2006 Wisconsin Badgers football team

The 2006 Wisconsin Badgers football team represented the University of Wisconsin–Madison during the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. Led by first-year head coach Bret Bielema, the Badgers completed the season with a 12–1 record, including a 7–1 mark in the Big Ten Conference, good for a second-place tie with Michigan.

2006 Wisconsin Badgers football
Wisconsin Badgers logo.svg
Capital One Bowl champion
Capital One Bowl, W 17–14 vs. Arkansas
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
CoachesNo. 5
APNo. 7
2006 record12–1 (7–1 Big Ten)
Head coachBret Bielema (1st season)
Offensive coordinatorPaul Chryst
Defensive coordinatorMike Hankwitz
Home stadiumCamp Randall Stadium
(Capacity: 80,321)
← 2005
2007 →
2006 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 2 Ohio State $   8 0         12 1  
No. 7 Wisconsin   7 1         12 1  
No. 8 Michigan %   7 1         11 2  
No. 24 Penn State   5 3         9 4  
Purdue   5 3         8 6  
Minnesota   3 5         6 7  
Indiana   3 5         5 7  
Iowa   2 6         6 7  
Northwestern   2 6         4 8  
Michigan State   1 7         4 8  
Illinois   1 7         2 10  
  • $ – BCS representative as conference champion
  • % – BCS at-large representative
Rankings from AP Poll

The season was one of the most successful in Badgers football history. The 11 regular-season wins and 12 overall wins were both single season records for the Badgers, and the season ended with a second straight victory in the Capital One Bowl, over Arkansas, 17-14. The Badgers, who were not ranked in the preseason and were expected to finish in the middle of the Big Ten, surprised many with their success and ended the season ranked #7 in the AP Poll and #5 in the Coaches' Poll.


The Badgers were picked to finish in the middle of the Big Ten conference and were not ranked in the preseason for a number of reasons. Early defections to the National Football League by second-team All-Americans Brandon Williams and Brian Calhoun left the Badger offense with only three returning starters. Additionally, with the departure of Barry Alvarez – who had just completed his final season with 10 wins and a Capital One Bowl victory – the head coaching job was taken over by Bret Bielema, then the youngest head coach in Division I-A football.

Bright spots for the Badgers included returning All-American offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who was coming off an ACL injury. John Stocco resumed the starting position at quarterback for his senior season, and P. J. Hill, Jr. won the starting tailback job. The defense was to be led by senior linebacker Mark Zalewski and senior strong safety Joe Stellmacher. The special teams unit was considered strong, with All-American candidate Ken DeBauche punting the ball.

Some sportswriters felt that the non-conference schedule was fairly weak. Early in the season, the team's non-conference schedule was placed on the "waiting list" of ESPN.com's Bottom 10 rankings.[1]


September 26:00 p.m.vs. Bowling Green*ESPN+W 35–1430,307[2]
September 92:30 p.m.Western Illinois*ESPNUW 34–1080,845[2]
September 162:30 p.m.San Diego State*
  • Camp Randall Stadium
  • Madison, WI
ESPN+W 14–081,090[2]
September 2311:00 a.m.at No. 6 MichiganESPNL 13–27111,058[2]
September 3011:00 a.m.at IndianaESPN2W 52–1732,142[2]
October 711:00 a.m.Northwestern
  • Camp Randall Stadium
  • Madison, WI
ESPN360W 41–981,704[2]
October 1411:00 a.m.Minnesota No. 25
ESPNW 48–1282,010[2]
October 2111:00 a.m.at PurdueNo. 21ESPNW 24–358,111[2]
October 2811:00 a.m.IllinoisNo. 17
  • Camp Randall Stadium
  • Madison, WI
ESPN2W 30–2481,300[2]
November 411:00 a.m.Penn StateNo. 17
  • Camp Randall Stadium
  • Madison, WI
ABCW 13–381,777[2]
November 1111:00 a.m.at IowaNo. 16ESPNW 24–2170,585[2]
November 1811:00 a.m.Buffalo*No. 12
  • Camp Randall Stadium
  • Madison, WI
ESPNUW 35–380,850[2]
January 1, 200712:00 p.m.vs. No. 12 Arkansas*No. 6ABCW 17–1460,774[2]
  • *Non-conference game
  •  Homecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Central time


