1996 Copper Bowl
1234 Total
Wisconsin 141707 38
Utah 3070 10
DateDecember 27, 1996
StadiumArizona Stadium
LocationTucson, Arizona
MVPRon Dayne (RB, Wisconsin) & Tarek Saleh (LB, Wisconsin)
RefereeBill Richardson (Pac-10)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersBrad Nessler and Gary Danielson
Copper Bowl
 < 1995  1997

The 1996 Copper Bowl was the 8th edition of the bowl game. It was between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Utah Utes.

Game summary

Wisconsin scored first on a 38-yard touchdown run from Mike Samuel to open a 7–0 lead. Utah's Daniel Pulsipher answered with a 24-yard field goal to make it 7–3 Wisconsin. Wisconsin's Ron Dayne scored on a 40-yard touchdown run to make it 14–3 Wisconsin.

In the second quarter, Wisconsin's Cyrill Weems intercepted a Utah pass, and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown, making it 21–3 Wisconsin. John Hall added a 38-yard field goal to make it 24–3. Freshman running back Ron Dayne added a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 31–3 Wisconsin at halftime. In the third quarter, Juan Johnson scored on a 1-yard run to make it 31–10. Dayne's third touchdown run of the game, a 1 yarder, made the final score Wisconsin 38, Utah 10.[1]

Dayne finished the game with 30 carries for 246 yards and three touchdowns, breaking the Copper Bowl rushing record and the Big Ten single-season rushing record with the accumulated yardage.[2] This yardage (and the yardage gained in his other three bowl game appearances) is not included in Dayne's NCAA record-breaking career rushing total of 6,397 yards, as it would be for any back trying to break the record today. Dayne was named the offensive most valuable player of the game.


  1. ^ "Wisconsin vs. Utah". usatoday.com. December 28, 1996.
  2. ^ "Good as Gold: UW, Dayne mine Copper victory". Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2009.