MADISON, Wis. --- Wisconsin laid a 45-7 thumping on Penn State here Saturday, ending the Nittany Lions hopes of winning the Big Ten.
The Badgers advance to the inaugural Big Ten championship game on Saturday in Indianapolis, where they will play Michigan State. Meanwhile, the Lions await bowl selections.
Plenty went wrong for the Lions on Saturday. After going ahead 7-0 early, they allowed 45 unanswered points. They turned the ball over four times, including twice on special teams. The four turnovers led to three Wisconsin touchdowns and a field goal.
“Obviously, we didn’t play a very good football game today,” interim head coach Tom Bradley said after the game. “One of the key ingredients was the turnovers. We can’t turn the ball over against that team; we had four of them today. Crucial times, crucial situations.”
Some other notes from Saturday’s game:
-Wisconsin running back Montee Ball torched Penn State’s defense for 156 yards on 25 carries and four rushing touchdowns. James White added 75 yards on 16 carries and quarterback Russell Wilson added 48 yards on the ground.
-Wilson, probably the best quarterback Penn State faced all season, was 19-of-29 for 186 passing yards with two touchdowns. He hit Jared Abbrederis seven times, including a 21-yard connection for a first-quarter touchdown. Abbrederis finished with 93 yards. Nick Toon added 42 yards on five catches and a touchdown.
Bradley praised Wilson after the game: “He’s pretty darn good. He played a heck of a game, take your hat off to him and realize he did a heck of a job today.”
-Penn State’s lone touchdown came on a 44-yard pass from Matt McGloin to wide receiver Curtis Drake, who was left wide open inside the five-yard line. It was the first career touchdown for Drake, the former West Catholic High School star.
“I was just able to get over that hump,” Drake said after the game. “This is my first one in my career so I’m definitely grateful for that. I was a little excited but I couldn’t get too exited because we still had a football game to go.”
-Matt McGloin was 9-of-17 for just 97 yards and threw the touchdown and an interception. Rob Bolden came in late in the game and went 2-of-7 for 22 yards for Penn State.
-Silas Redd rushed only 12 times for 66 yards for the Lions. Curtis Dukes had six carries late in the game for 25 yards, while Stephfon Green had just three carries for four yards on Saturday.
-Penn State senior wide receiver Derek Moye was held to just 22 receiving yards on three catches. Drake caught two balls for 43 yards and Devon Smith caught two for 20 yards.
-Safety Drew Astorino led Penn State with 12 tackles. The Lions sacked Wilson only twice – Jack Crawford got to him once and Devon Still and Sean Stanley teamed up on the other.
-Anthony Fera had another solid game punting the ball for Penn State, pinning Wisconsin inside its own 20-yard line in three of his five punts.