Madison, WI -The #11 Wisconsin Badgers improved to 4-0 with a 70-3 thrashing of the Austin Peay Governors in front of 77,224 at Camp Randall Stadium. Unlike in their three previous games, the Badgers impressed on all fronts this Saturday. To no one ‘s surprise, the Badgers’ running game was downright dominant while accumulating 346 yards. Freshman running back James White (pictured above) led the way with 145 yards on 11 carries (a whopping 13.2 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. The Badgers’ defense was also a force to be reckoned with. After giving up 125 yards to Arizona State’s running back Deantre Lewis last week, the rush defense locked down the Governor’s run game while limiting them to only 42 yards on the ground, including a stifling eight yards in the first half.
Wisconsin’s 70 points is a single game school record for the most points in the modern era dating back to 1946. The win also extends the Badgers’ regular-season non-conference winning streak to 28 consectutive games and marks the seventh consectutive season the Badgers enter Big Ten play undefeated.
By: Nick Grays
The Badgers’ first drive of the day was almost perfect as they ran down the field for 61 yards in 9 plays. The drive culminated with fullback Bradie Ewing (pictured above) scoring his first touchdown of the year on a 7 yard scamper. The only hiccup was a sack of quarterback Scott Tolzien by safety Jeremy Ross.
Their second drive was even better as White scored the first of his four touchdowns on a 18 yard rush to stretch the lead to 14-0. White’s run capped off a drive which lasted only two minutes, 25 seconds and totaled 57 yards.
In the beginning of the second quarter, the Governors reached the scoreboard on a booming 51 yard field goal from kicker Stephen Stansell which went straight through the uprights to cut the defecit to 14-3.
The Badgers’ offensive line continued to open huge holes for the running backs as White rumbled 66 yards for his second touchdown of the day, making the score 21-3. Austin Peay’s defense really had no chance against the Badger’s running game on Saturday. Conversely, the Badgers’ defense limited any chance the opposition’s offense had at making it a game as the Governors followed with a three and out sequence.
Continuing the trend from last week, Tolzien connected with one of his favorite targets, tight end Lance Kendricks for a 7 yard touchdown only five minutes into the second quarter to give the Badgers a 28-3 lead.
The Badgers continued to pour it on in the second quarter after Austin Peay went three and out for the second consecutive time. Ewing scored on a 3 yard reception to to go along with his rushing touchdown in the first quarter. Tolzien’s second touchdown of the day stretched the lead to 35-3. Ewing was ecstatic to not only receive playing time but also reach paydirt twice.
“It was awesome, just to be able to score some points to help the team win the game, it was awesome. Like you said, the fullback doesn’t usually get all the glory, but as long as we’re winning, I’m happy with it,” said Ewing.
Clay joined the scoring parade on the next drive with a 12 yard touchdown. With 35 seconds left in the half, tight end Jacob Pederson grabbed Tolzien’s pass to the back of the end zone to give the Badgers a dominating 49-3 lead at halftime. The Badgers hadn’t scored that many points in a half since posting 51 against Temple in 2005.
“What we tried to say at halftime was let’s get Jon in there as the game is real. Let’s get him in there with the number one offensive line and get him to get in the groove of what we do here, and that’s exactly what we did. I thought he handled it very well. I don’t know what his stats were. Great exectution,” said Bilema.
Clay stayed in the game in order to extend his national-leading streak of 100+ yards and a touchdown to 10 games. Clay finished the day with 118 yards on a team-high 15 carries while the freshman White continued his career day on the ground by adding his third rushing touchdown of the day on a 11 yard burst to the outside in the third quarter. White added another score at the end of the third with a nifty move to break the goal-line on a 19 yard rush to put the Badgers ahead 63-3.
“I didn’t expect to have the day I did,” said White. “I was just going out there and trying to gain yards, and I happened to break it a couple of times. It was a great game, and now we’ll have to get ready for Michigan State.”
In the fourth and final quarter, running back Montee Ball became the fifth different Badger to score a touchdown with a ten yard run. This made the score 70-3 in favor of the Badgers.
Next week, the Badgers gear up for the Big Ten Season by traveling to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans who also put forth a dominating performance in a 45-7 win against Northern Colorado. The Badgers are 1-2 in their last three versus Michigan State at Spartan Stadium, including a heartbreaking 25-24 loss in 2008.
Despite the Badgers’ history at Michigan State, Bilema feels his team is ready for Big Ten play next weekend.
“I think they’re excited. What we’ll do tomorrow is start out preparation on Michigan State. The thing we’ll focus on is, first off, what do we have in our agenda to get ready for them. We know what we’ve had success with in the past and what we haven’t, and that’s the part that we need to address first with our players, what is the game plan for us to have success, before we even start talking about what Michigan State will bring for us,” said Bilema
Have any thoughts on the game or predictions of what the Badgers can do during the Big Ten Season? Chime in by commenting below!
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