Game 51: #11 Wisconsin @ Northwestern

Sellout crowds in Evanston are not common unless the road team travels well and Wisconsin fans would trek to Russia if the end result involved Badger football. Since Ryan Field is merely an hour from the Wisconsin border, the stadium had a distinct red tinge. The presence of the Badger band transformed the venue into Chicagoland’s personal Camp Randall Stadium.

The atmosphere was enhanced by the Ichabads and ghouls celebrating the eve of Halloween. Willie the Wildcat, the Northwestern mascot, came dressed as a ghost. The white sheet certainly would cover his embarrassment as Wisconsin controlled the first half with quarterback Brooks Bollinger and tailback Ron Dayne each scoring key touchdowns. In addition, the defense continuously halted any Wildcat scoring threat. In fact, in the third quarter, NU’s quarterback Zak Kustok drove his team deep into Badger territory when an interception by Wisconsin’s Jamar Fletcher was weaved throughout the field and returned for a 93 yard score.

Although NU found some life in the fourth quarter, Wisconsin’s performance earned them a 35-19 victory. Additionally, Heisman candidate Ron Dayne rushed for 162 yards putting him 321 away from the all time rushing record. The post game party continued as the Wisconsin band, led by legendary band director Mike Leckrone, entertained the red splotches remaining in the stadium. Could anyone stop the Badgers now? Purdue is next with revenge from last year on their minds…

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