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The race is on: Badgers roll on to Indy with drubbing of Penn State


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Penn State 15 Wisconsin 45, 20 Penn State 7
Camp Randall Stadium • Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 79,708
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Wisconsin

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 Penn State
7 0 0 0 7
 Wisconsin
7 21 14 3 45
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Postgame Analysis
• Lucas' Last Word: Turnovers help Badgers bounce back

 Statistical Leaders
 • Rushing: Montee Ball - 25 Car, 156 Yds, 4 TD
 • Passing: Russell Wilson - 19-29, 186 Yds, 2 TD
 • Receiving: Jared Abbrederis - 7 Rec, 93 Yds, TD
 • Defense: Conor O'Neill - 6 Tkl, FF, FR
 Scoring Summary
 First Quarter
PSU 8:44 Drake 44 TD pass from McGloin
(Fera kick)
WIS 3:32 Abbrederis 21 TD pass from Wilson
(Welch kick)
 Second Quarter
WIS 14:57 Ball 1 TD run (Welch kick)
WIS 2:09 Ball 2 TD run (Welch kick)
WIS 0:37 Toon 4 TD pass from Wilson
(Welch kick)
 Third Quarter
WIS 12:52 Ball 9 TD run (Welch kick)
WIS 4:09 Ball 18 TD run (Welch kick)
 Fourth Quarter
WIS 10:47 Welch 44 FG
 Stats at a Glance
PSU WIS
 • First Downs 12 27
 • Total Offensive Yards 233 450
 • Passing Yards 119 186
 • Rushing Yards 114 264
 • Penalties-Yards 7-58 4-35
 • Turnovers 4 1
 • Punts-Avg. 5-46.2 5-40.6
 • Punt Returns-Avg. 4-8.5 2-12.0
 • Kick Returns-Avg. 6-21.3 2-24.0
 • 3rd-Down Conversions 4-13 9-16
 • 4th-Down Conversions 0-2 0-0
 • Time of Possession 21:43 38:17
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Bowl Central

Nov. 26, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Reeling after back-to-back losses took them out of the national championship picture a month ago, running back Montee Ball and No. 15 Wisconsin have rallied for a spot in the Big Ten title game and a shot at the Rose Bowl.

And as Ball makes a run at the NCAA's single-season touchdown record, the Badgers are grooming a late-blooming Heisman Trophy contender.

Ball scored four more touchdowns and Wisconsin routed No. 20 Penn State 45-7 on Saturday. With the win, Wisconsin will play Big Ten Legends division winner Michigan State in Indianapolis next Saturday.

 Fast Facts
• Badgers punch ticket for first Big Ten championship game
• Ball scores 4 TDs, moves into No. 2 on NCAA single-season touchdown list with 34
• Badgers hold opponent scoreless in second half for second-consecutive week

"We had a group of men in our room that we knew would take one day at a time to get to where we wanted to be," Badgers coach Bret Bielema said. "They started on a process to get through the last four weeks. Bottom line: We won a trophy today to earn a way to Indianapolis and can't wait to get there."

Wisconsin went into the season promoting quarterback Russell Wilson for the Heisman, but recently added a push for Ball. Ball has scored 34 touchdowns this season for the Badgers (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten), the second-most in a single season in NCAA history. Barry Sanders holds the record, scoring 39 for Oklahoma State in 11 games in the 1988 season.

Can Ball break it?

"Whatever the offensive line wants," Ball said. "If they want me to get there, then I'll get there. But I'm really looking forward to that, it's an entire offensive achievement, it's going to be a great feeling if I do break it."

He finished with 156 yards on 25 carries.

The Nittany Lions (9-3, 6-2) came into the game hoping to salvage something from a season dwarfed by scandal. They took an early 7-0 lead but quickly unraveled, falling behind 28-7 by halftime.

After taking an early lead, the Nittany Lions just gave too many chances to the Badgers' high-octane offense led by Ball and Wilson.

Wisconsin was again without starting center Peter Konz, but it didn't seem to matter. Wilson threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns, flustering the Nittany Lions' defense by slipping away from tackling attempts all afternoon.

"We've been facing quarterbacks like that all year," Penn State defensive back Drew Astorino said. "But he's obviously phenomenal at what he does. When we didn't have good coverage, he'd complete a pass."

Wilson has thrown a touchdown pass in 36 straight games, tying the NCAA record held by former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell -- who is now a backup for the Green Bay Packers.

The Nittany Lions started strong, taking an 7-0 lead on a pair of big mistakes by the Badgers.

Wisconsin had Penn State stopped, but a Wisconsin player ran into Nittany Lions punter Anthony Fera to give up a first down on a penalty. Four plays later, Matt McGloin found Curtis Drake wide open -- no Badgers defensive back was within 10 yards -- near the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown.

The Badgers answered with a heavy dose of Ball on a 10-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Jared Abbrederis.

McGloin then threw an interception to Wisconsin safety Shelton Johnson, giving the ball back to the Badgers near midfield. Wilson marched Wisconsin into the red zone, Ball scored a 1-yard touchdown and Wisconsin took a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Wilson then left Nittany Lions defenders grasping at air on a drive late in the second quarter. With the Badgers facing third-and-7, Wilson slipped away from pressure and ran for a first down.

Later in the drive, Wilson broke a handful of tackles on a 19-yard scramble to give Wisconsin first-and-goal at the 5. Ball scored a 2-yard touchdown two plays later, and Wisconsin took a 21-7 lead.

Penn State then fumbled a kickoff and Wilson drove the Badgers again, finishing with a 4-yard touchdown to Nick Toon.

Toon was wearing jersey No. 87 in tribute to his father, former Badgers and New York Jets wide receiver Al Toon.

Penn State running back Silas Redd fumbled early in the third quarter and the Badgers recovered near midfield.

Wilson marched the Badgers into the red zone, Ball scored his third touchdown of the day from 9 yards out and Wisconsin led 35-7.

Ball added an 18-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.

The inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game is set for next Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT), with Fox broadcasting the game live.

ON WISCONSIN
Bowl Central
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