Close counts: Badgers survive to claim 16-14 win over Utah State

Utah State Wisconsin 16, Utah State 14
Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 79,332

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
 Utah State
7 7 0 0 14
 Wisconsin 0 3 13 0 16
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Postgame Analysis
Lucas' Last Word: Badgers begin rebuilding identity
Badger Bits: Utah State

 Statistical Leaders
 • Rushing: Montee Ball - 37 Car, 139 Yds, 1 TD
 • Passing: Danny O'Brien - 5-10, 63 Yds
 • Receiving: Brian Wozniak - 2 Rec, 24 Yds
 • Defense: Mike Taylor - 15 Tkl, 1 TFL
 Scoring Summary
 First Quarter
USU 9:17 Williams 39 yard pass from Keeton (Thompson, kick)
 Second Quarter
WIS 14:16 Kyle French 19 yard field goal
USU 00:29 Austin 11 yard pass from Keeton (Thompson kick)
 Third Quarter
WIS 7:06 Kenzel Doe 82 yard punt return (French kick)
WIS 3:06 Montee Ball 17 yard run (French kick failed)
 Fourth Quarter
 Stats at a Glance
USU WIS
 • First Downs 13 12
 • Total Offensive Yards 308 234
 • Passing Yards 181 78
 • Rushing Yards 127 156
 • Penalties-Yards 7-70 6-40
 • Turnovers 0 1
 • Punts-Avg. 11-37.5 9-41.4
 • Punt Returns-Avg. 2-10.5 1-82.0
 • Kick Returns-Avg. 2-15 3-19.7
 • 3rd-Down Conversions 6-19 3-15
 • 4th-Down Conversions 0-1 0-0
 • Time of Possession 26:55 33:05
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Sept. 15, 2012

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Utah State's Josh Thompson missed a 37-yard field goal with seconds remaining, allowing Wisconsin to hold on for a 16-14 victory Saturday night.

Thompson missed the kick wide right, preserving a win for the Badgers (2-1).

Trailing 14-3 at halftime, the Badgers got an 82-yard punt return from Kenzel Doe to begin their comeback, and Montee Ball scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 17-yard run late in the third quarter -- one of his 37 carries for 139 yards.

Utah State (2-1) built its first-half lead on a pair of touchdown passes from Chuckie Keeton, who was 18 of 34 for 181 yards.

 Fast Facts
• Badgers win 18th-consecutive home game
• Last-minute FG miss halts Utah State rally
Kenzel Doe's 82-yard punt return TD sparks Badgers

With Wisconsin leading 16-14, the Badgers' Drew Meyer shanked a punt to give the ball back to Utah State at the Wisconsin 45-yard line.

The Badgers' defense forced a punt, but Ball and the Badgers couldn't run out the clock and had to punt again.

Utah State took over on its own 32 with 1:38 left and no timeouts. Facing third-and-10 near midfield, Keeton was flushed out of the pocket and completed a 36-yard pass to Cameron Webb to put them in field goal range.

An offensive pass interference call backed Utah State up to the 30, but Keeton got 10 yards back - and Wisconsin burned a timeout with 29 seconds left.

After a short running play and a spike, Thompson - who didn't have a field goal attempt this season - missed the kick and a shot at the win.

The Badgers switched quarterbacks at halftime, with Joel Stave taking over for Danny O'Brien. But it took Doe's return to make it a game again, cutting the lead to 14-10 in the third quarter.

After a short punt by Utah State, Wisconsin put together a drive that finally included a third-and-short conversion by Ball.

Ball then found plenty of room to run on the left two plays later, scoring a 17-yard touchdown. The extra point attempt was blocked, and Wisconsin led 16-14 with 3:06 left in the third in what became the final margin.

The Aggies pounced on a blown coverage by the Badgers early on, as Keeton found Kerwynn Williams wide open for a 39-yard touchdown.

Wisconsin finally got a drive going late in the first quarter, but Ball was stuffed on third-and-goal from the 2 and the Badgers had to settle for a 19-yard field goal by Kyle French to cut the lead to 7-3 early in the second quarter.

French would miss a 36-yarder later in the quarter.

The Aggies, coming off a victory over in-state heavyweight rival Utah in overtime last week, struck again late in the half. Zach Virgil sacked O'Brien and caused a fumble, which Jake Doughty recovered at the Wisconsin 24.

Keeton then threw an 11-yard touchdown to Matt Austin, and Utah State took a 14-3 lead at the half.

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