One down, one to go for Wisconsin's unstoppable Ron Dayne.
With 222 yards in a 28-21 victory over Purdue on Saturday, Dayne passed Tony Dorsett for second place in NCAA major-college career rushing, 98 yards behind Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams' year-old record of 6,279.
"I was just out there having fun, doing what I had to do to help the team win," Dayne said.
Now with 6,181 yards, he can break the record next week at home, where the No. 10 Badgers (8-2, 6-1 Big Ten) finish the regular season against Iowa.
But that's not his main concern, he said.
"We still have a game to win. The record comes at the end, once the game is over. As long as we get the 'W' I'm happy. The yards will come," he said.
Purdue ends the season in two weeks at Indiana.
Drew Brees passed for 350 yards and one touchdown and ran for a career-high 85 yards and two TDs for the Boilermakers. But he had two passes intercepted by Jamar Fletcher, including one returned 34 yards for a clinching touchdown with 4:43 to go.
"It really came down to two things, turnovers and what you do with them," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. "We didn't do a great job with our turnovers and they did."
"Dayne did everything he needed to do. The guy's a heck of a football player and I admire his competitiveness, because when the game gets tight, he takes it to another level," Tiller said.
The Badgers' first touchdown, a 3-yard pass from Brooks Bolinger to Dague Retzlaff, was set up by Fletcher's first interception late in the first quarter. Wisconsin also scored on a 91-yard kickoff return by Nick Davis, giving the Badgers a 14-7 lead at halftime.
Brees tied the game in the third quarter with an 11yard TD pass to Tim Stratton, then completed six more passes following a Wisconsin punt and took the Boilermakers to the Badgers 19. Receiver Vinny Sutherland took the ball on a reverse and tried to pass to Stratton but the throw was intercepted in the end zone by Bobby Myers on the second play of the final period.
The Badgers then moved 80 yards, including the 41-yard scoring run by Dayne, a Big Ten-record 69th touchdown of his career.
"I don't think there's any player that's ever meant more to a program," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said. "He's what our program is all about, blue collar, tough, hard-nosed, not doing it the easy way, just doing what you have to do to win."
After Fletcher's second interception and 34-yard return put the Badgers up 28-14, the Boilermakers drove to the Wisconsin 3, where they appeared to be stopped on downs. A personal foul gave them first down at the 1, however, and Brees ran in on the next play for his second touchdown.
Wisconsin then covered an onside kick and ran out the final two minutes.
"He's great," Brees said of Dayne. "He's kind of been their team for the last four years. He's going to break the NCAA record next week and had a great day today. I think he deserves the Heisman."
With 32 carries, Dayne also set an NCAA record career with 1,088 rushing attempts, breaking Dorsett's record of 1,074. Yet it was Brees who was the more effective runner in the first half.
After the TD catch by Retzlaff gave Wisconsin its first lead, Brees completed four straight passes, then ran for 15 yards and passed 9 yards to Chris Daniels to the Badgers 7. Another run of 3 yards by Brees and a pass interference penalty on Joey Boese put the Boilermakers at the 1. Brees fumbled the ball but picked it up and dived across the goal line for the tying touchdown.
It took Wisconsin all of 17 seconds to break the tie, however, just long enough for Davis to take the kickoff 91 yards for his second touchdown return of the season.
Four more carries by Brees on the next possession helped Purdue reach the Wisconsin 21 before Travis Dorsch missed a 38-yard field goal. He also missed two in the scoreless first quarter, the first time this season Purdue failed to score a point in the opening period.
Late in the second quarter, Dayne rushed for 38 yards on four carries and caught his first pass of the season, 9 yards to the Purdue 37, before a 54-yard field goal attempt by Vitaly Pisetsky was short as the half ended, keeping Wisconsin's lead at 14-7.
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