Postgame Notes: Wisconsin vs. UNLV


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Sept. 1, 2011

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Postgame Notes
Wisconsin vs. UNLV
Sept. 1, 2011
Camp Randall Stadium - Madison, Wis.

Team Notes
• It was 90 degrees at kickoff. That is the hottest home game in school history and just the sixth 90-degree game in school annals.

• Bret Bielema is 21-0 in regular-season non-conference games. That is the third-best start by a Big Ten coach. Fielding Yost started 41-0 at Michigan from 1901-06 and Joe Paterno opened 23-0 at Penn State from 1993-99. Paterno's non-conference run started when Penn State began Big Ten competition in 1993.

• Wisconsin has won its season-opener every year since 1998. Their run of 14 straight 1-0 starts is the third-longest active streak in the FBS. Only Nebraska (25) and Florida (21) have longer runs. USC also enters the 2011 season with 13 consecutive opening wins.

• Wisconsin has won 29 straight regular-season non-conference games. That trails only LSU (33) for the longest active streak among FBS teams. UW's last loss was a 23-5 home defeat to UNLV on Sept. 13, 2003.

• Wisconsin is 27-3 in its last 30 night games, winning each of the last five. The Badgers are 9-2 in their last 11 night games at Camp Randall Stadium.

• Wisconsin is 21-2 in games played before Oct. 1 under head coach Bret Bielema. Both those losses came at the hands of Michigan.

• With the win over UNLV, Bielema became the sixth-fastest Big Ten coach since 1946 to reach 50 career wins. Only Bo Schembechler, Joe Paterno, Earle Bruce, Lloyd Carr and Jim Tressel reached 50 wins faster than Bielema.

• UW has won each of its last 16 home openers. The Badgers last dropped their home opener with a 43-7 loss to Colorado on Sept. 2, 1995.

• Wisconsin has won 21-straight non-conference home games. That is the fifth-longest active streak in the FBS, trailing only LSU (31), Penn State (22), Florida (22) and Boise State (22).

• The Badgers have scored at least 37 points in the first half in each of their last three home games. In its last six home games, Wisconsin has combined to score 346 points. That is an average of 57.7 points per game.

• Wisconsin's 51 points were the most in a season-opener since scoring 56 against Bowling Green on Sept. 3, 2005.

• Wisconsin has scored a touchdown on each of its last six season-opening drives.

• The Badgers scored points on each of their first eight drives.

• Wisconsin did not turn the ball over against UNLV. That marks the third-consecutive game in which UW has not coughed up the ball, dating back to last season.

Individual Notes
• In his first career start for the Badgers, QB Russell Wilson completed 10-of-13 passes for 255 yards and two TDs. He also ran for 62 yards and a score, accounting for 317 yards of total offense, the highest total for a Wisconsin QB in his starting debut (stats since 1951). His pass efficiency rating of 292.5 and 76.9 completion percentage are also the best for a Wisconsin QB who threw at least 10 passes in his starting debut.

• Wilson's 46-yard TD run in the second quarter was the longest run of his career and the longest by a Badger QB since Scott Tolzien's 47-yard run against Minnesota on Oct. 3, 2009.

• RB Montee Ball accounted for 130 all-purpose yards (63 rushing and 67 receiving) while his backfield mate James White had 166 all-purpose yards (64 rushing, 40 receiving and 62 on kickoff returns). The two combined to score five touchdowns.

• Ball had four touchdowns today (three rushing, one receiving) and has scored 19 TDs in his last seven games. He has scored at least three TDs in four of his last five games. His four TDs tonight were the most by a Badger in a season opener since Brian Calhoun had five vs. Bowling Green in 2005.

• Ball scored the Badgers' opening touchdown on a 5-yard reception from Russell Wilson. It was Ball's first career touchdown catch and Wilson's 77th career TD pass.

• Ball became the first Badger to score a rushing and receiving TD in the same game since Bradie Ewing vs. Austin Peay last season (9/25/10).

• UW's running backs (Ball, White and Ewing) combined for four catches for 148 yards.

• WR Nick Toon caught two passes for 54 yards, including a 39-yard completion, the second longest reception of his career.

• DE Louis Nzegwu had 2.0 sacks, equaling his career high set vs. Minnesota on Oct. 3, 2009.

• DE David Gilbert posted a sack and recorded his first career forced fumble.

• Freshman K Kyle French made his Badger debut, scoring nine points, making his first career field goal (29 yards) and connecting on 6-of-7 extra points.

• WR Jared Abbrederis returned three punts for 58 yards (19.3 avg.), including a career-long return of 30 yards. He has now 12.5-yard career average on punt returns (10 returns for 125 yards).

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