|Penn State 35, Wisconsin 14|
|November 5, 2005|
|Beaver Stadium - University Park, PA|
|Kickoff Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT|
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Joe Paterno stuck his hands into the pockets of
his rolled-up khakis and, perhaps seeking some lofty confirmation for
the remarkable turnaround that continues to unfold in Happy Valley, sheepishly
glanced at the scoreboard high above Beaver Stadium's north end zone.
Wisconsin literally knocked out Robinson in that game, as well as fellow QB Zack Mills. This time, when the Badgers' Matt Schaughnessy blasted Robinson after a second-quarter pass, Paterno rushed to the officials even before the stunned quarterback could rise to his feet.
"I grabbed a guy," Paterno said, "and told him, 'Tell him to lay off that guy.' I don't want a penalty, but just tell them to lay off our quarterback... . Obviously, with Michael Robinson not in there, we're a much different team."
That was as clear on yesterday's first series as it's been all year. On the Nittany Lions' third play, Robinson lofted a perfect pass into Terrell Golden's hands for a 21-yard gain. Two plays later, he hit Butler in stride in the end zone from midfield.
"I ran a post," Butler said of his 43-yard scoring catch, "and I gave my man a [fake] to the outside to get free. Mike made a great throw."
"People talk about how well the defense has played," defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said, "but when the offense goes out like they've been doing and puts points up on the board, we can do some things, take some chances."
With 7 minutes, 29 seconds left in the half, Penn State's lead expanded to 21-0 as fullback Brandon Snow burst into the end zone from 3 yards out, the blocking fullback's third touchdown in two games.
After that, Penn State put away its spread offense and turned almost exclusively to its running game. On defense, Hali and his linemates teed off on Stocco.
"I don't like quarterbacks," Hali joked. "Really, though, our plan is always to go after the quarterback. If you can get to him, you make everybody else's job easier."
Hunt's second score, with 2:47 remaining, was the cherry on top of this latest impressive victory, one that gave Penn State a 7-0 home record for a 2005 season that will conclude after a bye week. Paterno's teams are 30-15 after bye weeks.
"I told the coaches this week that we may have been running the kids too much," Paterno said. "Some of them looked like they had lost a step or two. So the bye ought to be good for us. "
The way these Nittany Lions have been playing, you don't have to know how to read to recognize that.