Ron Dayne's gimpy ankle can't be all that bad.
Despite a still-painful right ankle, Dayne ran for 130 yards, became the second quickest player in major college history to reach 4,000 yards rushing, and scored the go-ahead touchdown as No. 13 Wisconsin held off Indiana 24-20 Saturday.
"It's getting better, a lot better, from week to week," said Dayne, who sprained the ankle in practice and missed the season opener last month.
The 130 yards gave him 4,083 yards in his 28-game college career. Only Georgia's Herschel Walker reached 4,000 quicker, in 27 games. The others who reached 4,000 yards as juniors were Marshall Faulk, Troy Davis, Byron Hanspard and Tony Dorsett.
Indiana (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) led 6-3 at the half and 20-17 after Chris Gall's touchdown late in the third period, but the Badgers (5-0, 2-0) moved 66 yards on the next possession for the go-ahead score.
"We had a sense of urgency coming out of the locker room, being down," Dayne said. "Our plan was to come out and score any way. It didn't matter what they did."
Mike Samuel, who ran for one touchdown and passed for another in the third quarter, completed passes of 23 yards to Dague Retzlaff and 34 yards to Nick Davis, taking Wisconsin to the Indiana 6.
Dayne then ran 2 yards and scored on the next play to give the Badgers the lead with 10:53 remaining.
| Wisconsin's defense made life miserable for Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El. (AP) |
"I thougt he showed a lot of courage, hanging in there, not wanting to come out of the ball game and playing with that thing, which I know was very painful," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said.
Antwaan Randle El, the Hoosiers' flashy freshman quarterback, completed four straight passes on the next possession, but he was sacked twice by Tom Burke and Indiana lost the ball on downs when a pass intended for Derin Graham fell incomplete in the end zone with 2:24 to go.
Indiana got the ball back with 1:17 left, but Jason Doering intercepted a pass by Randle El, and the Badgers ran the clock out.
"You feel like you go out and outplay someone again and you come up short," Indiana coach Cam Cameron said. "It's awfully difficult."
"I think if you go through the game, we outplayed them in every category with the exception we had one turnover (that led to a touchdown), and they didn't have any."
Indiana, which outgained Wisconsin 291-253, went up 13-3 when Graham returned the second-half kickoff 100 yards. Wisconsin came back with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Samuel to Chris Chambers. The Badgers then got the ball back 16 seconds later on Jamar Fletcher's interception at the Indiana 31.
A personal foul on Indiana and three short runs by Dayne set up Samuel's 1-yard touchdown dive that put the Badgers on top for the first time.
"We had a tough time overcoming the turnover. They controlled the ball," Cameron said. "It's tough. You don't get a lot of opportunities against a team like Wisconsin because they control the ball."
Indiana's final score came on Gall's touchdown with 33 seconds left in the third period after a 32-yard pass to Tyrone Browning.
"We made mistakes, but we did a lot of good things, too," Alvarez said. "We weren't doing a whole lot offensively. We couldn't get a rhythm and couldn't knock them off the ball."
"We tried to take Randle El out of the option. He adds a lot of problems. ... The interception right after we scored, to let us go ahead, it was a huge play," Alvarez said.
Wisconsin's defense, ranked third in the nation, kept the Hoosiers out of the end zone in the first half, but Randle El twice brought them close enough for field goals by Andy Payne to make it 6-3 at the half.
A 13-yard run by Dayne on Wisconsin's third possession of the second period took the Badgers to the Indiana 27. Another 2-yard gain by Dayne and two incomplete passes set up a 42-yard field goal by Matt Davenport to tie the game at 3.
Wisconsin stopped the next Indiana drive, but the Hoosiers got the ball back at midfield with 57 seconds to go. Randle El picked up 17 yards. Then, after two incomplete passes, Randle El gained 5 more yards to the 28, where Payne kicked a 45-yard field goal as the half ended.
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