Saturday, November 26, 2011
Halftime: Wisconsin 28, Penn State 7
By Adam Rittenberg
MADISON, Wis. -- Halftime thoughts from Camp Randall Stadium, where No. 16 Wisconsin has taken complete control against No. 19 Penn State in the battle for the Leaders Division title.
Player of the half: Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson. The senior has been brilliant all season at home, and he might be saving his best for his final game in a Badgers uniform. Wilson has completed 15 of 21 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. He has added five rushes for 44 yards, including a 20-yard scamper on third-and-7.
Stat of the half: You don't often witness two NCAA records in one half, but it happened today. Wilson tied an NCAA record by throwing a touchdown pass for the 36th consecutive game. Wisconsin RB Montee Ball also set an NCAA mark with his 12th consecutive game with multiple touchdowns scored. The Badgers outgained Penn State 278-111 and held the ball for 21:54.
What Penn State needs to do: Make some big plays. The Lions' only chance to get back into this one is to get yards in chunks, as they did on the 44-yard touchdown strike from Matthew McGloin to Curtis Drake. But Penn State can't wait around for blown coverage. It must make something happen. While the defense is making Wisconsin work for points, the Badgers haven't been stopped. Penn State must stop Wisconsin on third down as the Badgers have converted 7 of 9 chances.
What Wisconsin needs to do: Avoid major mistakes. Penn State lacks the type of offensive firepower to get back in this game unless Wisconsin helps out the Lions. The Badgers have done a nice job against Silas Redd and, aside from the blown coverage, prevented big plays from Penn State. The kicking game remains a little shaky, and Wisconsin must prevent breakdowns on special teams.