UW Health Sports Medicine 

Blocked kick seals 20-19 win for No. 11 Badgers


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Badger Gameday: Arizona State

11 Wisconsin 20, Arizona State 19
Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, Wis.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
 Arizona State
7 3
3 6 19
 Wisconsin
3
10
7
0
20
Final Stats  |  Final Stats Get     Acrobat  Reader
• Attendance: 81,332
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Rushing: John Clay - 22 Car, 123 Yds, TD
 • Passing: Scott Tolzien - 19-25, 246 Yds, TD
 • Receiving: Lance Kendricks - 7 Rec, 131 Yds, TD
 • Defense: Louis Nzegwu - 7 Tkl, 2.0 TFL, Sack
 Scoring Summary
 First Quarter
WIS
0:40 Welch 49 FG
ASU 0:28 Bolden 97 kick return TD (Weber kick)
 Second Quarter
ASU 9:21 Weber 25 FG
WIS 6:01 Welch 44 FG
WIS 0:10 Kendricks 14 TD pass from Tolzien (Welch kick)
 Third Quarter
ASU 11:11 Weber 36 FG
WIS 2:48 Clay 19 TD run (Welch kick)
 Fourth Quarter
 ASU 4:09 Marshall 2 TD run (kick blocked)
 Stats at a Glance
ASU
WIS
 • First Downs
20 25
 • Total Offensive Yards
380 440
 • Passing Yards
211 246
 • Rushing Yards
169 194
 • Penalties-Yards
8-61
3-25
 • Turnovers 0
0
 • Punts-Avg.
4-52.2 4-43.0
 • Punt Returns-Avg.
3-9.0 2-11.0
 • Kick Returns-Avg. 5-52.2 5-22.8
 • 3rd-Down Conversions 5-12 6-14
 • 4th-Down Conversions 0-0 0-0
 • Time of Possession
27:02 32:58
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Sept. 18, 2010

Final Stats  |  Final Stats Get    Acrobat  Reader  |  Notes

MADISON, Wis. -- Special teams appeared to be the Wisconsin football team's Achilles heel early Saturday.

In the end, it was the special teams unit that saved the day for the No. 11 Badgers in a 20-19 win over Arizona State in front of a sellout crowd of 81,332 at Camp Randall Stadium.

Senior safety Jay Valai - at just 5-foot-9 - got a hand on the extra-point attempt of Arizona State kicker Thomas Weber late in the fourth quarter and kept what would have been the game-tying point off the board.

The blocked kick preserved the Badgers' 27th-consecutive regular-season win over a non-conference foe and helped UW improve to 3-0 for the seventh-consecutive season.

It also capped a wild game that saw the Sun Devils return one UW kickoff for a touchdown - and nearly break another for a score.

"We did enough good things to win this football game, but we have to correct and move past anything that can prevent us from winning in the future," UW head coach Bret Bielema said. "I really just like the resolve of these guys and the way they handle their business."

UW's defense held the Sun Devils to just 12 offensive points while the Badgers piled up 440 yards of offense.

Senior tailback John Clay posted his ninth-consecutive 100-yard rushing game with 123 yards on 22 carries - including the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter.

 Instant Impressions
Badgers' response the difference in win
From a kickoff returned for a touchdown to a key first down to a blocked extra-point attempt, a number of singular moments led to Wisconsin 20, Arizona State 19. They also went a long way toward showing the No. 11 Badgers just what they're made of, Brian Mason writes.  |  Story

The offense spread the ball around through the air, as well, with quarterback Scott Tolzien connecting on 19 of 25 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. Senior tight end Lance Kendricks was on the receiving end of that passing score and caught seven passes for a career-high total of 131 yards.

Senior wide receiver Isaac Anderson also had five grabs for 42 yards, while junior tailback Montee Ball had four catches for 38 yards and freshman receiver Jared Abbrederis hauled in three balls for 35 yards.

Junior defensive end Louis Nzegwu led the way for an injury-depleted defense with seven total stops, including a pair of tackles-for-loss and a sack. Cornerback Niles Brinkley and linebacker Culmer St. Jean had six tackles apiece.

The defense held ASU quarterback Steven Threet to 211 yards through the air on 21-for-33 passing - and did not allow a passing touchdown.

Together with Valai's blocked PAT - UW's first since 2005 -- the offensive and defensive effort was enough to overcome a 97-yard kickoff return for touchdown by ASU's Omar Bolden in the first quarter.

The Badgers put themselves up for good with a 19-yard touchdown by Clay that capped an eight-play, 88-yard drive late in the third quarter.

The score made it 20-13, but the resilient Sun Devils offense eventually countered with a nine-play scoring march that Cameron Marshall finished off with a 2-yard touchdown plunge with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter.

When Weber lined up for the PAT to tie things up, however, Valai hurdled his way through the line and got a hand on the kick to knock it to the turf.

The Badgers' offense did the rest by running out the final four minutes with a long, grinding drive deep into Arizona State territory.

 

"We're a team, guys came out and stepped up, played aggressive and played hard," Valai said. "The offense kept running it down their throats. John Clay had a great fourth quarter and finished the game off. In the red zone we played great defense.

"We came out with a victory, that's all that matters."

The Badgers moved the ball well early in the game but settled for a 49-yard field goal from Philip Welch with 40 seconds left in the first quarter to break open the scoring.

That drive was preceded by a great defensive stand for UW, as the Badgers halted a steady Sun Devils drive with a stand in the red zone.

ASU got its revenge on the ensuing kickoff, however, with Bolden breaking free for his 97-yard kickoff return that staked the guests to a 7-3 lead just 12 seconds after Welch's initial score.

A 25-yard field goal from Thomas Weber - which followed another strong red zone stand by the Badgers' defense -- made it 10-7 in favor of ASU just over five minutes into the second quarter.

Wisconsin found its answer in the waning seconds of the half, putting together a 71-yard scoring drive that chewed 3 minutes and 29 seconds off the clock.

A balanced attack that used 11 plays to find paydirt ended when Tolzien and Kendricks capped the drive by connecting on a diving 14-yard touchdown catch. The score made it a three-point UW lead with 10 seconds left in the opening half.

That was nearly enough time for the Sun Devils, with Kyle Middlebrooks breaking loose on another long kick return before he was knocked down at the Badgers' 1-yard line by Shelton Johnson.

The touchdown-saving tackle preserved the Badgers' 13-10 halftime lead.

Wisconsin returns to action next Saturday, Sept. 25, and closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule by hosting Austin Peay at Camp Randall. The game is set for an 11 a.m. kickoff and will be televised by Big Ten Network.

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