SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Mike Allen was just a walk-on kicker when the Alamo Bowl presented by MasterCard started. His Wisconsin teammates were ready to carry him off on their shoulders when it was all over.
Brooks Bollinger and the Badgers wriggled off the hook vs. Colorado.
Allen's 37-yard field goal in overtime sent the Badgers to a
31-28 win over No. 14 Colorado on Saturday night.
The sophomore had to shake some jitters before his winning kick.
"I haven't been automatic from 37,'' said Allen, who was 11-of-18 this season with a long of 48 yards. "Luckily today I was.''
Brooks Bollinger threw two touchdown passes and ran for the
tying score with 51 seconds left in regulation for Wisconsin. The
Badgers (8-6) improved to 7-1 in bowl games under coach Barry
Colorado (9-5) got the ball first in overtime but Patrick Brougham missed a 45-yard field goal attempt.
Wisconsin then gained 5 yards on three straight runs to set up
the winning kick by Allen, who was mobbed by his teammates on the
"How 'bout them Badgers!'' Alvarez yelled to the Wisconsin fans
as the Badgers celebrated their win amid hundreds of multicolored
balloons and confetti dropped from the Alamodome ceiling.
Bollinger passed for 163 yards and ran for 82 more in the
senior's ninth career fourth-quarter comeback. He completed a key
4th-down pass to keep the game-tying drive alive and was named
outstanding offensive player of the 10th annual Alamo Bowl.
"No question about it, this program needed this so bad,'' Bollinger said. "Especially for the young kids, to point this program in the right direction.''
Wisconsin started the season 5-0 before fading badly down the
"They never quit'' Alvarez said. "They just kept battling.''
Chris Brown rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on an Alamo
Bowl-record 28 carries for Colorado.
Don Strickland set an Alamo Bowl record with a 91-yard
interception return and D.J. Hackett caught two touchdown passes.
Brown, who rushed for 1,744 yards during the season but missed
the last two games with a bruised sternum, also missed most of the
fourth quarter with a mild concussion.
Colorado badly missedBrown as it tried to nurse a 28-21 lead
after backup quarterback Zac Colvin threw an 11-yard TD pass to
Hackett in the third.
Colorado starting quarterback Robert Hodge threw a touchdown and three interceptions in the first half before he was lifted for Colvin late in the second quarter.
"Turnovers killed us,'' said Colorado coach Gary Barnett. "We had planned to play Zac in the game somewhere, but not planned on playing him after three interceptions.''
Wisconsin, which ranked second in the nation in turnover ratio,
nearly gave the game away with four against Colorado.
The Badgers led 21-14 before a pair of fumbles changed momentum in the third.
Jim Leonhard's botched punt return set upBrown's 4-yard TD run
that tied it at 21. Anthony Davis then fumbled on Wisconsin's next
play from scrimmage to set up Colvin's scoring toss to Hackett.
"We had a chance to win that game before'' overtime, Barnett
said. "Bottom line, we had chances.''
Wisconsin set up its first-half TDs with interceptions of its own.
Leonhard's Big Ten record-tying 11th interception of the season
set up Brandon Williams' 10-yard touchdown catch from Bollinger.
"This was the best game of my life,'' Leonhard said. "It just proves the character of this team.''
Bollinger's 7-yard pass to Darrin Charles gave Wisconsin a 21-14 lead.
Brown took a while to get cranked up. He had just 34 yards in the first half against a gang-tackling Wisconsin defense that bottled him up three and four at a time.