2006 Wisconsin Badgers football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense Offensive Line
  • 58 Lenzendorf, Mike – Fr (1V)
  • 58 Thorson, Brad – Fr (HS
  • 66 Watters, Dirk – Fr (1V)
  • 71 Vanden Heuvel, Eric – So (1V)
  • 73 Kasper, Korey - Fr (HS)
Pos. # Name Class
WR 11 Isaac Anderson Fr
RB 24 Josh Balts Jr
TE 9 Travis Beckum So
WR 29 Niles Brinkley Fr
TE 37 Matt Brown Jr
OL 78 Jake Bscherer Fr
RB 27 Jerry Butler Fr
T 68 Gabe Carimi Fr
OL 65 Marcus Coleman Jr
TE 43 Andy Crooks Jr
TE 45 Kirk DeCremer Fr
QB 12 Tyler Donovan Jr
WR 44 Chris Eernisse Fr
RB 38 Dion Foster Fr
WR 17 Matt Gifford Fr
TE 88 Garrett Graham Fr
WR 2 Xavier Harris Fr
RB 39 P. J. Hill Fr
WR 85 Jeff Holzbauer Fr
WR 19 Paul Hubbard Jr
WR 22 Diondrae Jenkins Fr
OL 64 Danny Kaye Jr
OL 75 Andy Kemp So
TE 84 Lance Kendricks Fr
WR 17 Richard Kirtley Fr
OL 60 Luke Knauf Jr
WR 20 Derek Konkol Sr
TE 82 Sean Lewis So
TE 47 Jaevery McFadden Fr
WR 88 Jarvis Minton Jr
TE 23 Joseph Molenda Fr
QB 3 Maurice Moore Fr
G 76 Bill Nagy Fr
TE 81 Dave Peck So
WR 27 Shane Phillips Fr
TE 48 Nathan Quist Jr
WR 13 Marcus Randle El Jr
RB 34 Bill Rentmeester So
RB 24 Dywon Rowan Sr
WR 8 Jarmal Ruffin Fr
QB 18 Dustin Sherer Fr
RB 5 Lance Smith Fr
QB 7 John Stocco Sr
WR 15 Luke Swan Jr
WR 86 Elijah Theus Fr
T 72 Joe Thomas Sr
QB 16 Scott Tolzien Fr
TE 36 Mickey Turner Fr
G 63 Kraig Urbik So
OL 62 Mike Van Someren Jr
OL 70 Andrew Weininger Jr
RB 48 Dan Wiacek Fr
Defense Defensive Line
  • 59 Hoey, Brandon – Fr (HS)
  • 71 Behnke, Brian – Fr (1V)
  • 79 Stehle, Jeffrey – Fr (1V)
  • 90 Jamison, Terrance – Fr (1V)
  • 98 Cruse Jr., Gino – So (2V)
  • 98 Garner, Richard – Fr (HS)
  • 38 Landgraf, Ben – So (2V)
  • 49 Flasch, Ryan – So (2V)
  • 51 Neal, Joshua – So (2V)
Defensive Backs
  • 14 St. Jean, Culmer – Fr (HS)
  • 19 Hartmann, William – Fr (1V)
  • 21 Nettles, Josh – Fr (HS)
  • 24 Lyle, Jamathan – Fr (HS)
  • 29 Freeman, Antonio – So (2V)
  • 30 Davis, Jameson – So (2V)
  • 30 Holland, Tyler – Fr (HS)
  • 31 Moody, Prince – Fr (1V)
  • 32 Royston, Kim – Fr (HS)
  • 39 Herman, Brian – Fr (1V)
Pos. # Name Class
DB 37 Phil Ayeni Fr
DB 25 Shane Carter So
DL 77 Dan Cascone Fr
LB 2 Jonathan Casillas So
DL 91 Jason Chapman So
DL 5 Jamal Cooper Jr
DB 31 Nate Egholm Jr
DL 73 Mark Gorman Sr
DB 26 Zach Hampton Sr
DT 96 Nick Hayden Jr
LB 52 Elijah Hodge
LB 12 Casey Hogan Jr
CB 6 Jack Ikegwuonu Jr
LB 23 Paul Joran Sr
DB 20 James Kamoku Jr
DL 56 Brandon Kelly Jr
DB 17 Allen Langford So
LB 11 DeAndre Levy So
LB 30 Adam Ludovic Fr
DL 74 John Moffitt Fr
DE 95 Joe Monty Sr
DB 46 Tony Morrissey Fr
DE 54 Mike Newkirk So
DL 99 Justin Ostrowski Jr
DB 28 Aubrey Pleasant So
DL 55 Adam Purcell Jr
DE 50 O'Brien Schofield Fr
CB 22 Roderick Rogers Sr
DE 92 Matt Shaughnessy So
DB 45 Joe Sibley Jr
DB 16 Joe Stellmacher Sr
DB 3 Ben Strickland Jr
DB 15 Jay Valai Fr
DL 34 Kurt Ware Jr
DB 4 Johnny White Sr
DL 94 Derek Yentz Jr
LB 41 Mark Zalewski Sr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
P 94 Ken DeBauche Jr
K 96 Matt Fischer Fr
K 10 Taylor Mehlhaff Jr
K 98 Adam Schober So
P 97 Paul Standring Jr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  •   Injured
  •   Redshirt

