|Wisconsin 16, Penn State 3|
|September 25, 2004|
|Camp Randall Stadium - Madison, WI|
|Kickoff Time: 5:45 p.m. EDT|
MADISON, Wis. - The sun set on this bustling state capital shortly before
7 o'clock. Long before that, though, darkness had fallen on Penn State's
hopes of taking a step back toward respectability in the Big Ten Conference.
James blindsided Mills after the quarterback had delivered a 49-yard pass to Robinson at the Wisconsin 32 on the opening play.
"He's one of those guys who can create things by himself," Bradley later said of James.
Mills climbed off the turf favoring his right shoulder but stayed in the game for the next play and threw an interception as he was hit hard again by blitzing linebacker Reginald Cribbs.
Before Robinson left the game, Penn State had three chances to score first against a Wisconsin defense that has allowed a paltry 19 points in four games and hasn't permitted a touchdown. Considering the speed and aggressiveness of the Badgers' front seven, it isn't hard to understand its success.
On successive possessions in the first quarter, the Nittany Lions had first downs on the Wisconsin 32, 41 and 30 but got nothing to show for it. One of the squandered opportunities came after Calvin Lowry recovered a fumble at the Badgers' 30. The fumble was caused when Scott Paxson stripped Booker Stanley of the ball.
On offense, the Badgers didn't have to do much except hang on to the ball and be efficient. They scored the lone touchdown of the game when quarterback John Stocco ran 5 yards with 1:58 to go in the first quarter after Penn State's Tony Hunt had lost a fumble at the Nittany Lions' 44.
Mike Allen kicked field goals of 39, 38 and 26 yards for Wisconsin. Robbie Gould's 23-yarder enabled Penn State to avoid a shutout.
In the second half, Wisconsin played ball-control football, with 270-pound fullback Matt Bernstein powering through the middle of the Nittany Lions' defense behind a massive offensive line. Bernstein wound up rushing for 123 yards.
Penn State rarely saw the ball after halftime, and Wisconsin's time of possession for the game was an amazing 37:23.
Ganter, facing the relentless pressure that had put Mills and Robinson out of the game, completed just 6 of 23 passes. Penn State managed only 157 yards of total offense and was held to 2.9 yards a play.
It was the kind of game in which the defense would have had to come up with a score to give the Nittany Lions any hope, but linebacker Tim Shaw and cornerback Alan Zemaitis couldn't hang on to potential interceptions that would have given the offense the boost it needed.
Bradley pointed to the Wisconsin scoring drive that opened the third quarter as decisive. The Badgers marched 73 yards on 17 plays and ran 7:59 off the clock before Allen made it a 16-0 game with his third field goal.