MADISON, Wis. -- Even as the points piled up in an epic rout, freshman running back James White stood out.
White rushed for 145 yards and four scores as No. 11 Wisconsin steamrolled Austin Peay 70-3 on Saturday.
The Badgers (4-0) rolled in their final warmup for conference play, scoring touchdowns on all seven of their first-half possessions to take a 49-3 lead at halftime. It was a modern-era scoring record for the Badgers, whose previous high was 69 points in a victory over New Mexico State in 1962.
White says he's not out to take the spotlight from the team's established rushing standout, John Clay.
"We've got a great running back in John Clay and I just follow his lead and do what I have to do to help this team," White said.
Even Badgers coach Bret Bielema lost track of exactly who scored what Saturday, so he was surprised to see White next in line behind him for an interview on the team's postgame radio show.
"I didn't know he had four touchdowns," Bielema joked. "I couldn't figure out why he was on."
Stephen Stansell's 51-yard field goal was about the only highlight of the day for the Governors (2-2), a Football Championship Subdivision team playing its first game against a Big Ten team.
Austin Peay coach Rick Christophel wasn't necessarily surprised that his players would get wide-eyed against a highly ranked team in front of 77,224 fans at Camp Randall Stadium.
"You laugh about things like this, but I've got 10 or 12 guys who have never been on an airplane before," Christophel said. "Not one of these players have been in a venue like this."
Christophel told his players to try to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere -- but if they did, it didn't last long.
"We used a sound system at school and tried to play music as loud as we could to get a feel for how things were going to be," running back Terrence Holt said. "But those guys out there were bigger, stronger and probably faster."
White had a big day for the Badgers but there were plenty of touchdowns to go around, as Wisconsin found the end zone on all seven of its first-half possessions -- then scored again on their first two drives of the second half.
Wisconsin didn't have to punt until the fourth quarter.
"I was very excited for James," Clay said. "I was always the first one running right next to him when he came off the field and congratulating him."
Even Bradie Ewing, a fullback who rarely touches the ball, scored touchdowns rushing and receiving.
But the most impressive performance of the day came from White, a true freshman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He scored on an 18-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, showed his speed on a 66-yard touchdown run in the second quarter -- then added touchdowns of 11 and 19 yards in the third quarter.
"James is a very gifted football player with great speed," Bielema said. "Again, because he's not out there every down, he comes in with those fresh legs and it really benefits everybody."
The Badgers were once again without wide receivers Nick Toon and David Gilreath because of injury, and have lost linebacker Chris Borland for the season with a shoulder injury. But it didn't really matter Saturday.
The Governors got an early ray of hope when safety Jeremy Ross came through the line unblocked to sack Tolzien on Wisconsin's first offensive series. But the Badgers converted a third-and-16 on Tolzien's pass to Kyle Jefferson, then marched for a 7-yard touchdown run by Ewing and an early 7-0 lead.
Austin Peay showed a similar burst to start its first offensive series, with Ryan throwing to Preston Rouse for a 22-yard gain. But they went backward on their next three plays, with running back Ryan White getting thrown for losses by linebacker Mike Taylor and defensive end Louis Nzegwu and a sack by David Gilbert.
With Wisconsin facing second-and-5 from the Austin Peay 18-yard line on its next possession, White went left -- with big center Peter Konz pulling and running step for step with him down the field -- and into the end zone.
Trailing 14-0, the Governors managed to march for a 51-yard field goal by Stansell, cutting the lead to 14-3.
Any sense of momentum didn't last long, as White broke the game open with a 66-yard touchdown run that gave the Badgers a 21-3 lead -- and the game broke wide open from there.
Wisconsin opens Big Ten play at Michigan State next Saturday.
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