Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Davis unable to play in regular season finale

Facing the top running defense in the Big Ten would have been hard enough. When it became clear just prior to game time that Anthony Davis wasn’t going to play, it became an all but insurmountable task for the Wisconsin football team to hope to run against Iowa.

“Anthony (Davis) has been a big play guy for us all year,” quarterback John Stocco said after the game. “He’s been a big part of our offense.”

With the hodgepodge grouping of Matt Bernstein (who started) and Booker Stanley, the Badgers managed a paltry 41 net yards rushing against the Hawkeyes. Bernstein ran the ball 10 times, gaining 26 yards in the first half. He only ran the ball once in the second half (finishing with 30 yards) before leaving due to injury.


Stanley ran the ball 10 times for 17 yards on the game. Neither back broke for a run longer than eight yards or averaged more than 2.5 yards per carry.

“We didn’t have enough ammo,” offensive coordinator Brian White said. “Obviously, you’re not going to win championships scoring only seven points.”

Davis’ absence is a continuation of a season-long trend for the star back. He has run the ball over 21 times in just four of the Badgers’ 11 games. After Saturday, he had sat out of the same number of games entirely.

A painful quad has been the source of Davis’ latest limitation. He sustained the injury against Purdue Oct. 16. According to White, the injury has “gradually gotten worse the past four weeks.”

“He didn’t practice all week — he couldn’t practice all week,” White said. “We knew going into the game that there was a possibility that Friday or Saturday, he could come around. He just didn’t have any strength in his quad. He wouldn’t have been able to protect himself.”

Davis missed three and a half games earlier in the season with an eye ailment.

Crooks steps up: Starting for Reggie Cribbs, Andy Crooks was one of the few Badgers to shine against Iowa. The true freshman from Wausau led the Badgers with 13 tackles — eight of which were solo.

“We really challenged him early on in the week to step up his play,” defensive coordinator Bret Bielema said. “He came in and did the things he needed to do. Andy (Crooks) has a very bright future.”

Perhaps the most important aspect of Crooks’ breakthrough performance was that it came on the heels of an injury that kept him from practicing most of the week.

“The amazing part was he didn’t practice all week,” Bielema said. “He sprained his ankle — I guess it was on Tuesday — and couldn’t practice all week.”

Crooks said that the injury didn’t hamper him at all in the loss.

“We didn’t really know (if I could play) coming in,” he said. “I did a bunch of rehab, and it felt good.”

Crooks also registered a sack in the game.

White steps in: UW’s Robert Brooks struggled mightily to make plays at safety for most of the game, getting beaten badly for two touchdowns.

To end the first half, Brooks let Iowa receiver Clinton Soloman find open space that led to a 51-yard touchdown. After Brooks let Scott Chandler into the end zone in the third quarter, Johnny White came as a replacement.

“We’ve got to constantly evaluate who gives us the best opportunity to have success,” Bielema said. “This was a rough game for Brooksie, so Johnny stepped in.”

Leonhard steps into record books: Wisconsin strong safety Jim Leonhard entered the 2004-05 season with 18 career interceptions, needing just three to tie cornerback Jamar Fletcher’s UW record.

Going into the final regular season game, Leonhard had managed to intercept just one pass. Bielema said that was a function of where Leonhard fits into the team’s changing defensive face.

“Obviously, with Jimmy (Leonhard), everybody’s been making a big deal about his lack of interceptions (this year),” Bielema said. “We’ve done some different things; the pressure hasn’t been on him to do it … but Jimmy’s always back there.”

Leonhard picked off two passes in the first five minutes of the game against Iowa to tie the record. Bielema had high praise for the senior after the loss.

“He probably has a better understanding of how to play the ball than anybody I’ve been around,” Bielema said. “He really does a good job of understanding where people are and where a quarterback wants to go. I think those two picks exemplify that.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *