In bloom, Dayne snips second Rose

Heisman winner gains 200 as Wisconsin bowls over Stanford, 17-9

Badgers 1st Big Ten repeaters

Lowly Cardinal defense rises

score 22-year low

January 02, 2000|By ORANGE COUNTY (CALIF.) REGISTER

PASADENA, Calif. -- He threw his arms into the cool night air, spinning as he walked off the Rose Bowl field and trying to wave at all the red-clothed Wisconsin fans who adoringly shouted "Dayne! Dayne!"

Ron Dayne's smile was wider than the Wilson that he took to the belly and tucked beneath his arm all afternoon, towing his Wisconsin Badgers over the Stanford Cardinal, 17-9, before 93,731 yesterday in the 86th Rose Bowl.

The fourth-ranked Badgers (10-2) became the first Big Ten team to win back-to-back Rose Bowls, while the Pacific-10 champion Cardinal players (8-4), the 13 1/2-point underdogs, strolled off the field knowing they didn't go away quietly.

Emotions flushed the Cardinal, which surprisingly started Biletnikoff Award-winning flanker Troy Walters and defensive tackle/end Willie Howard -- both grimacing through the pain of their injuries but refusing to sit out their school's first Rose Bowl in 28 years.

The game was close, but in the end, it was Dayne, the senior Heisman Trophy winner, who put his head down for 200 yards on 34 carries.

His single touchdown, a 4-yard burst to tiptoe through the front-left corner of the end zone, was the eventual game-winner, providing the Badgers with a 10-9 lead with 12: 57 left in the third quarter.

"[Playing the final college game] is like leaving home," said Dayne, player of the game for the second year in a row, joining Washington quarterback Bob Schloredt (1960-61) and USC tailback Charles White (1979-80) as a repeat Rose Bowl Most Vakuable Player. "Everyone at Wisconsin was so great -- the fans, my teammates, my coaches. I guess it hasn't really hit me yet."

Moving as slowly as a hung-over New Year's Eve celebrant on the first morning of the year, the game stumbled through a scoreless first quarter and got its first score on a 28-yard field goal by Stanford's Mike Biselli early in the second quarter.

Wisconsin countered on the next series, going 71 yards on 10 plays to tie the score at 3. Dayne began the drive with a 20-yard bolt through the middle, and Vitaly Pisetsky drilled a 31-yard field goal.

With 2: 03 left in the half, Stanford reclaimed the lead when tailback Kerry Carter shot through the line, bounced off the hands of the defenders, then pushed forward again, this time tumbling forward into the end zone for the single Cardinal touchdown.

But Stanford long snapper Jon Sande had injured an ankle earlier. His replacement, Anthony Gabriel, zipped a low snap past holder Todd Husak on the extra point, foiling the attempt and giving the Cardinal only a 9-3 edge at halftime.

Dayne was held to 46 yards in the first half by a Stanford defense that ranked fifth worst in the nation.

"We had a nice talk, a nice little calm talk at halftime, and everybody got more motivated," Dayne said jokingly. "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."

The Badgers, held to their lowest first-half scoring this season, fed Dayne on the first two plays of the second half. On the second run, he stutter-stepped past defenders and broke through the middle for a 64-yard run before cornerback Frank Primus yanked him down from behind.

His run, which moved him past 7,000 career rushing yards, set up the Badgers' first touchdown two plays later, with Dayne's 4-yard dash into the end zone for a 10-9 lead.

"The defense put us in a position to win the game, and the offense didn't come through," said Husak, Stanford quarterback who finished 17 of 34 for 258 yards. "We could have won this game, if we had a running game, if I had made a few more throws, if I had executed."

Stanford scored on two of its three trips into the red zone. Midway through the third quarter, Husak hit a leaping Dave Davis for a 24-yard gain and DeRonnie Pitts for a 38-yard gain to set up first-and-goal from the Wisconsin 6.

With its running game stalled and receivers covered, the Cardinal sent Biselli to attempt a 23-yarder. Another bad snap led to Mike Echols' block and a Stanford trip for nothing.

In the fourth quarter, Wisconsin took advantage of a 31-yard Cardinal punt that opened its drive on the Stanford 40.

Tight end John Sigmund bobbled then held a Brooks Bollinger pass for a 7-yard gain on fourth-and-two from the Stanford 32. Bollinger later sneaked in behind the center for a 1-yard touchdown and 17-9 lead with 7: 22 remaining.

Stanford managed its only fourth-quarter first down in its final series, which stalled on the Wisconsin 46 with a minute left. It was fourth-and 12 with Wisconsin expecting the pass and Stanford attempting the pass.

But Husak took the snap, faked to a running back and slipped as he tried to step into the pocket for a play he said "I made a hundred times before." He smashed the ball into the ground.

Wisconsin held No. 22 Stanford to minus-5 yards on 27 rushes, a Rose Bowl record.

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

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