Two late fourth-quarter touchdowns snapped a 14-14 tie and gave Auburn (8-5) a 28-14 victory over Wisconsin (7-6) in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl presented by Bridgestone on Wednesday.
It was just the second bowl defeat in nine tries for the Badgers during the Barry Alvarez era.
Auburn QB Jason Campbell was named the games MVP. He completed 10-22 passes for 138 yards and rushed for an additional 67 yards. Campbell directed Auburns game-winning 87-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 2-yard TD run by Ronnie Brown with 3:30 remaining to play in the game.
Wisconsin scored first, ending a 65-yard scoring drive that used 6:58 with a 20-yard field goal by Mike Allen. The Tigers responded on the ensuing possession with a 10-play, 79-yard drive that took 5:07 and produced a 1-yard TD run by Brown. Allen added his second field goal of the game, a 35-yarder, to cut the Auburn lead to 7-6 with 2:42 left in the first half. DB Jim Leonhards seventh interception of the season (and 18th of his career) ended a late first-half Auburn drive. Leonhard is tied for second place on the all-time Wisconsin interceptions list, just three behind Jamar Fletchers school record of 21.
Carnell Williams gave the Tigers a 14-6 lead with 1:32 left in the third quarter. His 1-yard TD run came after a 16-play, 80-yard scoring drive that consumed 7:16.
The Badgers then responded with a 52-yard scoring drive that ended with a 12-yard TD pass from QB Jim Sorgi to WR Lee Evans. It was the final catch of Evanss remarkable career at Wisconsin. Sorgi hit Owen Daniels for a successful two-point conversion and the score was tied at 14.
The Badgers then forced Auburn to punt on the next possession. Wisconsin took over on its own 36-yard line. After two Anthony Davis runs moved the Badgers to midfield, Sorgis second-down pass to Evans was broken up and intercepted by Will Herring, who caught the ball after it bounced high in the air following the breakup. Campbell then guided the Tigers on their game-winning drive, completing passes of 51 and 27 yards in the process.
The Badgers had one last shot, but Auburns fifth QB sack of the game caused a Sorgi fumble and the Tigers took over on the Wisconsin six-yard line. Auburn put the game away on Williamss second TD of the afternoon.
Auburn held a 354-261 edge in total offense, outrushing the Badgers 197-58. The Tigers produced 13 tackles-for-loss, including six QB sacks. Sorgi completed 13-22 passes for 169 yards one TD and one interception. WR Brandon Williams caught six passes for 57 yards, while Evans made four catches for 51 yards.
Evans finished his Badger career with 175 receptions for 3,468 yards and 27 touchdowns, all school records. He finished second all-time in Big Ten receiving yardage.
Wisconsin opens the 2004 season at home on Sept. 4 against Central Florida, which will be under the direction of first-year coach George OLeary.