Game summariesEdit

Bowling GreenEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Wisconsin 7 14 7 7 35
Bowling Green 7 0 7 0 14

In his debut, P. J. Hill, Jr. had 130 rushing yards and a touchdown to lead the Badgers to a victory over the hometeam Falcons. The Badgers broke a 7–7 tie in the second quarter when Alonso Rojas blocked a punt and Jonathan Casillas returned it for a touchdown. John Stocco finished 9-of-15 for 124 yards and a touchdown, with an interception.

Western IllinoisEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Western Illinois 3 0 0 7 10
Wisconsin 3 17 0 14 34

P. J. Hill, Jr. ran for over 100 yards for the second game in a row, and the Badgers overcame a rocky first quarter to beat the Leathernecks. After a fumble on the kickoff lead to a WIU field goal, the Badgers reeled off 34 straight points – 17 in the second quarter – to effectively put the game away. John Stocco was 15–25 for 227 yards and another touchdown, and Hill collected three touchdowns on the ground for the Badgers.

San Diego StateEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
San Diego State 0 0 0 0 0
Wisconsin 0 0 7 7 14

P. J. Hill, Jr. ran for 184 yards and a touchdown and the defense shut out the Aztecs in the last game before the start of conference play. The Badgers allowed just 153 yards, but the offense was out of sync for the third straight week as Stocco completed just 12 of his 23 passes for 85 yards. Paul Hubbard registered a six-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.


1 2 3 4 Total
Wisconsin 7 3 0 3 13
#6 Michigan 0 10 7 10 27

Wisconsin performed admirably in the first half, scoring 10 points, but special teams miscues led to 10 Wolverine points by the break. P. J. Hill, Jr. was held to 54 yards against the stout Michigan run defense, and Mario Manningham had 113 yards and two touchdowns through the air as Michigan raced out to 17 straight points in the second half to beat the Badgers, 27–13. The Badgers intercepted Chad Henne three times, but it was not enough to overcome the Wolverines' powerful offense. Wisconsin, which had beaten Michigan in 2005, had a five-game winning streak snapped. Michigan moved to 4–0 on the season.


1 2 3 4 Total
Wisconsin 14 21 17 0 52
Indiana 0 0 0 17 17

The Badgers bounced back from their first loss of the season, racing out to a 52–0 lead over the hometeam Hoosiers en route to a dominating 52–17 victory. John Stocco threw for 304 yards and had three touchdown strikes by halftime, and P. J. Hill, Jr. had 129 yards and another three touchdowns for the Badgers. The Hoosiers were held to just 147 yards through three quarters. Paul Hubbard caught seven passes for 122 yards and a touchdown for the Badgers.


1 2 3 4 Total
Northwestern 6 3 0 0 9
Wisconsin 10 7 17 7 41

For the second straight week, the Badger defense stepped up big, holding NU tailback Tyrell Sutton to just 18 yards on the ground. Wisconsin avenged last year's loss to the Wildcats with a punishing ground game, highlighted by P. J. Hill, Jr.'s rumbling 60-yard touchdown in the first quarter. In his best effort to date, Hill piled up 250 of the Badgers' 316 yards on the ground as the Badgers prevailed.


Minnesota at #25 Wisconsin
1 234Total
Minnesota 3 027 12
• Wisconsin 14 14137 48

The Badgers hosted Minnesota in the battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe. The Badgers, who had moved into the AP rankings for the first time this season, prevailed 48–12 behind John Stocco's four touchdown passes, two to Travis Beckum, who also had 118 receiving yards. Stocco finished 12-of-19 for 193 yards. Jack Ikegwuonu opened the scoring by returning Amir Pinnix's first-quarter fumble 50 yards for a touchdown. P. J. Hill, Jr. racked up 164 yards and two more scores as the Badgers defended the Axe.


1 2 3 4 Total
#22 Wisconsin 0 10 7 7 24
Purdue 3 0 0 0 3

The Badgers moved into the Coaches Poll for the first time, ranked #22 going into their showdown against Purdue. The Badger defense figured to get a good test against the Boilermakers offense, which led the Big Ten at over 470 yards a game entering the contest. Purdue managed only 299 yards and a field goal as the Badgers limited Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter to just 187 yards on 20-of-40 passing and an interception. P. J. Hill, Jr. ran for another two touchdowns and 160 yards.


