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Trippin' With the Badgers (Jan. 1)

Trippin' With the Badgers (Jan. 1)

Justin Doherty (Assistant AD for Communications)

6:50 p.m. EST

Following are the postgame notes we distributed to the media in the press box after the game today (some may be repeats from notes I posted during the game). Tough loss. As I said, last night, though, we've enjoyed communicating with you all. Have a safe and Happy New Year. Feel free to e-mail at any time.

Wisconsin Outback Bowl Game Notes (Jan. 1, 2008)

Wisconsin finished the 2007 season with a 9-4 record. It marked the seventh time in the past 10 seasons that the Badgers won at least nine games in a season.

Today marked Wisconsin’s 19th appearance in a bowl game. The Badgers are now 10-9 in bowl games, including 9-4 in the last 13. This was Wisconsin’s 13th bowl game in the past 15 seasons, including its school-record sixth consecutive appearance this year.

Freshman David Gilreath's 60-yard kickoff return following Tennessee's first touchdown was the longest kick return ever for a Badger in a bowl game (and Gilreath’s longest this season). The previous record was Michael Bennett's 54-yarder against UCLA in the 2000 Sun Bowl. Gilreath had already set UW records for kickoff return yards in a game and season.

Senior Tyler Donovan’s six-yard touchdown run in the first quarter makes him the first Badger quarterback to score in a bowl game since Brooks Bollinger’s one-yard run late in the fourth quarter of the 2002 Alamo Bowl. Donovan also finished the season with 2,607 passing yards, second-most in school history.

Senior Nick Hayden’s first-quarter fumble recovery was his third this season and sixth of his career. His six career fumble recoveries are tied for second (with Dave Ahrens and Rick Graf) all-time at Wisconsin. The school record of seven is held jointly by Scott Nelson and Dan Batsch.

Senior Andy Crooks’ second-quarter touchdown reception was his first TD catch of the season and first since Oct. 28, 2006 (vs. Illinois). He also becomes the first player in school history to score a touchdown on both offense (today) and defense (he returned an interception for a score while playing linebacker against Georgia in the 2005 Outback Bowl) in bowl games.

Wisconsin’s second touchdown of the game came with 1:03 left in the second quarter. That was the 15th time in the last 21 games (and 17 of 26 in the Bielema era) that the Badgers registered points in the last two minutes of the first half.

Senior Taylor Mehlhaff’s 27-yard field goal in the third quarter was his 21st field goal of the season, leaving him in sole possession of second place on UW’s single-season field goals list. It also was his 50th career field goal, tying him for second (with Rich Thompson) on the school’s career list.

Junior P.J. Hill carried 16 times for 132 yards today. He is the first Badger since Brian Calhoun (2005 Capital One Bowl) to rush for 100 yards in a bowl game. Hill finished the season with 1,212 yards, the 15th-highest total in school history.

Junior Travis Beckum caught two passes for 22 yards today. He finished the season with a school record-tying 75 receptions. He also finished the season with 982 receiving yards, the fourth-highest total in school history.

Sophomore Garrett Graham made seven receptions for 75 yards today, establishing personal career highs in both categories. His previous best statistical effort was a five-catch, 68-yard performance at Illinois this season.

Senior Ken DeBauche set a school record for punting average (44.7) in a bowl game today. DeBauche punted six times against the Volunteers. He held the previous record for best average in a bowl game with his 44.3 norm against Georgia in the 2005 Outback Bowl. DeBauche finished his Wisconsin career with 231 punts for 9,815 yards, an average of 42.5 yards per attempt (the average is No. 2 on the UW career list, while the attempts and yards are No. 3 on the UW career lists).

1:47 p.m. EST: MEHLHAFF MOVES UP

Senior Taylor Mehlhaff’s 27-yard field goal in the third quarter was his 21st field goal of the season, leaving him in sole possession of second place on UW’s single-season field goals list. It also was his 50th career field goal, tying him for second (with Rich Thompson) on the school’s career list.

12:41 p.m. EST: CROOKS MAKES HISTORY

Senior Andy Crooks’ second-quarter touchdown reception was his first TD catch of the season and first since Oct. 28, 2006 (vs. Illinois). He also becomes the first player in school history to score a touchdown on both offense (today) and defense (he returned an interception for a score while playing linebacker against Georgia in the 2005 Outback Bowl) in bowl games.

