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Penn State thwarts Badgers' comeback in overtime

Wisconsin Penn State 24, Wisconsin 21 (OT)
Beaver Stadium • University Park, Pa. • Attendance: 93,505

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Penn State


1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Final
14 0 0 7 0 21
 Penn State
7 0 6 8 3 24
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Postgame Analysis
Lucas' Last Word: Inconsistency a consistent issue

 Statistical Leaders
 • Rushing: Montee Ball - 27 Car, 111 Yds, TD
 • Passing: Curt Phillips - 12-25, 191 Yds, 2 TD, INT
 • Receiving: Melvin Gordon - 1 Rec, 57 Yds, TD
 • Defense: Mike Taylor - 11 Tkl, 2 TFL, Sack, PBU
 Scoring Summary
 First Quarter
WIS 13:11 Gordon 57 TD pass from Phillips
(French kick)
PSU 8:17 Zwinak 3 TD run (Ficken kick)
WIS 6:27 Ball 17 TD run (French kick)
 Second Quarter
 No scoring
 Third Quarter
PSU 10:55 Ficken 23 FG
PSU 2:58 Ficken 32 FG
 Fourth Quarter
PSU 13:32 James 41 TD pass from McGloin
(Zwinak rush)
WIS 0:18 Duckworth 4 TD pass from Phillips
(French kick)
PSU -- Ficken 37 FG
 Stats at a Glance
 • First Downs 16 20
 • Total Offensive Yards 349 363
 • Passing Yards 191 200
 • Rushing Yards 158 163
 • Penalties-Yards 4-45 2-25
 • Turnovers 1 0
 • Punts-Avg. 8-39.6 7-38.1
 • Punt Returns-Avg. 1-(-3.0) 3-1.0
 • Kick Returns-Avg. 3-38.0 3-16.7
 • 3rd-Down Conversions 5-16 9-20
 • 4th-Down Conversions 1-2 1-1
 • Time of Possession 28:15 31:45
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Nov. 24, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Montee Ball became the NCAA's all-time touchdowns leader in the first quarter, but that was the last time history would be on Wisconsin's side Saturday.

Despite another fantastic game-tying rally in the fourth quarter, the Badgers once again saw their efforts fall just short in heartbreaking fashion, this time a 24-21 loss to Penn State in their regular-season finale at Beaver Stadium.

Wisconsin (7-5, 4-4) fought back from second-half struggles offensively to force thet extra period, but saw its hopes of completing the comeback end when Kyle French's 44-yard field goal attempt hooked wide left.

A 37-yarder that sneaked just inside the same left upright minutes earlier was the difference for Penn State (8-4, 6-2), which used a kick from Sam Ficken to provide the winning margin in OT.

"I felt like I hit it really well actually," French said. "All day I was hitting it very well. When I looked up the ball was just to the left of the upright and I saw it slowly sailing back."

It was the Badgers' third loss in overtime this season.

 Fast Facts
• Ball becomes NCAA all-time leader with 79th TD
• Badgers suffer third overtime loss in four games
• Phillips leads fourth-quarter drive to tie game in 4th

"The good news is that we were in the game," UW head coach Bret Bielema said. "A lot of times, teams get into these situations and they don't even get close. I give credit to our guys there, but obviously we need to pull through."

Ball broke Travis Prentice's record with the 79th touchdown of his career on a 17-yard rushing score in the first quarter, a tote that staked the Badgers to a 14-7 lead.

That's when the defenses settled in.

Both teams struggled to move the ball with regularity until the fourth quarter, with Penn State using a pair of field goals by Ficken to draw within 14-13 heading into the final period.

That's when the Nittany Lions took the lead on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Matt McGloin to Jesse James. A successful two-point conversion by Zach Zwinak gave the hosts a 21-14 lead with 13:32 to play.

The Badgers were on the ropes unitl they put their fate back on the arm of senior QB Curt Phillips.

Just as he had done the week before, Phillips led the Badgers down the field as the clock ticked away, eventually hitting WR Jeff Duckworth on a 4-yard touchdown pass with just 18 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Phillips ended the day 12-for-25 for 191 yards and two touchdown passes against one interception.

Ball led the way on the ground for the Badgers with 111 yards -- the 24th 100-yard game of his career -- and the 73rd rushing score of his career to tie Prentice's NCAA record in that category.

Despite ending the regular season on a two-game slide, the Badgers still have the opportunity to win a third-consecutive Big Ten title and a third-straight trip to the Rose Bowl. The Badgers face Legends Division champion Nebraska next Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

"The biggest thing is that we've been through some problems this season with the way things have ended, but it could end just the way we all want it to," senior DE Brendan Kelly said. "That's something that we still have the power to change."

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