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Badgers fall to Spartans in Big Ten opener, 34-24


Badger Gameday: Michigan State

24 Michigan State 34, 11 Wisconsin 24
Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, Mich.
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 Statistical Leaders
 • Rushing: James White - 10 Rush, 98 Yds, 2 TD
 • Passing: Scott Tolzien - 11-25, 127 Yds, TD
 • Receiving: Jacob Pedersen - 2 Rec, 38 Yds, TD
 • Defense: J.J. Watt - 10 Tkl, 2.5 TFL, Sack
 Scoring Summary
 First Quarter
Conroy 36 FG
 Second Quarter
WIS 14:29 White 16 TD run (Welch kick)
Welch 49 FG
Conroy 36 FG
MSU 8:11 Martin 74 punt return TD (Conroy kick)
MSU 0:23 Dell 8 TD pass from Cousins (Conroy kick)
 Third Quarter
WIS 10:48 White 34 TD run (Welch kick)
MSU 0:02 Gantt 1 TD pass from Cousins (Conroy kick)
 Fourth Quarter
 WIS 10:53 Pedersen 12 TD pass from Tolzien (Welch kick)
MSU 2:43 Cunningham 1 TD pass from Cousins (Conroy kick)
 Stats at a Glance
 • First Downs
15 19
 • Total Offensive Yards
292 444
 • Passing Yards
127 269
 • Rushing Yards
165 175
 • Penalties-Yards
 • Turnovers 0
 • Punts-Avg.
6-37.5 1-43.0
 • Punt Returns-Avg.
1-13.0 2-41.5
 • Kick Returns-Avg. 7-18.7 4-24.5
 • 3rd-Down Conversions 3-11 9-18
 • 4th-Down Conversions 0-1 2-3
 • Time of Possession
23:36 36:24
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Oct. 2, 2010

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Kirk Cousins lofted a 1-yard touchdown pass to B.J. Cunningham on fourth down with 2:43 remaining, icing No. 24 Michigan State's second straight win without coach Mark Dantonio, 34-24 over No. 11 Wisconsin on Saturday.

Dantonio, who had a mild heart attack Sept. 19, planned to return for this game, but the Spartans (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) announced hours before kickoff that he had been hospitalized again Thursday because of a blood clot in his leg.

Michigan State overcame three first-half turnovers to remain unbeaten heading into next week's showdown at Michigan.

With the Spartans leading 27-24 late in the fourth quarter, Wisconsin (4-1, 0-1) couldn't stop them when they decided to go for the touchdown on fourth down near the goal line.

Cunningham's touchdown catch capped a 15-play, 84-yard drive that used up 7:57. Michigan State kept the drive alive with a 35-yard screen pass to Larry Caper on third-and-11 from its own 28.

Despite its early turnover problems, Michigan State led 20-10 at the half. Keshawn Martin made it 13-10 at about the midway point of the second quarter, catching a punt at his own 26, running straight up the middle and then veering to his right after crossing midfield. Nobody on Wisconsin was in a position to catch him.

Even without their coach, the Spartans stayed aggressive, going for it three times on fourth down against Wisconsin and converting twice.

On fourth-and-1 from the Wisconsin 48 with about a minute remaining in the first half, Le'Veon Bell took a pitch to the left and raced past the surprised Badgers for a 23-yard gain. The play helped set up an 8-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Mark Dell with 23 seconds left in the half.

Cousins finished 20 of 29 for 269 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.

Wisconsin's John Clay was held to 80 yards on 17 carries, snapping his streak of 10 straight games rushing for at least 100 yards. James White picked up the slack, running for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

White's 34-yard scoring run early in the third quarter made it 20-17, and Wisconsin stopped Michigan State near the goal line on fourth down. But the Spartans' defense got the ball back quickly, and Cousins threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Gantt with 2 seconds left in the third quarter.

Scott Tolzien threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Pedersen for Wisconsin to make it 27-24 with 10:53 to play.


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