December 20, 2014

Shining Moments in Badger History: Knocking off number one

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September 12, 1981. The powerful Michigan Wolverines came into the 1981 season ranked #1 in the country. And they had no reason to believe they’d lose that top ranking after their opener at Camp Randall. Michigan had outscored Wisconsin by a combined score of 176-0 in the previous four seasons. But the Badgers were ready to defend the home turf when the Wolverines rolled into town.

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One of those Badgers was safety David Greenwood, from Park Falls. One of the top players to ever come out of Wisconsin, he had passed up a chance to play at Michigan, choosing to wear the hometown uniform instead. The game against the Wolverines is one he still remembers.

“It was pretty special. We kept our poise and kept plugging along, and before you know it, we had the game in the bag,” Greenwood says.

Greenwood’s fellow safety, Matt Vanden Boom had three interceptions against Michigan quarterback Steve Smith, and the Badgers held star wide receiver Anthony Carter to just one catch.

Wisconsin finished the day with a 21-14 victory over the nation’s top team. The Badgers went on to a 7-5 season that included a victory over #18 Ohio State and a trip to the Garden State Bowl.

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Shining Moments are sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.
AUDIO: Shining Moments radio feature for 10-21-13 Badgers beat no. 1 ranked Michigan