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Wisconsin runs over PSU to capture Leaders Division

Nov 27, 2011 - 1:31 AM Madison, WI (Sports Network) - Montee Ball ran for four touchdowns and Russell Wilson threw for a pair of scores, as the 15th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers overwhelmed No. 20 Penn State, 45-7, to clinch the Big Ten Leaders Division title on Saturday.

Ball, who gained 156 yards on 25 carries, leads the nation with 34 touchdowns, a Wisconsin and Big Ten record. Only Barry Sanders has scored more touchdowns in a season, totaling 39 at Oklahoma State in 1988.

Wilson finished with 186 yards while completing 19-of-29 passes for Wisconsin (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten), which will play Michigan State next week in the conference's first championship game.

The December 3 matchup in Indianapolis will be a rematch against the Spartans, who defeated the Badgers at home last month on a Hail Mary touchdown pass on the final play of the game.

"Obviously this is the first time in Big Ten history where you get rematches," said Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema. "When this whole format came up everybody knew it would be a possibility. Even leaving the field against Michigan State I think probably a lot of guys thought to that moment. The way the world works, it panned itself out and right now it's in front of us."

Matt McGloin threw for 97 yards on 9-of-17 passing with one touchdown and an interception for the Nittany Lions (9-3, 6-2), who suffered their first loss in five road games this season.

"We didn't play a very good football game today," said Penn State interim head coach Tom Bradley. "One of the key ingredients was the turnovers."

Penn State actually opened the scoring after a roughing the kicker penalty kept its first drive of the game alive. Four plays following the infraction, McGloin found an uncovered Curtis Drake down the field for a 44-yard touchdown.

But Wilson quickly answered with a 21-yard scoring strike to Jared Abbrederis.

McGloin was then picked off by Shelton Johnson on the first play of Penn State's next possession, and the turnover led to Ball opening the second quarter by powering his way across the goal line.

Later, Ball closed out an 11-play, 83-yard drive with another short trip to the end zone.

Michael Zordich fumbled the ball away during the ensuing kickoff and the giveaway set up a four-yard TD reception by Nick Toon, extending the Badgers' lead to 28-7 at halftime.

Ball added two more rushing touchdowns (nine and 18 yards) in the third quarter. The first score came after Penn State fumbled on the opening drive of the second half.

Philip Welch drilled a 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for Wisconsin.

Game Notes

Wilson has thrown at least one TD pass in 36 straight games, tying Texas Tech's Graham Harrell for the NCAA record...Wisconsin has won 16 consecutive home games, the second-longest active streak in the country (LSU - 17)...The Badgers won their 10th straight home game over a Big Ten opponent...Ball tied a career-high with four TDs...The Badgers snapped a two-game losing streak against Penn State to go up 9-6 in the series...Wisconsin's 45 points were the most given by Penn State since the Nittany Lions were beaten 45-6 by Ohio State in 2000.