|Penn State 38, Wisconsin 7|
|October 13, 2007|
|Beaver Stadium - University Park, PA|
|Kickoff Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT|
UNIVERSITY PARK — The fans roared as Anthony Morelli threw darts
down the field to wide-open receivers, as tailbacks Rodney Kinlaw and
Evan Royster raced across open real estate and as linebackers Dan Connor
and Sean Lee brought down ball carriers in the backfield.
A crucial holding penalty stalled Wisconsin’s ensuing drive, and the Nittany Lions promptly marched to the Wisconsin 19-yard line, where they faced a fourth-and-1 after Butler caught a 6-yard pass on third down.
Paterno said he initially wanted to kick the field goal, then changed his mind and kept the offense on the field, though the Nittany Lions were forced to take a timeout to avoid a delay-of- game penalty. “Very decisive,” the coach cracked afterward.
After the timeout, some great down blocking by the offensive line and a good block from Hahn on the outside sprung Royster (eight carries, 68 yards) into the secondary, and he cruised into the end zone at the 6:35 mark to give his team a 24-7 lead it would take into halftime.
Penn State’s defense, which has allowed 14 points in its last 10 quarters, had no intention of letting the Badgers make it a game in the second half.
Kinlaw’s 2-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the second half made it 31-7, and Wisconsin would threaten just once after that.
A 20-yard strike from Donovan to Jefferson (six catches, 124 yards) put the ball at the Penn State 13-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter. That’s when Evans blew up left tackle Gabe Carimi with a vicious move to the inside and dragged down Donovan for a 7-yard loss. Two plays later, Gilreath tried to reach the corner on an end-around but was dragged down by Evans for an 8-yard loss. Mehlhaff missed a 42-yard field goal, marking another victory for Penn State’s young line.
“The young guys are scary,” said Gaines, a red-shirt junior who is the veteran of what has become a 10-man rotation. “The young guys are sophomores. They still have two years left. I won’t be here to see them, but I’ll definitely be watching to see what they do. They’re going to do big things.”
Backup quarterback Daryll Clark led Penn State’s final scoring drive, taking it in from a yard out himself with 4:50 to play.
Paterno attributed the quick 7-0 deficit and the raucous crowd as reasons why Wisconsin had a hard time getting back in the game. The Nittany Lions, who recorded their largest margin of victory against a ranked team since a 40-7 win over No. 7 Nebraska in 2002, did their part by establishing and maintaining dominance up front.
“It was still a physical game, no doubt about it,” Gaines said. “Wisconsin still played their brand of football. It was a dogfight today, I’m not gonna lie. It just went our way.”
The Nittany Lions will look for their first road win of the season Saturday, when they visit Indiana at noon in Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. Last week’s 27-7 win over Iowa was about rebounding from back-to-back losses. Saturday was about the young parts of the team playing like veterans.
“Now, we’ve just got to keep rolling,” Evans said.