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Bulldogs can't quite pull off another win over Wisconsin

8/24/2002

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- This return wasn't nearly as electrifying
as Bernard Berrian's last one.

Berrian, whose 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at Camp
Randall Stadium a year ago sparked one of the biggest victories in
Fresno State's history, sprained his right knee on his only return
Friday night and watched as Wisconsin exacted its revenge.

Mike Allen's 34-yard field goal with 2:05 left gave the
25th-ranked Badgers a 23-21 victory over the Bulldogs in the second
John Thompson Foundation Classic.

"Every loss hurts. It hurts more when there's nothing you can
do about it,'' said Berrian, who sat out the final three quarters.
"I have to get an MRI tomorrow, but hopefully I'll be back next
week.''

Sophomore strong safety Jim Leonhard, the anchor of the Badgers'
retooled secondary, had two interceptions in his first career start
and he added a game-saving breakup on the Bulldogs' last-gasp pass.

On fourth-and-19 from his 41, Fresno State quarterback Jeff
Grady, who replaced David Carr, the top pick in the NFL draft,
threw a hard pass that Leonhard, a walk-on, knocked from Marque
Davis' hands.

"I saw him make his break. I got a good jump on the ball and
just knocked it out of there,'' Leonhard said.

Otherwise, the Bulldogs would have had a first down at the 35
and a chance for their second straight victory in Madison.

"If he catches it, who knows? We win the game,'' said Bulldogs
coach Pat Hill. "But he made the play and we didn't.''

Grady lamented his throw before that, an intentional grounding
that pushed the Bulldogs back from midfield to their 41 and cost
them a down.

"That killed the drive. I had to be a little smarter,'' Grady
said. "I'll learn to throw it a little sooner and a little
deeper.''

Last year, Berrian racked up 300 all-purpose yards against the
Badgers. He was off to another fine start Friday night when he
sprained his right knee on the final play of the first quarter and
didn't return.

"It might be a slight ligament tear,'' Hill said. "It hurt
because he had two big plays early for us. It hurt to lose him that
early in the game. But they didn't have Lee Evans and we didn't
have Berrian.''

Berrian, among the nation's premier receivers and returners, was
injured when he was smothered by Jason Pociask on a 1-yard punt
return at his 11. He had two catches for 54 yards, including a
22-yard touchdown reception for the game's first points.

The Badgers sorely missed Evans, their all-time leading receiver
who is out until October with a knee injury, but Anthony Davis
rushed 37 times for 184 yards and freshman fullback Matt Bernstein
scored twice before hyperextending a knee in the third quarter.

Three minutes before Allen's game-winning field goal, he missed
from 46 yards. But an offside penalty on Fresno State kept the
drive alive.

"We played hard but we didn't play smart at times,'' Hill said.

Grady, who injured a hip on a hard hit from defensive end Jake
Sprague just before halftime, put the Bulldogs ahead 21-20 with a
23-yard TD pass to Alec Greco with nine minutes left.

The score came two plays after Badgers backup Jerone Pettus
fumbled at his 26 and Bryce McGill recovered for Fresno State.

Three plays after Berrian went out, Fresno State center Rodney
Michael snapped the ball over Grady's head and Sprague recovered at
the 1. Bernstein took it in from there to tie it at 7.

The Badgers made it 10-7 on Allen's 27-yard field goal after a
touchdown by Davis was negated by Tony Paciotti's hold. Asen
Asparuhov's 55-yard attempt fell short as the first half expired.

Sam Williams recovered a fumble by Davis at the Badgers' 15 and
five plays later, Grady hit Adam Jennings with an 8-yard scoring
strike that put the Bulldogs on top 14-10 in the third quarter.

The Badgers responded with a 65-yard drive capped by Bernstein's
second TD, a 3-yard rumble that put Wisconsin ahead 17-14.

Allen's 35-yard field goal made it 20-14 with 11:50 remaining.

Grady completed 21 of 42 passes for 262 yards. But his sore hip
forced Hill to abandon his play-action calls.

"He was very immobile,'' Hill said. "But he had some big-time
throws. He threw some big-time shots. He had a gutty performance.
He played on one leg.''

Grady said it wasn't injuries that cost the Bulldogs but their
four turnovers.

Leonhard, a walk-on, intercepted Grady's first deep pass of the
night and picked him off again in the fourth quarter, when he
stripped the ball from Jennings.

"Jim Leonhard is a really special kid,'' Alvarez said. "Just
does everything. He's so dependable. He's amazing. Now, there's one
cat who didn't have big eyes.''