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Penn State crushes sliding Wisconsin

Oct 14, 2007 - 1:50 AM STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (Ticker) -- Wisconsin had never lost two straight games under coach Bret Bielema. Penn State changed that in dominating fashion.

Anthony Morelli had a strong first half and the Nittany Lions defense bottled up the 19th-ranked Badgers in a 38-7 rout Saturday in a Big Ten Conference matchup.

Wisconsin (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) climbed up to No. 5 in the country but suffered a 31-26 loss at Illinois last week. The Badgers were unable to rebound, committing three first-half turnovers that led to 14 points for the Nittany Lions.

"We started the game by turning the ball over on the opening possession and put our defense behind the stakes out of the gate," Bielema said. "We had three critical turnovers in the first half that gave them points and led to an early momentum swing to their side."

Penn State (5-2, 2-2) took advantage of the miscues to open up a 24-7 lead at the half.

"I thought, overall we played well. I thought we were solid defensively, solid offensively," Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. "I think, overall we played a good, solid football game against a good football team. Obviously, I'm pleased that we appear to be making progress. I'm not sure how far we are but we've got some games to find out."

Wisconsin's P.J. Hill fumbled on the first play of the game and Penn State recovered for a first down at the 12. Three plays later, Matt Hahn ran for a one-yard touchdown and Penn State had a 7-0 lead.

Hill made it 10-7 with a one-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter - but it was all Penn State thereafter.

After Tyler Donovan threw an interception early in the second quarter, Morelli made sure the Nittany Lions took advantage. He capped a three-play, 47-yard drive with a 29-yard TD pass to Deon Butler to make it 17-7.

Morelli was 12-of-18 for 174 yards and a TD in the first half and was not asked to do much in the second half. He finished 16-of-28 for 216 yards.

"That was a lot of fun. We got the offense rolling early," Morelli said. "We had good field position. The defense played well. It was just a complete game. Everything was clicking out there today. It makes my life a lot easier. Everyone was really playing hard today."

After losing its first two conference games, Penn State has now put together a pair of dominating home victories over Big Ten Conference opponents without the services of suspended tailback Austin Scott.

Again filling in admirably for Scott, Rodney Kinlaw ran for a 115 yards and a two-yard TD in the third quarter that put the Nittany Lions in front 31-7.

"It was the offensive line. They were getting real good blocks," Kinlaw said. "It just opened up, and I just tried to go through the holes as fast as I could. The offensive line did a great job today. It was a complete offensive game."

While Penn State played a complete game, it was pretty much a complete disaster for Wisconsin.

Donovan finished 16-for-29 for 220 yards and two interceptions and was also sacked five times. Hill was held to 75 yards, 50 yards below his season average, and Wisconsin has to rebound with games against Ohio State and Michigan still looming on the schedule.

"Now we are in a situation that there is no one left on our schedule who is going to feel sorry for us," Bielema said. "We have to move forward, stand up and account for ourselves as individuals in order to be able to have success as a program."

Penn State's defensive effort was keyed by senior linebacker Dan Connor, who finished with 12 tackles, including a sack. He now has 344 career tackles, which is second on the school's all-time list. Connor passed Greg Buttle (343) on Saturday and trails only former teammate Paul Posluszny (372).

"This is a great team on both sides of the ball. I think we were more focused this week almost more than any other week," Connor said. "We knew they were going to be able to get six or seven yards here or there because they have a great power running team.

"We knew as long as we didn't give up a big one we would be all right. So we went out there, we did a good job of stopping the run early and made them air it out for the rest of the game."








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WISCONSIN (19) 7 0 0 0 7
    PENN ST 10 14 7 7 38 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: PENN ST - TD, MATT HAHN 1 YD RUN (KEVIN
    KELLY KICK), 1:25. PENN ST 7-0
    PENN ST - FG, KEVIN KELLY 30 YD, 8:09. PENN
    ST 10-0
    WISCONSIN - TD, P.J. HILL 1 YD RUN (TAYLOR
    MEHLHAFF KICK), 12:20. PENN ST
    10-7


    Oct 13 6:44 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    DARYLL CLARK 1 YD RUN
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    WISCONSIN (19) 7
    PENN ST 38 4:50 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Wisconsin(19) vs. Penn StateOct 13 6:33 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WISCONSIN (19) 7 0 0 7
    PENN ST 10 14 7 31 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: PENN ST - TD, MATT HAHN 1 YD RUN (KEVIN
    KELLY KICK), 1:25. PENN ST 7-0
    PENN ST - FG, KEVIN KELLY 30 YD, 8:09. PENN
    ST 10-0
    WISCONSIN - TD, P.J. HILL 1 YD RUN (TAYLOR
    MEHLHAFF KICK), 12:2

    Oct 13 6:07 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    RODNEY KINLAW 2 YD RUN
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    WISCONSIN (19) 7
    PENN ST 31 11:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Wisconsin(19) vs. Penn StateOct 13 5:35 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WISCONSIN (19) 7 0 7
    PENN ST 10 14 24 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: PENN ST - TD, MATT HAHN 1 YD RUN (KEVIN
    KELLY KICK), 1:25. PENN ST 7-0
    PENN ST - FG, KEVIN KELLY 30 YD, 8:09. PENN
    ST 10-0
    WISCONSIN - TD, P.J. HILL 1 YD RUN (TAYLOR
    MEHLHAFF KICK), 12:20. PENN

    Oct 13 5:02 PM
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    roots
    RUWTbot Added 22 roots (Upset)

    Wisconsin(19) vs. Penn StateOct 13 5:02 PM
  • 35
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    Wisconsin(19) vs. Penn StateOct 13 4:54 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    EVAN ROYSTER 19 YD RUN
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    WISCONSIN (19) 7
    PENN ST 24 6:35 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Wisconsin(19) vs. Penn StateOct 13 4:40 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    DEON BUTLER 29 YD PASS FROM ANTHONY MORELLI
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    WISCONSIN (19) 7
    PENN ST 17 13:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Wisconsin(19) vs. Penn StateOct 13 4:23 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    WISCONSIN (19) 7 7
    PENN ST 10 10 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: PENN ST - TD, MATT HAHN 1 YD RUN (KEVIN
    KELLY KICK), 1:25. PENN ST 7-0
    PENN ST - FG, KEVIN KELLY 30 YD, 8:09. PENN
    ST 10-0
    WISCONSIN - TD, P.J. HILL 1 YD RUN (TAYLOR
    MEHLHAFF KICK), 12:2

    Oct 13 4:14 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD WISCONSIN
    P.J. HILL 1 YD RUN
    (TAYLOR MEHLHAFF KICK)
    WISCONSIN (19) 7
    PENN ST 10 2:40 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Wisconsin(19) vs. Penn StateOct 13 4:08 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG PENN ST
    KEVIN KELLY 30 YD
    WISCONSIN (19) 0
    PENN ST 10 6:51 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Wisconsin(19) vs. Penn StateOct 13 3:55 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD PENN ST
    MATT HAHN 1 YD RUN
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    WISCONSIN (19) 0
    PENN ST 7 13:35 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Wisconsin(19) vs. Penn StateOct 13 3:40 PM
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