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Seasons change: Badgers open up to close out non-conference slate

UTEP Wisconsin 37, UTEP 26
Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 79,332

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
6 3 7 10 26
2 21 0 14 37
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Postgame Analysis
Lucas' Last Word: Best drive comes at critical time
Badger Bits: UTEP

 Statistical Leaders
 • Rushing: James White - 15 Car, 65 Yds, 2 TDs
 • Passing: Joel Stave - 12-17, 210 Yds, TD, INT
 • Receiving: Jared Abbrederis - 6 Rec, 147 Yds, TD
 • Defense: Chris Borland - 12 Tkl, 2 Sk, 3.5 TFL, 2 PBU
 Scoring Summary
 First Quarter
UTEP 2:15 Edwards 39 TD pass from Lamaison (Valadez kick failed)
WIS 2:15 Smith PAT return
 Second Quarter
WIS 14:13 Ball 1 TD run (French kick)
WIS 10:42 White 3 TD run (Russell kick)
WIS 4:23 Abbrederis 47 TD pass from Stave (Russell kick)
UTEP 0:00 Valadez 45 FG
 Third Quarter
UTEP 4:57 Williams 8 TD run (Valadez kick)
 Fourth Quarter
UTEP 7:59 Valadez 43 FG
WIS 3:20 White 2 TD run (Russell kick)
WIS 3:05 Gordon 26 TD run (Russell kick)
UTEP 0:50 Edwards 62 TD pass from Lamaison (Valadez kick)
 Stats at a Glance
 • First Downs 20 21
 • Total Offensive Yards 336 423
 • Passing Yards 259 210
 • Rushing Yards 77 213
 • Penalties-Yards 10-56 6-64
 • Turnovers 2 1
 • Punts-Avg. 7-39.6 4-45.2
 • Punt Returns-Avg. 3-3.33 2-3.5
 • Kick Returns-Avg. 5-16.4 2-22
 • 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. 22, 2012

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- James White and Melvin Gordon picked up the slack for Montee Ball and the Wisconsin Badgers.

With the Heisman Trophy finalist sidelined by an early head injury Saturday, White rushed for a pair of touchdowns and Gordon sealed Wisconsin's 37-26 victory over UTEP with a 26-yard scoring run late in the fourth quarter.

Jared Abbrederis added a 47-yard TD reception in his first game back from a concussion as the Badgers (3-1) extended their home winning streak against non-conference opponents to 26 games.

 Fast Facts
• Badgers win 19th-straight home game
• Ball, Gordon combine for 3 rushing touchdowns
• Borland records 12 tackles, pair of sacks

Wisconsin recovered, and Gordon scored on the next play to finish the Miners off. Gordon, a redshirt freshman who had all of 18 yards in Wisconsin's first three games, finished with 112 on eight carries. White had 65 yards on 15 carries while Abbrederis had a career-high 147 yards receiving.

Joel Stave went 12-of-17 for 210 yards in his first career start. After being sacked twice in Wisconsin's first three drives, the redshirt freshman settled in and showed rhythm. His only major error was an interception in the second quarter.

UTEP scored first, getting a big assist when Chris Borland was called for roughing the passer. That gave UTEP the ball at the Wisconsin 39, and Nick Lamaison found Michael Edwards in the end zone.

But that seemed to finally wake the Badgers up. Konrad Zagzebski got his body in front of Steven Valadez's extra point attempt, and Devin Smith scooped up the ball and raced the length of the field to make it 6-2. According to Wisconsin, it was the first time the Badgers had returned a blocked extra point for two points since the NCAA adopted the rule in 1988.

Gordon opened the Wisconsin drive with a 20-yard run, and Ball followed with a 22-yard rumble that gave the Badgers the ball at the UTEP 25. Five plays later, Ball scored on a 1-yard run. But he got knocked around on the play, looking wobbly as he got up. The medical staff only needed a few minutes to decide he was done for the day, and Ball spent the second half on the sidelines in street clothes.

Stave's 60-yard pass to Abbrederis set up a 3-yard scoring run by White. The two connected again on a 47-yard TD reception to give Wisconsin a 23-6 lead, and the rout appeared to be on

A roughing-the-kicker call kept UTEP's drive alive late in the second quarter, and Valadez kicked a 45-yard field goal just before halftime. That started a run of 13 unanswered points by the Miners before Wisconsin answered late with Gordon's score -- the longest running play of the season for the Badgers.

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