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Badgers dominate Auburn in Alvarez finale

Badgers dominate Auburn in Alvarez finale

Winning the Rose Bowl - three times, for the record - will go down as Barry Alvarez's No. 1 achievement in his marvelous 16-year run at the University of Wisconsin.

Yet whipping No. 7 and 10 1/2-point favorite Auburn, 24-10, Monday in the Capital One Bowl in his last game as Wisconsin coach won't rank far behind when Alvarez's legacy is studied years from now.

For Alvarez, his assistants and players and the thousands of fans who reveled in the resurrection of the Wisconsin program in the 1990s, the manner in which the 21st-ranked Badgers (10-3) dominated the Tigers (9-3) on national TV and in front of 57,221 fans won't soon be forgotten.

"I am very, very proud of how my football team played," said Alvarez.

"I couldn't think of a better way to go out."

Nor could the players who made this day so memorable, or the assistant coaches who have toiled alongside Alvarez for so many years.

"It's been an unbelievable 11-year run," said Wisconsin co-offensive coordinator Brain White, who won't be returning next season when Bret Bielema takes over as head coach. "To have it finish like this, the way our guys competed and played a complete football game, was unbelievable."

Wisconsin deserved this victory, which left Alvarez with four teams that won at least 10 games and a bowl record of 8-3, because it was the better-prepared team, the more efficient team and, surprisingly, the more physical team.

Game most valuable player Brian Calhoun, quarterback John Stocco and wide receiver Brandon Williams - bolstered by the steady play of the offensive line - spearheaded an attack that rolled up 548 yards. That is the highest total Auburn has allowed since Week 10 of the 2001 season in a 31-7 loss to Alabama.

Calhoun rushed 30 times for 213 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and a touchdown against a defense that entered the day No. 16 nationally in rushing defense (104.4 yards per game). He ripped off runs of 27, 33 and 60 yards and consistently used his speed to get to the outside against the Auburn defense.

His 33-yard touchdown run came with 13 minutes 22 seconds left in the game, came just 87 seconds after Auburn's lone touchdown and sealed the victory.

"I don't think it surprised anybody on our team," Calhoun said of the offensive prowess. "Nobody gave us a chance. But we knew they were a little undersized and we could move the ball against them."

No. 11 West Virginia 38, No. 8 Georgia 35

In Atlanta, Steve Slaton rushed for a record 204 yards and three touchdowns to lead the No. 11 Mountaineers to a 38-35 victory over eighth-ranked Georgia, which couldn't take advantage of the home-field edge in the first Sugar Bowl ever played outside of New Orleans.

West Virginia (11-1) stunned all those red-clad fans at the Georgia Dome by jumping to a 28-0 lead by the opening minute of the second quarter. The Bulldogs (10-3) rallied, twice closing within a field goal in the second half, but they couldn't finish one of the greatest comebacks in bowl history.

No. 13 Alabama 13, No. 18 Texas Tech 10

At Dallas, Jamie Christensen barely made a low, spinning kick from a career-best 45 yards for No. 13 Alabama to edge No. 18 Texas Tech 13-10 in the last seconds of the Cotton Bowl.

It was the first time in the 70-year history of the Cotton Bowl that the game was decided by a last-second field goal. Christensen had earlier missed from 39 yards, and was blocked from 38.

In other bowl games: No. 12 Virginia Tech beat No. 15 Louisville 35-24 in the Gator Bowl and No. 16 Florida beat No. 25 Iowa 31-24 in the Outback Bowl.


Updated : 2021-04-14 13:45 GMT+08:00