Number 5: Wisconsin LB Jeff Mack and SS Ryan Aiello—Mack and Aiello worked in tandem to make the biggest defensive play of the game Saturday, stuffing Akron running back Bobby Hendry short of the goal line on a fourth down play from the one. Mack finished with a game high 14 tackles and a sack while Aiello notched his first career interception and tallied 11 tackles.
Number 4: Wisconsin QB Jim Sorgi—Sorgi threw for a career-high 281 yards and two touchdowns Saturday. He completed 14 of 25 passes and was intercepted once. More importantly, Sorgi made huge plays when called upon. Of course, there was the perfectly thrown, 99-yard touchdown pass to Lee Evans, but that was not all. In another example, with more than five minutes left to play and the Badgers clinging to a 31-24 lead, Wisconsin faced a third-and-11 at midfield. Sorgi rolled to his right, then took advantage of great protection, patiently scanning the field. Sorgi rolled back to his left, reset and fired a pass to Evans in among three Zips defenders for a 15-yard gain. The play set up Scott Campbell's 35-yard field goal.
Number 3: Wisconsin TB Anthony Davis—only in a game like this does Davis reside this far down the five star list. Davis was nothing short of dominating in the first half when he ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 carries. Davis was momentarily brought back to earth in the third quarter, tallying nine carries for 28 yards. In the fourth quarter, though, Davis was back to his explosive self, racking up 70 yards with just four attempts. Davis averaged 8.5 yards per carry and showed all manner of skills—exceptional quickness and vision, an amazing burst in the open field, and strength. Davis made people miss all day long.
Number 2: Akron QB Charlie Frye—Until ‘the play' Frye was number one, even assuming a defeat. Frye threw for 372 yards on 31 of 49 passing. He threw for one touchdown, ran for another and more importantly led three touchdown drives in the second half as the Zips fought their way back into the game. He did throw two interceptions, but one of those passes should have been caught and the other was in desperation near game's end. Frye gave Wisconsin all it could handle, especially in the second half when he completed 19 of 25 passes for 242 yards.
Number 1: Wisconsin WR Lee Evans—Evans was absolutely huge. Whenever the Badgers needed a big play—be it a first down or a 99-yard touchdown, the team turned to Evans. In his second game back from injury Evans had nine receptions for an incredible 214 yards and two touchdowns. Evans two touchdown catches were things of beauty. Evans leaped above a defender and made a very good play to snag his six-yard scoring catch in the second quarter. Then, for the second straight week Evans made the biggest play of the game, this time putting his incredible, game-breaking speed on display on the 99-yard touchdown reception.
Akron—CB Rickey McKenzie (interception, eight tackles), LB Dionte Earl (12 tackles, three for loss. Had seven tackles in first quarter). WR Jason Montgomery (four catches, 67 yards, touchdown), TB Bobby Hendry (24 carries, 101 yards, one touchdown), WR Miquel Irvin (seven catches, 70 yards), WR Kyle McDuffie (five catches, 77 yards).
Wisconsin—DT Anttaj Hawthorne (six tackles, two for loss; disruptive presence, particularly first half) DE Jonathan Welsh (six tackles, one sack; big-time effort on pass rush throughout game), K Scott Campbell (fantastic kickoffs throughout game, two-for-two on field goals), RT Mike Lorenz and LG Dan Buenning (tough to pick out players in particular on offensive line, but Lorenz and Buenning stood out on a line that was dominant for much of game.).