Madison, Wis. • After pulling even in his lifetime competition against BYU as a coach in various positions with three schools, Wisconsin's Gary Andersen acknowledged that beating the Cougars meant something to him.
"Yeah, I can't say it doesn't," Andersen said after the Badgers' 27-17 victory Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. "It's a big victory when you grow up and that's the team that you're not supposed to like, from … whenever you start learning things."
As Utah State's coach, Andersen lost three of four meetings with BYU. He went 4-3 against the Cougars as an assistant coach at Utah, where he played in the mid-1980s after being raised in Salt Lake City.
The win enabled Andersen's Badgers (7-2) to maintain hopes of a BCS bid, if they can become eligible by moving into the top 14 of the BCS standings.
Wisconsin's remaining opponents are Indiana, Minnesota and Penn State.
The Badgers succeeded Saturday in their usual style. Their defense was solid, allowing only one touchdown until 3:12 remained in the game, and their offense was balanced and productive, with 229 rushing yards and 196 passing yards.
Wisconsin's three touchdown drives each consisted of at least 10 plays and 65 yards. "It was good for us to be able to continually drive the ball," Andersen said. "I don't think we ever let [BYU's defense] get completely settled."
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall was "frustrated that they were able to run the ball the way they did," he said.
Wisconsin's James White did the most damage with 147 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
The Badgers also were not fazed by BYU's fast-paced offense. "The pace was a non-factor; that was huge for us," Andersen said.
Andersen vs. the Cougs
Gary Andersen is now 8-8 as an assistant or head coach vs. BYU. The breakdown:
Years School Pos. Record
1997-2002, '04 Utah Def. Line 4-3
2005-08 Utah Def. coord. 2-2
2009-12 Utah State Head coach 1-3
2013 Wisconsin Head coach 1-0