Anticipating our trip to Penn State on Friday got me thinking about previous trips to State College, which then had me recalling the most memorable road games I can remember us playing in since I came to work at Wisconsin in December of 1994.
Here are my top five Badger football road games during my tenure at UW. Generally, these are (in order) what I remember as the team’s best and/or most memorable games away from Camp Randall (bowl games excluded).
Wisconsin 42, Ohio State 17 (Oct. 2, 1999)
The Badgers spotted the 12th-ranked Buckeyes a 17-0 lead before reeling off 42 unanswered points. Freshman QB Brooks Bollinger got his first career start and RB Ron Dayne kick-started his run to the Heisman by rushing for 161 yards and four touchdowns.
Wisconsin 20, Purdue 17 (Oct. 16, 2004)
A huge matchup between the 10th-ranked Badgers and No. 5 Boilermakers. Night game. ESPN’s College Gameday on the scene. The atmosphere was electric. Badger DB Robert Brooks caused a Kyle Orton fumble, Scott Starks scooped it and ran 40 yards for a touchdown with 2:36 remaining to play to give Wisconsin the improbable win.
Wisconsin 17, Penn State 9 (Sept. 30, 1995)
The sixth-ranked Nittany Lions had a 20-game winning streak, while the unranked Badgers had started the season 1-1-1. QB Darrell Bevell completed 18 of 22 passes for 192 yards and two TDs, while the defense shut down a Penn State attack that had been averaging 50 points and 531 yards per game.
Wisconsin 38, Minnesota 34 (Oct. 15, 2005)
Trailing by 10 points on two separate occasions in the fourth quarter, the 23rd-ranked Badgers used a blocked punt by Jonathan Casillas and a recovery in the end zone by Ben Strickland with 30 seconds left to play to stun the Golden Gophers.
Wisconsin 18, Penn State 6 (Sept. 22, 2001)
This one makes my list because it was the first game we played after Sept. 11. Penn State did a remarkable job of paying tribute to the moment. I still recall the eerie feeling in our country at the time. Freshman Anthony Davis rushed for 200 yards to help UW to the win.