Oct. 21, 2009
MADISON, Wis. - It has been 10 years since Ron Dayne brought home the Heisman Trophy to the University of Wisconsin. Who could forget his historic run against Iowa in 1999 to break the NCAA rushing record? Or his performance in the 2000 Rose Bowl with 34 carries for 200 yards and a touchdown. To commemorate Dayne’s monumental 1999 season, UWBadgers.com will provide weekly updates with memories from the 1999 season. Today, we look back at Wisconsin’s seventh game of the season, which was pure Badger domination against Indiana.
After squeaking out an overtime victory against Minnesota the week before, Wisconsin came back in full force the next week at home against Indiana. One player in particular that jump started the Badger offense against Indiana was Ron Dayne.
The week before, Dayne had a season-low 80 yards, but carried the ball 17 times for 167 yards, all in the first half, against Indiana. Dayne had two long touchdown runs, one for 69 yards, the other for 57 yards to help Wisconsin take a 38-0 lead into halftime.
Dayne did not see the field in the second half but on his 57-yard TD run, he broke the 1,000-yard mark for the season, giving him his fourth-straight season with 1,000-plus yards.
Dayne was only a small slice of the Badger offense that racked up 705 yards of total offense against Indiana. Wisconsin scored on nine of its 12 possessions to shutout Indiana 59-0 and improve to 5-2 overall, 3-1 in the conference with four conference games remaining.
There’s no question Dayne could have done more damage to the Hoosiers in the second half, but he also could have done damage to himself. Dayne injured his finger the week before at Minnesota and to avoid even more injury, head coach Barry Alvarez decided to give him the second half off.
"I just thought it would be foolish for us to go in there, just for yardage sake, to put (Dayne) the game," Alvarez said after the game. "I didn't feel that was the proper thing to do."
At that point in the season, Dayne needed 697 more yards to break the NCAA record, putting him at an average of 174 yards per game to finish the season. But numbers didn’t seem to mean too much to Dayne at that time and he was OK with Alvarez’s decision to sit out the second half.
"I don't feel I'm owed something," Dayne said after the game. "I just want to go out and help the team win."
Wisconsin vs. Indiana Boxscore
Remembering the Heisman: Week 1 (Murray State)
Remembering the Heisman: Week 2 (Ball State)
Remembering the Heisman: Week 3 (Cincinnati)
Remembering the Heisman: Week 4 (Michigan)
Remembering the Heisman: Week 5 (Ohio State)
Remembering the Heisman: Week 6 (Minnesota)