1 2 3 4 Total
Illinois 7 17 0 0 24
#18 Wisconsin 0 10 10 10 30

The visiting Illini gave the #18 Badgers a scare, as Illinois quarterback Juice Williams engineered three scoring drives in the second quarter to give the Illini a 24–10 lead at halftime. P. J. Hill, Jr. suffered a pinched nerve and left the game in the first quarter. Backup Lance Smith scored the Badgers' only touchdown of the first half. John Stocco threw for two touchdowns and Taylor Mehlhaff kicked two field goals in the second half, and the defense held Illinois scoreless throughout the second half to prevail victorious, 30–24.

Penn StateEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Penn State 0 3 0 0 3
#17 Wisconsin 3 7 3 0 13

The Badger defense stepped up in a huge way against Penn State, yielding only a field goal and 244 yards. Consistent pressure frustrated Nittany Lions quarterback Anthony Morelli, and the offense controlled the clock with 148 yards from P. J. Hill, Jr.. The Badgers won 13–3 to move to 9–1 on the season and their sixth straight victory. John Stocco suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.

This game drew the ire of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno as the first half came to a close. Under the clock rules introduced at the beginning of the season, the clock began running immediately as the ball was kicked, rather than when it was fielded by the receiving team. Following a Stocco touchdown that gave the Badgers a 10–3 lead with 23 seconds to go, Coach Bielema deliberately ordered his kickoff unit to run offsides before Taylor Mehlhaff kicked off. Because the Badgers were offsides (and thus further downfield), the Penn State special teams were unable to field the ball well, and thus would have had awful field position; they instead elected to rekick. Wisconsin repeated the tactic, essentially running out the clock on the first half. Bielema's strategy was decried by many as unsportsmanlike; others praised him for bringing light to a loophole in the new clock system. After the regular season, the clock rules were reverted to their pre-2006 form.


#16 Wisconsin at Iowa
1 234Total
• Wisconsin 10 707 24
Iowa 0 1407 21

After moving up to #16 in the coaches poll, Wisconsin ended a two-game losing streak to the Hawkeyes with a 24–21 victory in Iowa City. With John Stocco sitting out due to injury, backup Tyler Donovan played an efficient game, going 17-of-24 for 228 yards and two touchdowns. Hawkeyes quarterback Drew Tate threw for Iowa's three touchdowns, but was frustrated all game, completing fewer than a third of his attempts. With the win, the Badgers completed conference play with a 7–1 mark, wrapping up a second place tie in the Big Ten.


1 2 3 4 Total
Buffalo 3 0 0 0 3
#10 Wisconsin 7 14 7 7 35

On Senior Day, the #10 Badgers started sluggishly, but scored two touchdowns just before halftime and added two more in the second half to win decisively over Buffalo, 35–3. Tyler Donovan once again performed proficiently, throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns with an interception on 16-of-26, and the defense forced four turnovers and held Buffalo to just 159 yards. P. J. Hill, Jr. scored a touchdown and picked up 86 yards on the ground.

With the win, the Badgers finished 11–1, the best regular season in school history. There was a minor controversy concerning the Bowl Championship Series, whose rules state that only two teams from one conference may receive bids to BCS bowl games. Ohio State and Michigan were ranked ahead of the Badgers in the final BCS standings, granting those two schools BCS invitations and relegating the Badgers to a lesser bowl. Nevertheless, Wisconsin again accepted an invitation to the Capital One Bowl, where it would defend its championship against Arkansas.

Capital One Bowl – ArkansasEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
#13 Arkansas 7 0 0 7 14
#5 Wisconsin 10 7 0 0 17

The Badgers returned to Orlando to face the #13 Razorbacks, led by Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden. McFadden burst for 45 yards on his first carry but was brought down from behind by Jack Ikegwuonu at the 9-yard line, a pivotal play that led to a missed field goal by Arkansas. The Badgers led 17–7 at halftime behind John Stocco's two touchdown passes, and eventually survived a nailbiting second half in which the Razorbacks continually had great field position but failed to capitalize. Despite being held to -5 rushing yards while giving up 232, including 150 from Arkansas' Felix Jones, the Badgers won 17–14. John Stocco, playing in his final collegiate game, was named the game's MVP.

The Badgers finished the season on a nine-game winning streak to reach #5 in the final coaches poll and #7 in the final AP poll. The 12 wins were a new single season record.

Regular startersEdit

Team players selected in the 2007 NFL DraftEdit

Player Position Round Overall Selection NFL Team
Joe Thomas Offensive Tackle 1 3 Cleveland Browns



  1. ^ Hernandez, Rob (September 2, 2006). "Badgering UW's Non-Conference Schedule". Wisconsin State Journal. Madison. Retrieved September 2, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Game-by-Game Statistics". University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  3. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/2007.htm