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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Seniors’ final game in Madison picture perfect against UM

Win or lose, Wisconsin fans can count on the UW Marching Band taking the field to perform the traditional “5th Quarter” after a football game.

When it is the senior class’s final game at Camp Randall, and they beat Michigan by three touchdowns, apparently fans can also count on the elder statesmen of the team coming to join them.

With a sendoff about as special as they come, the 22 seniors playing before their final home crowd joined students in the bleachers to celebrate one of the biggest victories of the season with song and dance.


“We got to go out there, and they were doing the ‘Chicken Dance,’ and doing the tumble rolls, and kicking our feet or whatever they were doing,” UW captain and senior Chris Maragos said.

“Just having some fun out there, so it was a good time.”

After spending four to five years suiting up in front of 80,000 cheering fans, even the biggest and toughest football players will be choked with emotion for the last game in Madison.

Being introduced one by one before the game to meet their parents on the field, the rest of the team had a wager going on which senior would break down first.

“Last night Friday, in our team meeting, I asked everybody what the over/under was on who was going to be the biggest crier,” UW head coach Bret Bielema said. “And everybody overwhelmingly thought it would be OB [O’Brien Schofield], which is who I put my money on.”

“I wanted to cry coming out, getting my name called and just hearing the fans cheer for me,” Schofield added after the game. “It really meant a lot that the fans appreciate what the seniors have done this season.”

It wasn’t Schofield who shed the first tear, however.

“OB came up to me right after the game and said, ‘Coach, it wasn’t me. It was Jaevery [McFadden].’ He said Jaevery lost it,” Bielema said.

“It was pretty emotional, you know,” Maragos added. “Before we go in the locker room, a couple guys started breaking down crying, I was like, ‘Gees, you guys are going to make me cry.’

“We got to the ramp there, and I just kind of pulled the other three captains aside and said, ‘You know, you guys have been awesome.’ I follow their lead so often, and it was a special day.”

Although no player would utter the word “revenge,” there certainly was a triumphant feeling among the team not seen in any other victory this year.

And after blowing a 19-point halftime lead to Michigan in 2008 — the start of a four-game losing streak for that Wisconsin team — who could blame UW for enjoying this triumph just a little bit more.

“From a lot of perspectives, that is true,” UW senior and captain Mickey Turner said when asked if this win puts the 2008 season to bed. “We always try to not look back, and getting Michigan out of the way really helps do that.”

With three seniors who have started on the defensive line in Dan Moore, Jeff Stehle and Schofield, no position group will be hit harder come graduation.

The threesome played perhaps their best game all year, however, getting three tackles for a loss, 12 total tackles and holding the Big Ten’s leading rushing offense to 71 yards and a 2.2 yard per carry average.

Stehle, in particular, played his best game of the season, picking up a sack and constantly slashing through the Wolverines’ offensive line.

“Especially [Stehle] being a senior, he has worked so hard all year, fighting off them double teams,” Schofield said. “He finally gets some plays his way. He dominated, and that is very special.”

When asked how he wanted the senior class to be remembered, Maragos stuck to the “Wisconsin way” for his answer.

“Each and every guy brought something to the table,” Maragos said. “Each and every one of them had a role, no matter how big or how small. … You look at all these guys who have mastered their role, and it really just makes this team complete.”

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