With 222 yards in a 28-21 victory over Purdue yesterday in West Lafayette, Ind., including a 41-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, Wisconsin's Ron Dayne passed Tony Dorsett for second place in NCAA major-college career rushing, 98 yards behind Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams's year-old record of 6,279.
With 32 carries, Dayne also set an NCAA record for career rushing attempts (1,088), breaking Dorsett's former record of 1,074.
"I was just out there having fun, doing what I had to do to help the team win," Dayne said.
Now with 6,181 yards, he can break the record next week at home, where the No. 10 Badgers (8-2, 6-1 Big Ten) finish the regular season against Iowa.
"I can't wait," Dayne said. "As long as we're back home in front of the fans, that'll be great to break the record."
But that's not his main concern, he said.
"We still have a game to win. The record comes at the end, once the game is over. As long as we get the 'W' I'm happy. The yards will come," he said.
No. 17 Purdue (6-4, 3-4) ends the season at Indiana.
Purdue's Drew Brees passed for 350 yards and one touchdown and ran for a career-high 85 yards and two other scores, but had two passes intercepted by Jamar Fletcher, including one returned 34 yards for a clinching touchdown with 4 minutes 43 seconds to go.
The Badgers' first touchdown, a three-yard pass from Brooks Bolinger to Dague Retzlaff, was set up by Fletcher's first interception late in the first quarter. Wisconsin also scored on a 91-yard kickoff return by Nick Davis, giving the Badgers a 14-7 lead at halftime.
Brees tied the score in the third quarter with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tim Stratton, then Brees completed six more following a Wisconsin punt and took the Boilermakers to the Badgers 19-yard line. Wide receiver Vinny Sutherland took the ball on a reverse and tried to pass to Stratton but was intercepted in the end zone by Bobby Myers on the second play of the fourth.
The Badgers then moved 80 yards, including the 41-yard scoring run by Dayne, a Big Ten-record 69th touchdown of his career.
UAB 36, EAST CAROLINA 17: UAB finally has a victory over a ranked opponent after seven tries and nearly four years. Playing for an injured starter, redshirt freshman Thomas Cox ran for two second-half touchdowns and threw for another to lead the Blazers over No. 18 East Carolina in Birmingham. Rodregis Brooks, who was taken off the field on a stretcher in the first half after apparently hurting his neck, came back and scored on a 91-yard interception return. He set up another score with a 59-yard punt return.
UAB (4-5, 3-2 Conference USA), which had lost six previous games against ranked opponents, looked outmanned early as East Carolina (7-2, 3-2) jumped to a 17-6 halftime lead.
"We thought that we had everything under control at halftime," East Carolina Coach Steve Logan said. "In the second half, it was one thing after another, which was a lot to their credit."
TENNESSEE 38, NOTRE DAME 14: Tee Martin threw for three touchdowns and ran for another and Travis Henry gained 132 yards and scored once to lead No. 4 Tennessee to the home victory. The Volunteers (7-1), aware that No. 2 Penn State had lost earlier in the day, took advantage of the opportunity to move up in the polls with big plays and a tenacious defense, ending a four-game winning streak for the 24th-ranked Irish (5-4).
Martin's 43-yard heave to Leonard Scott in the back of the end zone and Henry's 40-yard run up the middle in the third quarter gave the Vols a 31-7 lead. That was too much even for the Irish, who had come from behind to win three of their last four games.
FLORIDA 13, VANDERBILT 6: No. 5 Florida got outside help in its quest for the national title. The Gators responded with a performance that made such a goal seem laughable. Florida's home victory over Vanderbilt was the kind that conjured images of two-a-days in August, not the Sugar Bowl in January.
The win kept the Gators (8-1, 6-1 SEC) in line for the conference title game and likely will move them up another notch in the Associated Press rankings, thanks to No. 2 Penn State's surprising loss to Minnesota.
What it couldn't have done, however, was impress many people, even though it came against an improved Vanderbilt (5-4, 2-4) team.
KANSAS ST. 20, COLORADO 14: After so many easy victories, No. 6 Kansas State got what it probably needed most the week before Nebraska--a big scare.
For worried players and white-knuckled fans, the home victory over Colorado (5-4, 4-2 Big 12) brought back haunting memories of last year's double-overtime 36-33 loss to Texas A&M, when the Wildcats wasted a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter of the Big 12 title game and lost a shot at the national championship.
"It was starting to get pretty scary," said defensive back Lamar Chapman, whose second interception set up what turned out to be the game-winning field goal for the Wildcats (9-0, 6-0).
NEBRASKA 37, TEXAS A&M 0: In Lincoln, Neb., Dan Alexander and Eric Crouch each ran for more than 100 yards and a touchdown, and the No. 9 Cornhuskers recorded eight sacks to hand No. 21 Texas A&M its first shutout loss in 11 years.
