MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Anthony Davis ran for a career-high 301
yards and five touchdowns on 45 carries as Wisconsin won back Paul
Bunyan's Axe with a 49-31 victory over Minnesota on Saturday.
Davis's five TDs tied the school record set by Billy Marek
against Minnesota in 1974.
The Badgers (7-6, 2-6 Big Ten) not only got the trophy that goes
to the winner of the longest-running rivalry in major college
football, they became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2000.
Wisconsin also avoided a last-place finish in the conference and
a second straight losing season, giving them hopes of turning
around a two-year slide that began after they completed the 1999
season with a Rose Bowl victory.
Despite losing six of their last eight games, Wisconsin has the
inside track to the Alamo Bowl, the No. 4 bowl in the Big Ten's
The Gophers (7-5, 3-5), who led 31-28 early in the fourth
quarter, also will get a bowl bid, even though they haven't won
Wisconsin's diminutive defensive back Jim Leonhard, a 5-foot-8
walk-on, picked off two more passes, giving him a nation-leading
10. That also broke the school record of nine interceptions set by
Neovia Greyer in 1970.
After Davis's 2-yard score put Wisconsin ahead 42-21, Leonhard
intercepted Asad Abdul-Khaliq's 24-yard pass in the end zone with
2:27 left, wresting the ball from receiver Tony Patterson.
Davis, who also had scoring runs of 4, 1 and 25 yards, then
burst through the hole for a 71-yard touchdown with 1:26 remaining.
That made him just the third back in the program's 114-year
history to top 300 yards. Ron Dayne (339 against Hawaii in 1996)
and Marek (304 against Minnesota in 1974) are the others.
Quarterback Brooks Bollinger added 112 yards on 18 carries for
the Badgers, whose 416 yards rushing was the ninth-highest total in
Abdul-Khaliq's 2-yard TD toss to Thomas Tapeh gave Minnesota a
31-28 lead with 12:30 left. But Bollinger scored on a 1-yard sneak
two minutes later to give Wisconsin the lead for good.
The Badgers led 21-14 at halftime, but Terry Jackson (22 carries
for 87 yards) scored his second touchdown, from 7 yards out, to tie
Then, Jermaine Mays, whose blocked punt led to a field goal in
the first half, pushed David Braun into punter R.J. Morse, who was
tackled by Renato Fitzpatrick at the Badgers 25.
That led to Nystrom's 29-yard field goal that gave the Gophers
at 24-21 lead.
Davis, who sat out a game after being stabbed in his left thigh
in a domestic dispute three weeks ago, put Wisconsin back on top
28-24 with a 25-yard run late in the third quarter.
Bollinger was 6-for-12 passing for 134 yards with no
interceptions and one touchdown. Abdul-Khaliq completed 15 of 33
passes for 282 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
The Badgers lost linebacker Alex Lewis to a hip injury on their
first defensive series.