November 15, 2008

Post Minnesota notes and quotes

MADISON, Wis. - Although Wisconsin had a bout with the turnover bug in the first half of Saturday's rivalry game with Minnesota, the Badgers worked the kinks out in the second half and recovered for a 35-32 win in the battle for the axe.

The following are notes from Saturday's win:

-Most importantly the win against the Gophers gave UW six for the season, making the team bowl eligible for the seventh straight year. Over the course school history, the Badgers have never competed in seven straight bowl games.

-The 14-point deficit the Badgers overcame against the Gophers was the largest deficit it has had since UW beat Illinois 30-24 after falling down 21-3 in 2006.

-Wisconsin recorded two safeties that ultimately let UW build its lead that the Gophers could not overcome. It was the first time the Badgers had recorded a pair of safeties since Sept. 11, 2004 when UW against UNLV.

-Junior quarterback Dustin Sherer logged career highs in completions (18) and passing yards (242) during Saturday's contest.

-O'Brien Schofield recovered his first fumble of his Badger career on Minnesota's first drive of the game.

-Freshman kicker Philip Welch's 18 made field goals ranks fifth on Wisconsin's single season list. He is only four shy from tying the school record in the category.

-With his two-touchdown performance, P.J. Hill joins Ron Dayne as the only two Badger players to record three consecutive seasons with 10 rushing touchdowns.

-Wide receiver Isaac Anderson caught six passes for 114 yards in Saturday's game. It was the first time a Badger receiver passed the 100-yard mark since Paul Hubbard did it against Michigan last season.

-Niles Brinkley caught his fourth interception of the season. He leads the team in that category.

The following are quotes from today's game:

-Head coach Bret Bielema on the win:

"This is a big game. Bottom line, it gave us six wins and makes us bowl eligible and puts us in a position this week to probably have the best week of preparation and to be able to finish our regular-season as best we can."

-John Moffitt keeping the axe:

"I think that's something special we wanted to do for the seniors. The axe means a lot to everybody here. Coming up, as you get older from your freshman year to your senior, it just becomes more and more important. So to the seniors it just probably means the most.

-Isaac Anderson on whether he proved something today:

"I feel like I made some plays when the opportunity came. I think I did make a statement honestly. I believe it was definitely a team effort. I appreciate Dustin Sherer giving me another opportunity to catch the ball, so that was definitely a confidence booster right there. But, just hats off to everybody in this victory."

-O'Brien Schofield on "Jump Around":

"Coach Charlie Partridge told us they got more guys jumping around than we do and it's a problem. So we all was jumping around and coach Partridge started jumping around and it just became a battle from sideline to sideline."

-Chris Pressley on the seniors never losing the axe:

"It means a lot, just because I can go out of here saying I did something that not a lot of guys do. This is a big rivalry game that I'll always remember. Keeping the axe and knowing that they never came and took it says a lot. It says that when Minnesota comes in, when my class is around, they aren't going to win."

-Dustin Sherer on his play in the second half:

"I got my feet settled in and started making plays. With the excitement that my teammates brought, it made it easier for me to be comfortable. Being at home and having our fans bring the intensity is really important to our success."

-P.J. Hill on whether there was a sense of panic:

"There was no sense of panic. There is four quarters of football and games can go anyway. It went their way in the first half and in the second half it went our way."

-Mike Newkirk on his two sacks:

"You get close so many times but the guy gets rid of it, throws it away, things like that. It's nice that he (Minnesota's quarterback) held on to it for me."

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