Wisconsin’s second touchdown of the game came with 1:03 left in the second quarter. That was the 15th time in the last 21 games (and 17 of 26 in the Bielema era) that the Badgers registered points in the last two minutes of the first half.

For those who are curious, Wisconsin’s largest comeback win in a bowl game came when the Badgers defeated UCLA, 21-20, in the 2000 Sun Bowl. UW trailed the Bruins 20-7 in that game.

12:05 p.m. EST: TD's TD

Senior Tyler Donovan’s six-yard touchdown run in the first quarter makes him the first Badger quarterback to score in a bowl game since Brooks Bollinger’s one-yard run late in the fourth quarter of the 2002 Alamo Bowl.

11:45 a.m. EST: HAYDEN ADDS ANOTHER RECOVERY

Senior Nick Hayden’s first-quarter fumble recovery was his third this season and sixth of his career. His six career fumble recoveries are tied for second (with Dave Ahrens and Rick Graf) all-time at Wisconsin. The school record of seven is held jointly by Scott Nelson and Dan Batsch.

11:25 a.m. EST: GILREATH SETS ANOTHER RECORD

Freshman David Gilreath's 60-yard kickoff return following Tennessee's first touchdown was the longest kick return ever for a Badger in a bowl game. The previous record was Michael Bennett's 54-yarder against UCLA in the 2000 Sun Bowl.

Gilreath already has set UW records for kickoff return yards in a game and season.

10:45 a.m. EST: PRE-GAME NOTES


(Feel free to e-mail me at jmd@athletics.wisc.edu)

Good morning and Happy New Year, everyone. Here are a few pre-game bowl notes to get you started. As things happen today, I'll continue to add stats, records and other notable items. Here we go ...

Wisconsin is making its 19th appearance in a bowl game. The Badgers are 10-8
in their previous 18 bowl games, including a 9-3 mark in the last 12.

The Badgers are participating in their 13th bowl game in the past 15 seasons,
including their school-record sixth consecutive appearance this year. Among Big
Ten schools, only Michigan (15 appearances in the past 15 seasons) and Ohio
State (14 of 15) can match Wisconsin’s number of bowl games since 1993.

Wisconsin is 9-3 (.750) in its last 12 bowl appearances. That mark is better than
both Ohio State (7-6, .538) and Michigan (7-7, .500) during the same stretch
(1993-2006).

An interesting trend in the Badgers’ last 12 bowl appearances ... when
Wisconsin has won its fi nal regular season game, the Badgers have then won
their bowl game. When they’ve lost the regular-season fi nale, they’ve also lost
the bowl game. UW topped Minnesota in its fi nal regular-season game of 2007.

Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin’s head coach from 1990-2006 and now its Director
of Athletics, owns the highest winning percentage in NCAA history among
coaches with at least 11 bowl appearances (that is the minimum established
in the NCAA Record Book). Alvarez guided the Badgers to an 8-3 (.727) mark
in bowl games, including three Rose Bowl victories and a 24-10 triumph over
No. 7-ranked Auburn in the 2006 Capital One Bowl (his fi nal game as a coach).
Prior to Alvarez’s arrival at Wisconsin in 1990, the school had participated in just
six bowl games and compiled a 1-5 record.

This will be Wisconsin’s 12th January bowl game. Nine of the previous 11 have
taken place on New Year’s Day. The Badgers played Jan. 2 games in 1995 when
they defeated Duke in the Hall of Fame Bowl (now the Outback Bowl) and
Auburn in the 2006 Capital One Bowl.

Wisconsin’s record against other conferences in bowl games:
Big 12 ...... 2-0
ACC ........ 1-0
WAC ....... 1-0
Pac-10 ..... 4-3
SEC ......... 2-5
Wisconsin is facing an opponent from the SEC for the fi fth consecutive year.

The Badgers will be trying to join Michigan as the only Big Ten schools ever
to have defeated Southeastern Conference opponents in bowl games in three
consecutive seasons.


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Tagged with Bowl Central, Football Blog

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