UW: Bloody Good Show

Check out our Breakdown to get the good, the bad, the ugly and the bloody from Saturday's action.

MAN OF THE HOUR: DE Tamba Hali played one of the great games ever by a Penn State defender, with nine tackles, a school-record seven stops for loss and four sacks. Incredible stuff.

TURNING POINT: Early in the second quarter, with Penn State leading 14-0 and Wisconsin knocking on the door at the Lion 5, Badger QB John Stocco rolled right and — feeling pressure from Hali — threw a pass toward TE Owen Daniels in the back of the end zone. Senior corner Alan Zemaitis went high for an interception. State's offense responded with an 80-yard TD drive to give State a 21-0 lead.

STRATA-GEM: PSU defensive coordinator Tom Bradley changed up his blitzes often in the first half, preventing the veteran Stocco from ever finding a rhythm. The junior was 7 of 15 with two picks through 30 minutes. In the second half, PSU generated an awesome pass rush using only the front four.

NUMBERS GAME: Penn State held Wisconsin — WISCONSIN — to minus-11 yards rushing. Wow.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE: Wisconsin's offense, which came in leading the Big Ten in scoring (39.7 ppg), did not tally a point until Brian Calhoun popped a 1-yard TD with 12:27 left in the game.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Calvin Lowry, whose punt-return ability has been called into question often in this space this year, popped a career-long 43-yarder in the second quarter. Nice to see a class act get the last laugh.

WHAT'S UP WITH: The Big Ten officials not calling holding (ask Hali, who needs a tear-away jersey) and giving these crazy spots?

HIT SQUAD: Lots of good sticks for the Lions. But we liked senior safety Chris Harrell stopping Daniels in his tracks after a catch and short run in the third quarter. The play forced a Badger punt. Offensively, has Joe Paterno ever had a more punishing runner than Tony Hunt?

HEADS-UP: PSU kicker Kevin Kelly, though only 5-foot-7, 170, continues to impress with his physical play. He stopped a streaking Brandon Williams cold on State's first kickoff.

HIDDEN HERO: Will give this one to a group. The PSU offensive line had another strong all-around effort.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Before Zemaitis' key interception, Hali was knocked to the ground. He scrambled to his feet and pressured Stocco, who made the bad pass. A great example of the hustle that makes Hali a great player.

BEST LINE: When Paterno and Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez met on the field before the game, Paterno greeted his counterpart by saying, “You still have a fat [rear end].” Paterno has often joked that he did not recruit Alvarez when he was a high school star in Pennsylvania because he was a tad overweight.

DID YOU NOTICE:

  • PSU linebackers Paul Posluszny and Dan Connor both bleeding profusely on the bridge of the nose? The cuts happen when they make hits and the inside of their helmets are pressed into their faces. Connor's gash required four stitches to close. BTW: They finished with 12 and nine stops, respectively. Call it a bloody good show.

  • That scouts from five bowls — Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, Capital One and Outback — were at the game? Nice to see the loud jackets back in Beaver Stadium this late in the season.

  • How often backup defensive linemen A.Q. Shipley and Jim Shaw rotated in in the first quarter?

  • That two Penn State College Football Hall of Famers were honored during the game? Lydell Mitchell, who was inducted last year, was introduced between the first and second quarter. Keith Dorney, who will be officially enshrined Dec. 6, received an HOF plaque during a break in the second quarter.

  • That safety Paul Cronin, who was kicked off the team in October for disciplinary reasons, was allowed back for Senior Day? He dressed and was introduced before the game (along with 24 other seniors) but did not play.

  • That PSU athletic director Tim Curley spent more time on the field (for between-action presentations) than many of the Nittany Lion regulars.

  • That the biggest names among the uncommitted recruits on hand were Bani Gbayu, Andrew Quarless and Brent Carter? In the tunnel after the game, PSU recruiting coordinator Mike McQueary could be overheard asking Lion commit Aaron Maybin, "You work on my boy Quarless?" Maybin smiled and nodded yes.

    UNANSWERED QUESTION: OK, we know it's too early. But we still want to know: Fiesta or Orange?

    -30-

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