Saturday, November 26, 2011
Final: Wisconsin 45, Penn State 7
By Adam Rittenberg
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Badgers are headed to Indianapolis.
No. 16 Wisconsin made easy work of No. 19 Penn State and earned the right to play for the Big Ten championship Dec. 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Although the two teams share the Leaders division title at 6-2, Wisconsin advances because of its win today.
The 16th-ranked Badgers now will face Michigan State in a rematch of the teams' epic Oct. 22 contest in East Lansing, Mich.
While the Badgers' record-setting offensive backfield of quarterback Russell Wilson (186 pass yards, 2 TDs) and running back Montee Ball (156 rush yards, 4 touchdowns) will grab the headlines, Wisconsin's defense deserves a good deal of credit for Saturday's win. Aside from one blown coverage in the first quarter, Wisconsin performed brilliantly against a Penn State offense that never got much going. After introducing the Wild-Lion element last week against Ohio State, Penn State couldn't find the right plays to score points against a team that racks them up in bunches on its home field. You also got the sense the Lions were emotionally spent after an extremely rough month, as they committed a season-high four turnovers.
It will be interesting to see where Penn State goes bowling -- the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas seems like a possible destination -- and what happens with the school's coaching search in the coming days. There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Penn State program right now.
Wisconsin, meanwhile, has much bigger plans, namely a return trip to Pasadena.
More to come from Camp Randall ...