Camp Randall 100: Lou Holland

Photo collage of images of Wisconsin football player Lou Holland
Photo collage of images of Wisconsin football player Lou Holland

The Camp Randall 100 honors a prestigious group of 100 people who shaped the first century of Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin Athletics will reveal a new honoree every day from May 24 until the Badgers’ 2017 opening game on Sept. 1 against Utah State.


The stocky Union Grove protégé ran like a midnight express, lowering the boom like a miniature Ameche when cornered …

— Wisconsin State Journal sportswriter
Monte McCormick on Lou Holland


Portrait photo of Louis Holland for Wisconsin football
Lou Holland

Heading into the highly-anticipated 1962 matchup between No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 1 Northwestern, much of the pregame talk centered around the respective teams’ passing combinations. The Wildcats boasted All-America candidates in quarterback Tom Myers and receiver Paul Flatley while the Badgers countered with Ron Vander Kelen and Pat Richter. But it was running back Lou Holland who starred as a spark plug on offense for UW.

The stocky Union Grove protégé ran like a midnight express, lowering the boom like a miniature Ameche when cornered, wrote Monte McCormick of the Wisconsin State Journal in the next day’s paper.

The Badgers drew first blood, scoring on their opening possession. The 14-play, 86-yard drive set the tone for the rest of the game. Holland was explosive from the start, taking a handoff around right tackle and exploding for nine yards on the first play. Later in the drive, he had rushes of 11 and 12 yards to help set up an 11-yard TD pass from Vander Kelen to Gary Kroner.

A second-quarter field goal gave Wisconsin a 10-0 lead heading into halftime. But what happened next would blow the game open and Holland was right in the middle of it.

UW began the second half with the ball and Kroner’s 45-yard kickoff return set the Badgers up in Northwestern territory. As he had to open the game, Holland again stunned the Wildcats on the first play, hauling in a 19-yard pass from Vander Kelen. Two plays later, Vander Kelen and Kroner hooked up again, this time for a 23-yard score.

The Badgers picked off Myers on Northwestern’s ensuing possession. Five plays later, Holland scored from nine yards out and the rout was on.

 

Photo of Lou Holland (#27) carries the ball during a Wisconsin football game at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin teammate Pat Richter (#88) follows close by the defense.
Lou Holland (#27) carries the ball during a Wisconsin football game at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin teammate Pat Richter (#88) follows close by the defense.

 

Following another Wildcats turnover on their next drive, Holland scored again, this time from four yards out. Just like that it was 31-0 Wisconsin, midway through the third quarter.

The three touchdown explosion in the early minutes of the third quarter was a sight to behold, wrote Oliver E. Kuechle of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Everything went wrong for the embattled Wildcats, everything right for the eager Badgers.

Holland added an 11-yard touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter, giving him three scores on just 12 touches (10 carries and two catches) in what ended as a 37-6 win for the Badgers.

He continued to shine the next week, scoring a then school-record four touchdowns in a 35-6 romp over Illinois. But that explosive ability should not have come as a shock to anyone who was familiar with Holland.

That 1962 team went on to win the Big Ten championship and play in one of the greatest Rose Bowls in history, losing to USC, 42-37. And while Vander Kelen and Richter were the headliners on offense, it was Holland who led the team (and the Big Ten) with 12 touchdowns.

An all-around threat, he was the team’s third-leading rusher, carrying the ball 49 times for 273 yards (5.6 ypc.) and scoring nine TDs on the ground. He was also the second-leading receiver on the team (behind Richter) with 21 receptions for 219 yards and three scores. And he was the team’s primary returner, returning 13 punts for 169 yards and seven kickoffs for 203 yards. That adds up to 864 yards of total offense on just 90 touches, an average of 9.6 yards.

The following season, Holland again paced the Big Ten in scoring, accounting for seven touchdowns and 823 yards of total offense. He kicked off that senior season by scoring the Badgers’ first touchdown on a 78-yard run in the opener against Western Michigan. Holland was named first-team All-Big Ten that year. In 2011, he was inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame.

Thin Photo collage of images of Wisconsin football player Lou Holland

Game Video: Wisconsin vs. Northwestern 1962 (No Audio)