Dec. 26, 2000
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Every year, coaches have to scramble to find video tape on their bowl opponents in order to prepare.
The task will be that much easier for Bob Toledo and Barry Alvarez when UCLA and Wisconsin meet in the postseason for the second time in the last three seasons, this time at the Sun Bowl on Friday in El Paso, Texas.
The Badgers (8-4) have won both meetings between the clubs in bowl competition, scoring a 21-16 win over the Bruins in 1994 and a 38-31 triumph in 1998, both times in the Rose Bowl.
Wisconsin comes into the game with a four-game winning streak, scoring 30 or more points in three of those games. The Badgers managed another winning season despite off-field troubles which led to suspensions during the season's first month.
The Badgers are led offensively by senior running back Michael Bennett, who rushed for 1,598 yards and 10 touchdowns, including two games of better than 200 yards.
Senior quarterback Brook Bollinger passed for 1,363 yards and eight touchdowns and had a 118.69 quarterback rating, while Chris Chambers was the top receiver with 47 catches for 774 yards and four touchdowns.
Jim Thorpe Award winner and first-team All-America selection Jamar Fletcher anchors the defense. The junior cornerback leads the team with six interceptions and 19 pass deflections. Linebacker Nick Griesen leads the team with 137 tackles, while Wendel Bryant was tops with six sacks.
For the Bruins (6-5), the roller-coaster fortunes from 1999 carried over into the 2000 season. UCLA comes into the contest off consecutive losses to end the regular season, including a 38-35 setback to archrival Southern California in the finale.
Injuries to running back DeShaun Foster and quarterback Cory Paus hampered the team at various points during the season. However, Foster still leads the club with 930 yards on 243 carries and 11 touchdowns.
Paus passed for 2,007 yards and 16 touchdowns, while Freddie Mitchell had 68 catches for 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns.
Linebacker Robert Thomas anchors the Bruins defense with 80 tackles, while cornerback Ricky Manning has four interceptions.
UCLA holds a 7-3 lead in the all-time series.