TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Delayed by lightning, drenched by rain and
down by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, Wisconsin generated just
enough offense to pull one out on the road.
Booker Stanley ran for a career-high 135 yards on 30 carries,
including a 7-yard TD, and the Badgers (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today; No. 20 AP) rallied for a
stormy 9-7 victory over Arizona on Saturday.
The game was delayed for 88 minutes in the second quarter
because of lightning associated with Tropical Storm Javier.
"At one point, we didn't know if we were going to be able to
finish the game," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said.
With more storm cells moving up from Mexico, Alvarez and Arizona
coach Mike Stoops decided to get back on the field.
"We just wanted to get out there and go at it," said Badgers'
defensive end Erasmus James, who had two sacks. "We've been
waiting for this all week long."
Mike Allen, who missed a conversion try, kicked a 23-yard field
goal with 3:47 to play for what proved to be the game winner.
"We're going to do whatever it takes to win," Wisconsin
quarterback John Stocco said. "It's not going to be pretty all the
time. But nobody quit and in the end we got the score to put the
Arizona drove to the Wisconsin 25 on its last possession, but a
false start penalty pushed the Wildcats back. Nick Folk, who
earlier missed a 43-yarder to the right, missed one from 47 to the
left with 43 seconds to play.
"He kicked it well. He just missed it," Stoops said. "It's
part of football. It happens all the time."
Kris Heavner's 44-yard scoring pass to Mike Jefferson put
Arizona up 7-0 with 32 seconds left in the first half, the only
touchdown Wisconsin (3-0) has allowed this season.
The Wildcats (1-2), who lost to a nationally ranked team for the
16th straight time, recovered two Wisconsin fumbles and stopped the
Badgers on fourth-and-1 at the Arizona 4.
However, Wisconsin converted on its three other fourth-down
tries, including one each on both of its scoring drives.
"A lack of execution in critical situations down the stretch
was the difference," Stoops said. "We need to keep knocking on
the door and knock it down one of these days."
The Badgers used up 7:26 to drive 72 yards to the Arizona 5 and
set up Allen's field goal. On fourth-and-5 from the Wildcats 35,
Stocco threw six yards to Owen Daniels, who made a leaping catch at
"You talk about competing," Alvarez said. "The ball was not
thrown very well, and he has to come down with that or the game may
Stanley followed with a 16-yard run to the 12.
Stanley is filling in for star tailback Anthony Davis, who
missed his second straight game with an eye injury.
"We just stuck with it and kept pushing," Stanley said. "I
started breaking more tackles late in the game. I just kept
running. I knew it was going to open up sooner or later. It
eventually opened up when it counted."
Coaches for both teams agreed to skip halftime because of the
long delay, which came with 6:13 left in the second quarter and the
During and after the unscheduled break, heavy rain drenched the
grass field at Arizona Stadium.
When play resumed, Wisconsin moved from its 8 to its 27, then
had to punt. Arizona got a first down at the Wisconsin 45, then on
third-and-9, defender Jim Leonhard slipped on the muddy turf when
Jefferson made his move.
"I slipped a little bit, but I just have to play it better --
period," Leonhard said. "The footing was great out there, for the
weather. I made a mistake. You saw what happened. It almost cost us
Heavner's throw was short, but Jefferson was so wide open he
came back to catch it, then made it to the end zone.
The Badgers went 56 yards in 10 plays for their touchdown. On
fourth-and-3 from the Arizona 27, Stocco faked a handoff up the
middle, then ran outside to his left for eight yards to the 19. A
9-yard pass to Matt Bernstein set up Stanley's 7-yard touchdown run
up the middle that made it 7-6 with 14:21 to play.
However, the snap on the conversion was high, and holder Ken
DeBauche barely got the ball down. Allen's kick was wide right.
Even before the storm hit, there was little offense from either
After a Wisconsin sack of Heavner forced Arizona to punt from
its 14 on its first possession, Leonhard's tackle-breaking 23-yard
return gave the Badgers the ball at the Arizona 34.
Stocco's keeper on fourth-and-1 at the Arizona 15 gave the
Badgers a first down on the 13. But on fourth-and-1 at the 4,
Bernstein was stopped for a 2-yard loss.