Game Day: December 29, 2000
In a rematch of the 1999 Rose Bowl, Wisconsin and UCLA squared off in the 67th edition of the Wells Fargo Sun Bowl.
The game lived up to its billing, as the Badgers edged out the Bruins, 21-20, in front of 49,093.
The attendance of 49,093 was the seventh largest crowd in Sun Bowl history and 13th largest football crowd at Sun Bowl Stadium.
Wisconsin Head Coach Barry Alvarez improved his postseason winning percentage to .857, tied for second among coaches with at least six appearances. Wisconsin’s victory was the first Sun Bowl win by a Big Ten Conference team in five years (Iowa, 1995).
UCLA junior Freddie Mitchell was named the C.M. Hendricks Most Valuable Player; Mitchell’s 180 receiving yards set a new Sun Bowl record, his nine receptions tied the top spot for most passes caught, and his 64-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cory Paus was the second-longest touchdown pass and the third-longest pass play in Sun Bowl history.
UCLA senior Oscar Cabrera was named the Jimmy Rogers, Jr. Most Valuable Lineman; Cabrera anchored an offensive line that racked up 396 yards of total offense, which included 114 yards rushing and 282 yards passing.
Wisconsin junior Michael Bennett was named the John Folmer Most Valuable Special Teams Player; Bennett rushed for 83 yards on 16 carries with one touchdown and had two kickoff returns for 79 yards, including one that resulted in the touchdown that pulled the Badgers to within six points midway through the third quarter.
Bennett then added the game-deciding score in the fourth quarter on a six-yard run to give Wisconsin a 21-20 lead.