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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: Davis leads Badgers offense while defense stuffs Illini

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posted on Oct, 3 2004 @ 08:07 AM
MADISON, Wis. -- Anthony Davis made up for his missed month in a hurry.

Davis returned from an eye injury Saturday and sparked No. 20 Wisconsin's 24-7 victory over Illinois by rushing for 213 yards and three touchdowns.

Davis took care of a stagnant offense, and the defense was as dominant as ever. The Badgers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) held their fifth straight opponent to a touchdown or less, a feat they last achieved in 1951.

"The best defense today was No. 28," defensive coordinator Brett Bielema said of Davis. "It was nice to see him bopping around out there."

Davis carried 27 times, and his biggest run was his last: a 31-yard rumble into the end zone on fourth-and-3 with three minutes left after the Illini (2-3, 0-2) had pulled within 10 points.

"We were hoping to get off the field," cornerback James Cooper said. "That really hurt us."

Davis burst through the line and slipped strong safety Morris Virgil at the 20, then trotted into the end zone, where he was flagged for excessive celebrating.

Who could blame him?

Davis, who sat out the last 3½ games with an orbital fracture in his right eye, also scored on runs of 16 and 7 yards and set up Mike Allen's 48-yard field goal with a 27-yard run.

The Badgers were slapped with a 15-yard penalty for Davis' unsportsmanlike conduct when he raised his arms in an 'O' after scoring.

"It was a salute to the student section," he explained.

Was it worth it?

"I don't know," Davis said, glancing toward coach Barry Alvarez and hoping the coach won't make him do any more running for his transgression. "I'll find out tomorrow."

"We'll have a discussion about that," Alvarez said with a smile.

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