Wisconsin wins bowl in Luke Fickell’s debut, Jim Leonhard’s sendoff

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Braelon Allen ran for 116 yards and a touchdown and Wisconsin held off a second-half push by Oklahoma State in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl for a 24-17 victory on Tuesday night.

The Badgers (7-6) dominated the first half with stifling defense, building a 17-point lead as new coach Luke Fickell chased the sideline and interim coach Jim Leonhard called the shots.

Wisconsin was stuck on the slippery turf at Chase Field in the second half, unable to generate anything on offense as the Cowboys (7-6) found a rhythm when they had the ball.

Cedrick Dort ended Oklahoma State’s drive by intercepting Garret Rangel’s pass with three minutes left, preserving the Badgers’ eighth win in their last nine bowl games.

Allen scored on a 20-yard run after an Oklahoma State turnover in the third quarter, Chez Mellusi scored on a 1-yard run and Chase Wolf threw a 15-yard TD pass to Hayden Rucci.

The Cowboys lost four of five to close the regular season and struggled offensively as they fell into a 24-7 hole midway through the third quarter.

Rangel led Oklahoma State, throwing for 229 yards and two touchdowns.

The freshman improvised a fourth-and-goal by making a pass to Ollie Gordon while he was in the hands of a defender to open the fourth quarter and set up Tanner Brown’s 24-yard field goal to lead the Cowboys at 24-17.

Rangel tried to make a big play down the field after another second-half defensive stop by Oklahoma State, but threw his second interception when Dort cut inside the intended receiver.


Oklahoma State: The Cowboys revved their offense a little too late to mount the comeback, leaving coach Mike Gundy with nine bowl wins, tied for seventh on the career list.

Wisconsin: The Badgers had a new coach on the sidelines and several new players at key positions, including quarterback. Wisconsin picked up the win after its offense stalled, sending Leonhard away with a win.


Wisconsin: Fickell will continue to fill out his roster and roster after losing several players who either declared for the NFL draft or entered the transfer portal. Wolf will be back and will have momentum on his side after winning a bowl game.

Oklahoma State: The bowl experience should help Rangel heading into next season when he will be the frontrunner to be the starting quarterback. Most of the Cowboys’ skill players should return as well.

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