Reid’s prediction on Davis is a bold and iffy one

Brian Stensaas

Sports predictions are well-documented. We’ve all heard about Babe Ruth’s supposed called home run in the 1932 World Series. Few don’t know about Joe Namath coming through with an assured victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

More recently, Jamal Lewis predicted to pal Andra Davis that he would set the NFL rushing record when the Ravens played the Browns earlier this season.

He did.

On Tuesday, Minnesota defensive tackle Darrell Reid made his presence felt using rhetoric concerning another Davis.

“Mark my words,” Reid said, “Anthony Davis will not get 100 yards (against Minnesota) this year.”

Come again?

“You can put that in the paper.”

Bold, Darrell. Very bold.

This is Anthony Davis we’re talking about. The same guy who, last year at Camp Randall Stadium, capped off Minnesota’s four-game losing streak to end the season by running all over the turf and the Gophers for 301 yards and five touchdowns. Quarterback (yes, quarterback) Brooks Bollinger also ran for more than 100 that day, finishing with 112.

The two teams meet again Saturday.

Sure, Davis has battled injuries this season, and Bollinger is now keeping the bench comfy for the New York Jets’ starting and second string quarterbacks. And yes, collectively the Badgers are coming off an embarrassing loss to Northwestern in which their star running back was hurt yet again.

However, on paper, even if Davis is 33 percent healthy against Minnesota he should get 100 yards. Badgers’ coach Barry Alvarez said he expects Davis to play Saturday.

And let’s not forget that Wisconsin currently has a Big Ten record of 10 straight seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher.

With three games to go this season, Davis is still 380 yards shy of a grand. Don’t think Reid and company are willing to help keep the streak alive.

“You don’t have to worry about us coming out flat this week,” Reid said.

Of course they won’t. So far this season, the Gophers have not allowed a single opposing rusher to go over the century mark. On three occasions rushers have gone over 90 but never triple digits.

Factor in the Music City Bowl and Minnesota has not allowed a rusher to top 100 since the Davis/Bollinger output last November.

Reid and the rest of the defense hang their hat on this, and rightfully so.

“We don’t want one person – let alone the whole team – getting 100 yards,” linebacker Ben West said. “That’s what we strive for every game.”

But to predict that Davis will not hit 100 yards is an iffy move, even if he hasn’t hit that mark since initially being hurt Sept. 13 against University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Saturday’s game isn’t for a title. And Reid is hardly in the national spotlight. A guidebook handed to athletes on campus even tells them to never make predictions.

With Minnesota and Wisconsin meeting up for a record 113th time and the Gophers having not touched the famed Paul Bunyan Axe since 2001, Minnesota is hungry enough. Quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq went as far as to say if the team lost all the rest of its games, winning against the Badgers and Iowa would be satisfactory.

Even if Reid and the defense come through on his prediction, which they might, making it probably wasn’t the best. Especially against a guy who has 509 career rushing yards in two games on the opposite side of the ball.