Correll Buckhalter also ran for a score and Josh Brown kicked three field goals as the Huskers overcame a sloppy first half and remained in contention for the Big 12 North Division title. Nebraska (8-1, 5-1) is a game behind Kansas State, which visits Lincoln next week. The Aggies dropped to 6-3, 3-3.
TEXAS 34, OKLAHOMA ST. 21: Hodges Mitchell ran for 149 yards and scored three touchdowns, including an 80-yarder on the game's first play, and No. 11 Texas took advantage of Oklahoma State mistakes to win on the road. Texas (8-2, 5-1 Big 12) scored 21 points in an eight-minute span from late in the second quarter to early in the third, building a 28-7 lead. One touchdown was set up by a fumble recovery, another came on an interception return.
"In the last two weeks now, we've scored on special teams and we've scored on defense, and that's when you start being a great football team," Coach Mack Brown said. "Hopefully, we're seeing signs of that."
MICHIGAN ST. 23, OHIO ST. 7: Ohio State wanted revenge. Instead, the Buckeyes got clobbered and may have cost themselves a shot at a New Year's Day bowl game. Bill Burke passed for 174 yards and two touchdowns as No. 19 Michigan State rolled the 20th-ranked Buckeyes in East Lansing, Mich.
The Buckeyes (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten) had been pointing to this game for almost a year, since their hopes for the 1998 national championship were dashed by the Spartans in a 28-24 upset in Columbus, Ohio, last season. But they were completely outplayed by Michigan State (7-3, 4-2), which used an off-week to get over a two-game losing streak.
The Spartans' defense, tops in the Big Ten against the run, held Ohio State to zero yards rushing and just four first downs. The Buckeyes finished with 79 yards on 8 of 23 completions with one interception.
MIAMI 33, PITTSBURGH 3: Miami made sure it didn't have to rally again, consistently converting key third downs and Kenny Kelly ran for a touchdown and threw for another as the No. 22 Hurricanes won on the road. The Hurricanes (5-3, 3-0 Big East) rallied from deficits of 28 and 13 points the previous two weeks, but that wasn't a worry after Kelly's one-yard sneak put them ahead 10-3 in the second quarter.
Miami put away its 10th victory in its last 11 games against Pittsburgh with a 23-point fourth quarter.
MICHIGAN 37, NORTHWESTERN 3: Michigan finally made it look easy. There was no second-half comeback by Northwestern, no big plays to rattle Michigan's confidence and no reason not to play backup Drew Henson or even his backup, Jason Kapsner.
The 16th-ranked Wolverines (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) took control with three second-quarter touchdowns and didn't let Northwestern (3-6, 1-5) gain momentum to win in Ann Arbor, Mich.
"We needed this game," Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr said. "We needed the enthusiasm."
Tom Brady passed for 185 yards and three touchdowns, Anthony Thomas ran for 172 yards and two scores and the Wolverines, who surrendered 100 points in the previous three games, didn't allow Northwestern to score until it was 34-0 in the third quarter.
ALABAMA 23, LSU 17: Tyler Watts threw two touchdown passes and No. 12 Alabama (7-2, 5-1 SEC) stopped LSU at the 1-yard line on the final play for the home victory. With 10 seconds left and LSU (2-7, 0-7) on the 1, quarterback Josh Booty took the snap under center, rolled right and tried to run the ball into the end zone. He leaped at the 3-yard line, but was stopped short in a collision with Reggie Myles and Marvin Constant. Alabama Coach Mike DuBose said Constant tore a knee ligament on the play and will be out the rest of the year.
MARSHALL 28, KENT 16: Chad Pennington threw three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth-quarter score as the No. 13 Thundering Herd extended the nation's longest major-college winning streak to 13 with the road win. Pennington finished 19 of 25 for 209 yards as the Thundering Herd (9-0, 6-0 Mid-American Conference) stayed in contention for a major bowl berth by holding off the Golden Flashes (2-8, 2-5).
MISSISSIPPI 38, ARKANSAS 16: Deuce McAllister had another strong all-around game, returning the opening kickoff 100 yards and rushing for 125 yards and two more touchdowns as No. 23 Mississippi won at home. McAllister had a career-high 317 all-purpose yards, his third straight game with more than 250, as Ole Miss (7-2, 4-2) avenged a 34-0 loss from a year ago and virtually eliminated Arkansas (5-3, 2-3) from the SEC West race.
SOUTHERN MISS. 20, MEMPHIS 5: In Memphis, Jeff Kelly threw two touchdown passes and Derrick Nix rushed for 139 yards to lead No. 25 Southern Mississippi.
The Golden Eagles (6-3, 5-0 Conference USA) also relied on a strong defense that kept the Tigers (3-6, 2-2) out of the end zone and held Memphis to 227 yards of offense, including only 64 on the ground. The victory assured the Golden Eagles of at least a share of the conference championship, the third time they've either tied or won the title in the conference's four-year history.