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Postgame Notes: Wisconsin vs. UTEP



Sept. 22, 2012

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Postgame Notes
Wisconsin vs. UTEP
Sept. 22, 2012
Camp Randall Stadium – Madison, Wis.

Team Notes
•    The Badgers won their 19th-consecutive home game, dating back to a 20-10 loss to Iowa on Oct. 17, 2009.

•    UW won its 26th-consecutive non-conference home game, dating back to a 23-5 loss to UNLV on Sept. 13, 2003.

•    The Badgers improved to 42-3 at home under head coach Bret Bielema.

•    Bielema also improved to 27-1 in non-conference games.

•    Wisconsin finished with a season-high 213 rushing yards. The Badgers have rushed for 200 yards in 12 of their last 18 games, dating back to last season.

•    The Badgers finished with a season-high 423 yards of offense. The previous high was 387 yards in UW’s season opener vs. Northern Iowa.

•    The Badgers had their two longest running plays of the year on a 26-yard TD run by Melvin Gordon in the fourth quarter and a 22-yard run by Montee Ball in the first quarter. The previous long was a 20-yard run by James White vs. Northern Iowa.

•    The Badgers recorded their first takeaway of the season on a fumble recovery by Jake Stengel in the fourth quarter.

•    Wisconsin’s defense allowed 77 rushing yards against UTEP, dropping the Badgers’ season average to 80.8 rushing yards allowed per game. UW ranked 17th nationally in rushing defense entering Saturday’s game.

•    UW’s defense allowed UTEP to convert 5-of-18 third-down attempts. Wisconsin has allowed its opponents to convert on just 29.2 percent of their third-down attempts for the season (19-of-65).

Individual Notes
•    Freshman QB Joel Stave made his first career start as a Badger. He is the first freshman to start at quarterback for UW since Jim Sorgi on Oct. 21, 2000. Stave (Greenfield, Wis.) is the first Wisconsin native to start at QB for the Badgers since Tyler Donovan (2006).

•    Stave finished the game 12-of-17 for 210 yards a TD and an interception.

•    Stave became the fourth-straight Badger QB to throw for 200 yards in his starting debut, joining Danny O’Brien (2012), Russell Wilson (2011) and Scott Tolzien (2009). All-time, Stave is the seventh Wisconsin QB to throw for 200-plus yards in his first career start.

•    Stave finished with a pass efficiency rating of 182.0, the fifth-best mark in a starting debut by a UW quarterback.

•    Stave’s 60-yard pass to Jared Abbrederis in the second quarter was UW’s longest play this season and the longest for the Badgers since a 66-yard pass from Russell Wilson to Jeff Duckworth on Nov. 5, 2011 against Purdue.

•    Abbrederis caught 6 passes for a career-high 147 yards and a TD. His previous career high was 113 yards at Ohio State on Oct. 29, 2011.

•    Senior DB Devin Smith returned a blocked PAT for two points in the first quarter. It was the first time UW returned a blocked extra point for a 2-point conversion since the NCAA adopted this rule in 1988.

•    Sophomore DE Konrad Zagzebski blocked the PAT.  It was UW’s first blocked PAT since J.J. Watt had one vs. San Jose State on Sept. 11, 2010.

•    Junior LB Chris Borland recorded 12 tackles, including 3.5 TFLs for 20 yards and two sacks, as well as two pass breakups. It was his first double-digit tackle game of the season and the 10th of his career.

•    Junior RB James White scored his first TD of the season on a 3-yard run in the second quarter. It was White’s 21st career touchdown and first since Nov. 5, 2011 against Purdue. White would add his 22nd career touchdown on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter.

•    Freshman RB Melvin Gordon carried the ball 8 times for a career-high 112 yards and a touchdown.

•    Senior RB Montee Ball lost a fumble in the first quarter. It was the first lost fumble of his Badger career and it came on his 711th career touch (rushes and receptions).

•    Ball scored his 64th career TD in the second quarter. That moved him into eighth place alone in NCAA history, surpassing Tim Tebow (Florida) and Marshall Faulk (San Diego State), who each had 63 career touchdowns. It was his 58th career rushing TD, tied for eighth in NCAA history.

•    Ball left the game with a head injury after scoring his touchdown and did not return.

•    Sophomore Kyle Costigan also made his first start as a Badger, starting the game at right guard.

•    Freshman K Jack Russell made his Badger debut. He made three extra points and kicked off five times.

•    Freshman P Drew Meyer averaged 45.2 yards on his four punts against UTEP. Meyer is averaging 41.7 yards per punt on his 24 kicks this season.

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