This came right after Wisconsin had just surrendered three quick touchdowns to the Gophers and were losing 21-7, and desperately needed a big play.
"Man, I just dropped it," Anderson said. "I'm going to tell you that flat-out, there's no excuse. I should have caught the ball."
But Anderson did not have much time to sulk about his big miscue. Matter of fact, he had no time. Because his number was called on the very next play.
Anderson, a Minneapolis native who said he never considered being a Gopher, converted with an 11-yard catch and a first down.
"I appreciate the opportunity that coach (Paul) Chryst (UW's offensive coordinator) gave me the very next play, he gave me a nice little slant pattern," Anderson said. "I got a confidence boost from that."
That's some boost. Anderson went out and had himself a career day, leading the Badgers with six catches and 114 yards, both career highs. No Wisconsin player had registered 100 receiving yards in a game this season.
Remarkably, coming into Saturday, he had nine catches for 99 yards in his career.
"You see guys drop it all the time, but at the same time, you see them go down in a slump," said fellow wide receiver and Minnesota native David Gilreath. "He could have cried about it and dropped some more balls, but he went out there and forgot about it and made some big plays."
Anderson still made his mistakes late – dropping an easy pass on 2nd-and-12 following back-to-back UW safeties – but made big strides after dropping that critical pass early, with five catches and 103 yards after halftime.
His 39-yard catch in the fourth quarter was initially ruled a touchdown, but review overturned the call, ruling Anderson's knee was down at the one. UW tailback P.J. Hill scored on the next play.
"Man, I thought I had my first (touchdown)," Anderson said. "But it was good just to make the play, get us in a position to score."
Jefferson critically injured, initial tests "very, very encouraging"
Easily the scariest moment of the game came with 2:05 remaining in the second quarter, when UW receiver Kyle Jefferson fumbled after his first catch, and required the paramedics to cart him off the field after a 15-minute delay.
Jefferson's helmet collided with UM linebacker Simoni Lawrence's, and he instantly dropped to the turf. Both teams engaged in prayer circles, and the Camp Randall Stadium mood was deadened for the rest of the half.
UW head coach Bret Bielema had good things to report afterward.
"I can say right now that the preliminary reports are very, very encouraging," Bielema said to lead off his postgame press conference. "The tests that have come back have come back negative for anything that we were concerned about. I do know that on the field, he was able to grab things and squeeze his hands and move his feet and move his toes and he was talking.
"I do know that he was knocked out when they first got out there, he was out for a little bit. But all the positive things have come back so far in the right way, so our thoughts and prayers will go out for Kyle and his family."
Battle for Jump Around supremacy
Those who love to Jump Around, the ever-popular Camp Randall Stadium tradition, have a new story to tell.
With the game tied at 24-all in between the third and fourth quarters, the student section enjoyed jumping up and down to the House of Pain hit – and being that the wind chill was below freezing, most of the rest of the stadium followed suit just to keep warm.
Then, something weird happened: the Badgers and Gophers began an impromptu competition to see which team could do the best Jump Around impression. It got so out of hand that the referees started backing players off toward their respective sidelines.
"(Defensive line) coach (Charlie) Partridge told us, if they've got more guys jumping around than we do, it's a problem," defensive end O'Brien Schofield reported. "So we all were jumping around, then Coach Partridge started jumping around, and then it just became a battle from sideline to sideline."
Advantage, Badgers: UW outscored Minnesota 18-8 in the final quarter.
"That was a real big momentum thing too," Schofield said with a grin. "That was real fun."
After being outscored in the second half 114-57 in its first six Big Ten Conference games, Wisconsin has outscored Indiana and Minnesota 59-11 after halftime in the last two contests … sophomore wide receiver Daven Jones, who drew an illegal block penalty on a Minnesota punt return in the first quarter, suffered a torn ACL injury, according to Bielema … sophomore Bill Nagy started at right guard, and senior Kraig Urbik moved over to right tackle in place of injured Eric Vanden Heuvel … UW has now won 12 of the last 14 meetings against Minnesota.