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Madison West

Wisconsin makes history with second straight Rose win

Click here for more on this story

Posted: Sunday January 02, 2000 12:57 AM

  Ron Dayne became the first running back from a major college to rush for 7,000 yards in a career. AP

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Ron Dayne got going after a "nice ... little halftime talk" and Wisconsin got its second straight Rose Bowl victory not long afterward.

The Heisman Trophy winner scored a touchdown and had 154 yards in the second half as the No. 4 Badgers became the first Big Ten team to win back-to-back Rose Bowls, overcame Stanford 17-9 Saturday in the lowest-scoring Rose Bowl since 1977.

Dayne was held to 46 yards in the first half by a Stanford defense that ranked fifth worst in the nation. But he broke loose for a 64-yard gain on the second play after halftime and scored on a 4-yard run two plays later.

"We had a nice talk, a nice little calm talk at halftime, and everybody got more motivated," Dayne said. "I think that really gave us momentum and we just carried on. It would have been nice if we could have scored some more, so we wouldn't have had to bite our nails at the end."

Dayne, who passed 7,000 career rushing yards in the game, joined Washington quarterback Bob Schloredt and USC tailback Charles White as winner of consecutive Rose Bowl MVP awards. Schloredt won in 1960-61, White in 1979-80.

Wisconsin (10-2) held No. 22 Stanford to minus-5 yards on 27 rushes, a Rose Bowl record. The Cardinal (8-4), playing in their first Rose Bowl in 28 years, were held to 259 yards of total offense after averaging 467 per game this season.

It was the lowest scoring Rose Bowl since 1977, when Southern California defeated Michigan 14-6.

"I don't think anyone thought it would be a defensive struggle, but it was," said Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez, who hobbled up and down the sideline with a cane in his first game on the field since knee surgery.

"We had a long layoff after that last game, and it took us a little while to get in a rhythm," he said, noting the Badgers had not played since Nov. 13. "Big 33 (Dayne) got lathered up a little bit and that seemed to help a little."

Dayne, who had 34 carries for 200 yards Saturday, reached 200 yards in three of the four bowls game in which he played. He finished his college career with 200 yards or more in four of his final five games.

Brooks Bollinger had a 1-yard TD on a quarterback sneak for Wisconsin and Vitaly Pisetsky added a 31-yard field goal. Kerry Carter had a 1-yard scoring run for Stanford, and Mike Biselli had a 28-yard field goal.

Though the game was listed as a sellout, the attendance of 93,731 was the smallest Rose Bowl crowd since 1955 -- perhaps adding fuel to complaints the Bowl Championship Series has diluted interest in other bowls. The BCS showdown for No. 1 is in the Sugar Bowl this year.

Troy Walters, expected to miss the game after dislocating his right wrist in practice Tuesday, caught three passes for 52 yards for Stanford. Walters, winner of the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver this season, played with a wrap on the wrist.

"I went from a low to a high. Tuesday and Wednesday were the low points in my life," Walter said. "The doctors told me I couldn't injure it any further. I felt like I could do enough to help the team. But I couldn't carry the ball in my right arm."

Defensive tackle Willie Howard, who was expected to miss the game with a torn knee ligament, also played for the Cardinal.

But Stanford long snapper Jon Sande missed part of the game with an ankle injury, and it was costly. Backup Anthony Gabriel had two bad snaps, leading to a missed extra point and a blocked field goal.

Each team punted three times in the first quarter. But while Wisconsin failed to pick up a first down in the period, Stanford ended the quarter with four straight completions to set up Biselli's field goal early in the second period.

Wisconsin finally got its offense going with a 71-yard drive that led to Pisetsky's field goal with 9:19 left before halftime.

After an exchange of punts, Walters' 19-yard reception and a couple of Wisconsin penalties helped the Cardinal march 45 yards on a drive capped by Carter's scoring run. Gabriel's high snap foiled the extra point, though, leaving the score at 9-3.

On the second play after halftime, Dayne broke two tackles on his 64-yard run up the middle to the Stanford 11. Two plays later, he bounced outside to become the career Rose Bowl scoring leader with his fifth touchdown.

Dayne, who scored four times in Wisconsin's 38-31 Rose Bowl victory over UCLA last year, also surpassed 7,000 career yards rushing on the play. He had an NCAA-record 6,397 yards in the regular season, and finished his career with 728 yards in bowl games.

Bollinger, who has not lost since becoming Wisconsin's starting quarterback eight games ago, struggled most of the afternoon - going 7-for-14 for 105 yards. But he completed two key passes to backup tight end John Sigmund on a fourth-quarter touchdown drive.

Sigmund made a juggling 7-yard catch on fourth-and-2 at the Stanford 32 with 8:48 left, then caught a 22-yarder to get to the Cardinal 3. Dayne was stopped on two runs, but Bollinger scored on a sneak to make it 17-9.

The Badgers had a chance to widen the lead when Dayne ran for 33 yards on a 46-yard drive to the Stanford 17, but Pisetsky missed a 33-yard field goal to give Stanford one more chance.

Husak, who was 17-of-34 for 258 yards, completed four straight passes as the Cardinal reached the Wisconsin 41, but was sacked on fourth-and-12 to end the comeback attempt.

 
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Wisconsin's Ron Dayne believes their halftime adjustments were key. (171 K)
Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham says his team did what they could to slow down the unstoppable Dayne. (112 K)
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