Friday, November 5, 2004

It's all in a day's work

Unknown QB quietly leads Badgers to 8-0 record

Utah might be the most unexpected undefeated team, but it's just as surprising to see Wisconsin at 8-0 and ranked No. 5, poised to make a run at the national title game. Even more improbable is that an unknown sophomore, John Stocco, has emerged as a resilient quarterback for the Badgers. Stocco hasn't put up extraordinary stats, and he's not as well-known as the anchor of the Badgers' defense, lineman Erasmus James. But Stocco proved he could lead a productive offense when he threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns against Ohio State Oct. 9 and has played well enough to keep Wisconsin winning since then. He took timeout on Election Night to run the 2-minute drill with the Enquirer's Dustin Dow.

Q: Wisconsin was one of the battleground states. Are you guys more popular in the state than the election?

A: I don't think so. That's been huge here. There were signs everywhere. Honk if you like Kerry. Honk if you like Bush.

Q: But you guys are still popular, right? I mean, you're undefeated.

A: Yeah, I think so.

Q: Do you ever have to remind yourself that you're undefeated?

A: Not really. Our goal the whole season is to be (undefeated after each game). It doesn't matter what happened in the past. The future doesn't matter either.

Q: But you must have national title hopes?

A: I don't think about that at all. A lot of the guys don't think about that. There's too much football left.

Q: How important was that Ohio State game for you?

A: That was big for me. Up until that point, I wasn't playing very well. To go at Ohio State and do things well was important for me. It was a big step. I feel a lot more comfortable now. I've been in quite a few different situations, but until that Ohio State game, I hadn't had that type of big-game experience.

Q: How much does it matter to you that your numbers aren't outstanding, but yet your team is undefeated?

A: It doesn't matter to me at all. I just win football games. I'm going to do whatever it takes. I've done well performing when they need me to. But I do have to get more consistent.

Q: What's more important to your team, your arm or Erasmus James' pass rush?

A: I don't know. 'Ras is unbelievable. He's so much fun to watch. I don't want to choose, but he's unbelievable. Sometimes in practice we go against the (first-team defense). He always gets to me.

Q: Full contact?

A: No. They don't hit the quarterbacks in practice. Thankfully.

Big Ten standings

Big Ten

Michigan State32.60044.500
Ohio State23.40053.625
Penn State05.00026.250
A perfect start

Wisconsin's first eight games of the season:

Sept. 11UNLVW18-3
Sept. 18at Arizona W9-7
Sept. 25PENN STATEW16-3
Oct. 9at Ohio StateW24-13
Oct. 16at PurdueW20-17

Cowboys again a team on the run
Young Palmer isn't alone

Broncos' Lynch tastes a little of what Denver does to foes

Elder says pressure on Colerain
QBs Carey, Goodman will control matchup
Bottom line: These two teams are nearly identical
Weekend Preview: Ohio Top Games At A Glance
Cougars eyeing field hockey title
Locals should make run at titles
Mercy advances to 1st regional championship game since 2000
Lions take out SUA
Prep results, schedules

Playoffs haven't been kind to 10-0 Cougars
Game-tested Bluebirds primed for another run at a state title
Weekend Preview: Kentucky Top Games At A Glance
State champ may not run
Seniors had a big hand in turnaround

The point is still left to be made

It's all in a day's work
Mother of OSU guard is killed in accident
Enough points to go around
UK freshman Woodyard a bright spot
Extra Points

Night 'Hawks? Not at Miami
Sports briefs
Crew chief Eury there when Earnhardt needs him

Bobcats score first but fall in home debut vs. Wizards

Singh two strokes off lead

Sports today on TV, radio