Sept. 27, 2004 wire reports

MADISON, Wis. -- Running back Anthony Davis, who missed No. 20 Wisconsin's last three games with an eye injury, has been cleared to play this weekend against Illinois.

Davis, who injured in the season opener, was given the OK to play Monday after meeting with University of Wisconsin ophthalmologists.

Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez has been vague about the nature of Davis' eye injury since he went down in the second quarter of the win over Central Florida.

Davis delivered a vicious hit on a Golden Knights cornerback toward the end of a 21-yard run. But he got poked in his right eye and possibly got a tiny piece of rubber from the artificial surface in it as he was driven into the turf.

Davis rushed for 78 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown before leaving.

It is the second consecutive season Davis has missed significant time with an injury.

The school's No. 2 career rusher with 3,781 yards missed all or parts of nine games last year with a high ankle sprain.

In his absence this season, the Badgers' running game dropped off dramatically. Wisconsin ran for 230 yards in the opener but just 130 Saturday in the first Big Ten game of the season, a 16-3 win over Penn State.

Alvarez said the Badgers (4-0) have missed Davis' ability to make something out of whatever the offensive line gives him, not needing a gaping hole to break off a ran.

"I think Anthony gives you some continuity. He'll hit a home run," Alvarez said. "You can move the sticks more consistently. We're a tailback-oriented offense."

The Associated Press News Service

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