for this game

Wisconsin survives struggle with Fresno State

Sep 14, 2008 - 7:23 AM FRESNO, California (Ticker) -- Wisconsin busted the BCS buster in its own backyard, stopping Fresno State, 13-10, on Saturday.

Fresno had its chances, missing a field goal that would have tied the game with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Bulldog kicker Kevin Goessling was 1-for-4 on field-goal attempts.

"Kevin is a heck of a player and I think when it's all said and done, he'll be the best kicker we've ever had," Fresno State coach Pat Hill said. "He's going to be a great player for us. This game does not fall on him or any player. It was a team loss."

The 21st-ranked Bulldogs' Robert Malone pinned 10th-ranked Wisconsin at its 1 with a 51-yard punt inside the final two minutes, but the Badgers ran the ball for a first down to ice the victory.

"Our guys rose to the challenge tonight," Wisconsin coach Brett Bielema said. "We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game that went into the fourth quarter. I can't say enough about the defense. The 11 guys on the field dictate the outcome of the game. This is a big victory for us."

Earlier, the Bulldogs (1-1) received the benefit of a video review when they appeared to lose a fumble. The referees overturned the call and Fresno drove downfield but had to settle for a field goal to draw within three.

The game was a struggle throughout with defenses dominating. Fresno State outgained Wisconsin, 343-304, in total offense.

The Badgers were led by P.J. Hill, who had 26 carries for 112 yards rushing and quarterback Allan Evridge, who went 13-of-25 passing for 147 yards and one touchdown.

Evridge left the game in the fourth quarter, being carted off after falling to the turf. He trotted back on the field in the final minutes, and even put his helmet on apparently ready to return to play. Wisconsin did not send Evridge back in, sticking with backup Dustin Sherer.

"This is up there with our best wins since I have been here," said tight end Travis Beckham, who had four catches for 51 yards. "We are a good `Next Man in Team.' So when Allan (Evridge) went down. We were ready."

Tom Brandstater went 15-of-27 for 225 yards with a touchdown and interception for Fresno State. Ryan Mathews, who had 26 carries for 163 yards in the Bulldogs' season-opening victory at Rutgers, managed only 54 yards on 17 carries against the stingy Badger defense.

"It was a big game," Mathews said. "We played hard and they were a really good team. We can't blame anybody but ourselves. We need to execute a little bit better."

Wisconsin (3-0) had taken a 7-0 lead in the final minute of the first quarter when Evridge found Garrett Graham with a 2-yard scoring pass.

Philip Welch made it 10-0 with a 38-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Brandstater threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Devin Wylie in the third quarter before the teams traded field goals to make it 13-10 entering the final 15 minutes.