Friday, December 13, 2002
Northwestern 47, No. 6 Wisconsin 44 (2 OT)
MADISON, Wis. -- The other shoe finally fell on the
Damien Anderson's 12-yard touchdown run in the second overtime
gave Northwestern a 47-44 victory over No. 6 Wisconsin on Saturday.
The suspension-riddled Badgers saw their 11-game winning streak
halted and their hopes of their first national championship
squelched when Anderson scooted around left end and darted into the
Vitaly Pisetsky had given Wisconsin (3-1, 0-1 Big Ten) a 44-41
lead with a 39-yard field goal on the first possession of the
Anderson finished with 175 yards on 21 carries for Northwestern
(3-1, 1-0), which had never scored this many points against
Wisconsin. He also scored on a 69-yard run midway through the
His winning run was set up by Zak Kustok's 9-yard scramble on
The Badgers' season was spoiled by an unranked opponent for the
second straight year. Last season, it was at stumble at Cincinnati
that ruined it.
The Badgers completed their NCAA-mandated suspensions by sitting
out six players against the Wildcats, including No. 1 receiver
Chris Chambers and All-American cornerback Jamar Fletcher. In all,
26 players served staggered suspensions for receiving unadvertised
discounts at a shoe store.
It looked as though Wisconsin would just make it through the
punishment unbeaten when Pisetsky's 47-yard field goal gave the
Badgers a 34-31 lead with 51 seconds left in regulation.
But, for the second straight week the Badgers allowed an
opponent to move downfield for a field goal as time expired. Last
week it was Cincinnati. This time, Tim Long was good from 46 yards.
Both teams scored TDs in the first overtime, Northwestern on a
15-yard pass from Kustok to Teddy Johnson, and Wisconsin on a
5-yard pass from Brooks Bollinger to Nick Davis.
Wisconsin tailback Michael Bennett returned from his one-game
suspension and gained a career-high 293 yards on 48 carries. But he
went out on second-and-1 with the scored tied at 31 and the Badgers
on the Northwestern 29 with a minute left.
With Bennett on the sideline, the Wildcats stuffed his backup,
Eddie Faulkner, and Bollinger on consecutive rushes and the Badgers
settled for Pisetsky's 47-yard field goal with 51 seconds left -
just enough time for the Wildcats to hit back.
There were five scores in the final eight minutes of the fourth
Anderson's 69-yard TD run gave the Wildcats a 24-23 lead with
7:57 left. Bennett answered with a 55-yard TD run, and Bollinger's
2-point pass to Davis gave Wisconsin a 31-24 lead.
On fourth-and-8 from the Wisconsin 29, however, Kustok found
Derrick Thompson uncovered in the end zone for a TD that tied it
with 3:55 remaining.
Davis, the Badgers' best big-play threat, returned from his
three-week suspension and showed plenty of rust, fumbling two punts
in the first quarter and dropping a touchdown pass in the fourth
The Badgers took a 16-7 halftime lead and were threatening again
on the opening drive of the second half when Bollinger was sacked
at midfield and coughed up the ball right into the hands of
linebacker Kevin Bentley, who rumbled 50 yards for the score.
Suddenly, the Badgers were looking at their fourth straight
close game. Only, unlike Western Michigan, Oregon and Cincinnati,
the Wildcats didn't leave Madison with just a moral victory.
|Northwestern's Damien Anderson celebrates his game-winner TD in the Cats upset win over Wisconsin.|