and forth when I left. It was awesome.”

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