2002 Wisconsin Badgers football
Alamo Bowl Champions
Alamo Bowl, W 31–28 (OT) vs. Colorado
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
2002 record8–6 (2–6 Big Ten)
Head coachBarry Alvarez (13th season)
Offensive coordinatorBrian White
Defensive coordinatorKevin Cosgrove
Home stadiumCamp Randall Stadium
(Capacity: 76,634,[1] Astroturf)
← 2001
2003 →
2002 Big Ten football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#1/1 Ohio State §   8 0         14 0  
#8/8 Iowa §   8 0         11 2  
#9/9 Michigan   6 2         10 3  
#16/15 Penn State   0* 3         0* 4  
Purdue   4 4         7 6  
Illinois   4 4         5 7  
Minnesota   3 5         8 5  
Wisconsin   2 6         8 6  
Michigan State   2 6         4 8  
Northwestern   1 7         3 9  
Indiana   1 7         3 9  
† – BCS representative as champion
‡ – BCS at-large representative
§ – Conference co-champions

The 2002 Wisconsin Badgers football team represented the University of Wisconsin in the 2002 NCAA Division I-A football season.

Regular seasonEdit


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
August 23* 7:00 PM Fresno State #25 Camp Randall StadiumMadison, WI (John Thompson Foundation Classic[4]) ESPN W 23–21   75,136[5]
August 31* 6:45 PM at UNLV Sam Boyd StadiumWhitney, NV ESPN2 W 27–7   42,075[5]
September 7* 11:00 AM West Virginia #25 Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, WI ESPN+ W 34–17   76,320[5]
September 14* 11:00 AM Northern Illinois #22 Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, WI ESPN+ W 24–21   77,460[5]
September 21* 11:00 AM Arizona #22 Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, WI ESPN2 W 31–10   78,582[5]
October 5 2:30 PM #20 Penn State #19 Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, WI ABC L 31–34   79,403[5]
October 12 11:00 AM at Indiana #23 Memorial StadiumBloomington, IN ESPN+ L 29–32   31,156[5]
October 19† 2:30 PM #4 Ohio State Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, WI ABC L 14–19   79,729[5]
October 26 6:00 PM at Michigan State Spartan StadiumEast Lansing, MI ESPN2 W 42–24   74,507[5]
November 2 11:00 AM at #9 Iowa Kinnick StadiumIowa City, IA ESPN L 3–20   70,397[5]
November 9 11:00 AM Illinois Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, WI ESPN+ L 20–37   78,709[5]
November 16 11:00 AM #12 Michigan Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI ESPN2 L 14–21   110,412[5]
November 23 11:00 AM Minnesota Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, WI (Paul Bunyan's Axe) ESPN W 49–31   78,843[5]
December 28* 7:00 PM vs. #14 Colorado AlamodomeSan Antonio, TX (Alamo Bowl) ESPN W 31–28 OT  50,690[5]
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Central Time.

Season summaryEdit

Coming off a disappointing 5–7 2001 season, the Badgers of 2002 wanted improvement. Despite amazing statistics from WR Lee Evans and RB Anthony Davis, the Badgers had issues closing out games, and an overworked defense managed lackluster efforts when the team could hardly afford them.

In the spring game, Wisconsin's offense suffered a devastating blow when top receiver Lee Evans was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Evan's loss was a significant blow, but despite it, Wisconsin managed to start off the season by winning all five of their nonconference games. From there, though, things did not go Wisconsin's way; the Badgers lost their first three Big Ten games by less than 7 points. Among those was a near-upset of eventual National Champion Ohio State, a 19–14 Ohio State win that was Jim Tressel's first over the Badgers (having lost 20–17 to Wisconsin the previous year). After going 0–3 to open their Big Ten slate, Wisconsin defeated Michigan State in Spartan Stadium 42–24 for their first conference win of the season. After that game, Wisconsin would lose their next 3 games against Big Ten opponents, including a 20–3 loss to Big Ten co-champion Iowa, and yet another close game against a Lloyd Carr-coached Michigan team. The loss to Michigan dropped Wisconsin to 1–6 in Big Ten play.

To close out the regular season, Wisconsin finally put together a complete game in a 49–31 blowout of rival Minnesota, taking back Paul Bunyan's Axe and keeping Minnesota's losing streak in Camp Randall alive. The Badgers improved to 7–6 on the season.

Wisconsin was awarded a berth in the Alamo Bowl, having gotten the required 6 wins in the regular season, and faced Colorado, a Big Twelve opponent that had won the Big Twelve North outright and lost the Big Twelve Championship Game 29–7 to Oklahoma. At 9-4, Colorado entered the game ranked 14th in the nation, and hoping for a ten-win season. But Wisconsin managed to keep up with Colorado, and won the game 31–28 in overtime for their 8th win of the season, knocking Colorado to 9–5 on the year.

For Wisconsin, Freshman WR Jonathan Orr put together a good season in the absence of Lee Evans, catching 47 passes for 842 yards, with 8 receiving touchdowns. RB Anthony Davis ran for 1,555 yards on 300 carries, with 13 touchdowns.[7] QB Brooks Bollinger, in his senior season, completed 131 passes on 245 attempts for 1,758 yards and 14 touchdowns, with just 4 interceptions.[7]

Regular startersEdit

Position Player
Quarterback Brooks Bollinger
Running Back Anthony Davis
Fullback Matt Bernstein
Wide Receiver Darrin Charles
Wide Receiver Jonathan Orr
Tight End Tony Paciotti
Left Tackle Ben Johnson
Left Guard Dan Buenning
Center Al Johnson
Right Guard Jonathan Clinkscale
Right Tackle Jason Jowers
Position Player
Defensive End Jake Sprague
Defensive Tackle Anttaj Hawthorne
Defensive Tackle Jason Jefferson
Defensive End Erasmus James
Outside Linebacker Alex Lewis
Inside Linebacker Jeff Mack
Outside Linebacker Kareem Timbers
Cornerback Scott Starks
Strong Safety Jim Leonhard
Free Safety Ryan Aiello
Cornerback B.J. Tucker

Team players selected in the 2003 NFL DraftEdit

Player Position Round Overall Selection NFL Team
Al Johnson Center 2 38 Dallas Cowboys
B.J. Tucker Cornerback 6 178 New York Jets
Brooks Bollinger Quarterback 6 200 Miami Dolphins
Ben Johnson Offensive Tackle 7 216 Detroit Lions


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