After losses to Cincinnati and Michigan three weeks earlier, Wisconsin looked to be settling back into mediocrity. However the flurry of questions surrounding the defending Rose Bowl champions were slowly getting answered with resounding victories at Ohio State and at Minnesota. During the Ohio State game, Wisconsin found the answer to their offensive woes in quarterback Brooks Bollinger. As a replacement for Kavanaugh, Bollinger was more elusive as a runner and efficient as a passer.
Wisconsin could finally scrape the mold off the passing chapter in their playbook and sprinkle some variety in the offense. More importantly, defenses wouldn’t be hunting Dayne down on every play – Wisconsin now had more to offer in their arsenal.
As a result of the latest road victories, the Badgers bounced back into the rankings, back into the Big Ten race, and the mentioning of Dayne returned to Heisman conversations across the nation. With 864 yards remaining to reach the all time rushing record, his hopes for the coveted Heisman were growing.
Today, a much-improved Indiana team invaded Madison with dreams of an upset. The Hoosiers were riding a two game winning wave that splashed into Camp Randall. Antwaan Randle-El was the architect of the Indiana offense. In fact, he was the offense. Randle-El certainly was an amazing player, but the superman cape does not fit every day. The Hoosiers were not ready for a defense that has not allowed a team over 21 points this season and an offense that has acquired an attractive personality. Bollinger scored a few and Dayne scored a few along with several backups.
In addition, Dayne whittled the Dayne-o-meter down to 697. The scoreboard operator keeping track of Indiana’s point total could have called in sick today – the Hoosiers were shutout 59-0. Wisconsin had found itself and the Camp Randall crowd was clearly reinvigorated. With Bollinger at the controls, the Dayne train is cruising at high speeds and pointing directly at next week’s challenge – Michigan State…