Outback Bowl: Wisconsin Notes

News and Notes on Wisconsin players in their 21-17 loss to Tennessee in the 2008 Outback Bowl.

Wisconsin finished the 2007 season with a 9-4 record. It marked the seventh time in the past 10 seasons that the Badgers won at least nine games in a season.

Today marked Wisconsin's 19th appearance in a bowl game. The Badgers are now 10-9 in bowl games, including 9-4 in the last 13. This was Wisconsin's 13th bowl game in the past 15 seasons, including its school-record sixth consecutive appearance this year.

Freshman David Gilreath's 60-yard kickoff return following Tennessee's first touchdown was the longest kick return ever for a Badger in a bowl game (and Gilreath's longest this season). The previous record was Michael Bennett's 54-yarder against UCLA in the 2000 Sun Bowl. Gilreath had already set UW records for kickoff return yards in a game and season.

Senior Tyler Donovan's six-yard touchdown run in the first quarter makes him the first Badger quarterback to score in a bowl game since Brooks Bollinger's one-yard run late in the fourth quarter of the 2002 Alamo Bowl. Donovan also finished the season with 2,607 passing yards, second-most in school history.

Senior Nick Hayden's first-quarter fumble recovery was his third this season and sixth of his career. His six career fumble recoveries are tied for second (with Dave Ahrens and Rick Graf) all-time at Wisconsin. The school record of seven is held jointly by Scott Nelson and Dan Batsch.

Senior Andy Crooks' second-quarter touchdown reception was his first TD catch of the season and first since Oct. 28, 2006 (vs. Illinois). He also becomes the first player in school history to score a touchdown on both offense (today) and defense (he returned an interception for a score while playing linebacker against Georgia in the 2005 Outback Bowl) in bowl games.

Wisconsin's second touchdown of the game came with 1:03 left in the second quarter. That was the 15th time in the last 21 games (and 17 of 26 in the Bielema era) that the Badgers registered points in the last two minutes of the first half.

Senior Taylor Mehlhaff's 27-yard field goal in the third quarter was his 21st field goal of the season, leaving him in sole possession of second place on UW's single-season field goals list. It also was his 50th career field goal, tying him for second (with Rich Thompson) on the school's career list.

Junior P.J. Hill carried 16 times for 132 yards today. He is the first Badger since Brian Calhoun (2005 Capital One Bowl) to rush for 100 yards in a bowl game. Hill finished the season with 1,212 yards, the 15th -highest total in school history.

Junior Travis Beckum caught two passes for 22 yards today. He finished the season with a school record-tying 75 receptions. He also finished the season with 982 receiving yards, the fourth-highest total in school history.

Sophomore Garrett Graham made seven receptions for 75 yards today, establishing personal career highs in both categories. His previous best statistical effort was a five-catch, 68-yard performance at Illinois this season.

Senior Ken DeBauche set a school record for punting average (44.7) in a bowl game today. DeBauche punted six times against the Volunteers. He held the previous record for best average in a bowl game with his 44.3 norm against Georgia in the 2005 Outback Bowl. DeBauche finished his Wisconsin career with 231 punts for 9,815 yards, an average of 42.5 yards per attempt (the average is No. 2 on the UW career list, while the attempts and yards are No. 3 on the UW career list).

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