UCLA-Wisconsin Preview

Dec. 26, 2000

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Every year, coaches have to scramble to find video tape on their bowlopponents in order to prepare.

The task will be that much easier for Bob Toledo and Barry Alvarez when UCLAand Wisconsin meet in the postseason for the second time in the last threeseasons, this time at the Sun Bowl on Friday in El Paso, Texas.

The Badgers (8-4) have won both meetings between the clubs in bowlcompetition, scoring a 21-16 win over the Bruins in 1994 and a 38-31 triumph in1998, both times in the Rose Bowl.

Wisconsin comes into the game with a four-game winning streak, scoring 30 ormore points in three of those games. The Badgers managed another winning seasondespite off-field troubles which led to suspensions during the season's firstmonth.

The Badgers are led offensively by senior running back Michael Bennett, whorushed for 1,598 yards and 10 touchdowns, including two games of better than200 yards.

Senior quarterback Brook Bollinger passed for 1,363 yards and eighttouchdowns and had a 118.69 quarterback rating, while Chris Chambers was thetop receiver with 47 catches for 774 yards and four touchdowns.

Jim Thorpe Award winner and first-team All-America selection Jamar Fletcheranchors the defense. The junior cornerback leads the team with sixinterceptions and 19 pass deflections. Linebacker Nick Griesen leads the teamwith 137 tackles, while Wendel Bryant was tops with six sacks.

For the Bruins (6-5), the roller-coaster fortunes from 1999 carried overinto the 2000 season. UCLA comes into the contest off consecutive losses to endthe regular season, including a 38-35 setback to archrival Southern California in thefinale.

Injuries to running back DeShaun Foster and quarterback Cory Paus hamperedthe team at various points during the season. However, Foster still leads theclub with 930 yards on 243 carries and 11 touchdowns.

Paus passed for 2,007 yards and 16 touchdowns, while Freddie Mitchell had 68catches for 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns.

Linebacker Robert Thomas anchors the Bruins defense with 80 tackles, whilecornerback Ricky Manning has four interceptions.

UCLA holds a 7-3 lead in the all-time series.

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