WIS: Game Breakdown

The good, the bad and the ugly from Penn State's butt-kicking of the Badgers in Madison.

MADISON, Wis. -- No. 6 Penn State arrived here Saturday looking to prove itself against one of the Big Ten's more physical outfits. It did just that and more, blowing out Wisconsin 48-7 (you read that right) to improve to 7-0 on the season and grab sole possession of first place in the league.

And that wasn't the end of it.

In battering the Badgers, the Nittany Lions stamped themselves as legitimate national title contenders who are led by a quarterback who ought to be in the thick of the Heisman race.

Here's a taste of what went down in Camp Randall Stadium.

MAN OF THE HOUR: Daryll Clark hit Brett Brackett for a 20-yard gain on the Nittany Lions' first play from scrimmage and never let up. He connected on 16 of 25 passes for 244 yards and a score, and also rushed for two touchdowns. If there is a quarterback in the nation playing better than Clark, we'd like to see him.

CLOSE SECOND: Penn State's entire defensive line. This unit simply dominated Wisconsin's massive front. Starting tackles Jared Odrick and Abe Koroma combined for only three tackles but that doesn't begin to explain how they whipped the Badger front.

TURNING POINT: Penn State was up 10-0 in the second quarter when Derrick Williams fielded a punt at his own 47-yard line. He shot up the middle then bolted right and found a wall. After outracing everyone, he jogged in to give the Lions a 17-0 lead. The Camp Randall crowd, already out of it, became incredibly quite

SOLID STRATEGY: After opening up a 24-7 lead at the half, the Lions came out firing in the third quarter. Rather than sit on the lead, Clark aired it out, going 4 of 4 (to three different receivers), drawing a pass-interference penalty and then scrambling in for a 4-yard TD.

SOLID STRATEGY 2: PSU head coach Joe Paterno worked another game from the press box. And the team was just fine. Because of a right hip issue, Paterno resorted to using a cane to walk around the team hotel and then into the stadium. No sense risking injury on the field until the injury heals up, no matter when that might be.

NUMBERS GAME: Wisconsin had 156 yards of total offense in the first half and Penn State 123. Yet the Lions led 24-7 at the break, thanks to more opportune play.

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Penn State's offensive line dominated yet again.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Kevin Kelly opened the scoring by nailing a 50-yard field goal that would have been good from 60. What a dependable weapon he's become.

WHAT'S UP WITH?

• Wisconsin's vaunted power offense had its ears kicked in by a PSU defense renowned for its speed.

• Penn State opened up in sloppy fashion, with Williams fumbling a punt, Clark fumbling a snap and then Williams dropping a sure TD bomb. Both players made up for it later, though.

• All of the replays? Man, did that slow … the … game … down.

• Madison, Wis. At night. mid-October. Temperatures in the mid-70s. Maybe there is something to this global warming talk.

HIT SQUAD!: After Lydell Sargeant's fourth-quarter interception, defensive end Aaron Maybin flattened 323-pound offensive guard John Moffitt on the return. The de-cleater is State's hit of the year so far.

HIT SQUAD 2: Wisconsin linebacker DeAndre Levy obliterated Clark on an option pitch near the goal line. Royster scored on the play. But after Terrelle Pryor beat the Badgers on a late option pitch a week earlier, they clearly weren't about to let a QB option by them for a score in this one.

HIT SQUAD 3: PSU backup linebacker Nate Stupar was a terror on kick coverage all night. He had at least a couple of solid shots on Badger David Gilreath. Stupar also had a good block on the punter on Williams' long return.

HIDDEN HERO: The Penn State coaching staff has really been on its game this year. Another great effort here.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Royster had another workman like game, with 14 carries for 60 yards.

DID YOU NOTICE?

• Senior wideout Jordan Norwood returned after missing two games with a hamstring problem. He had three catches for 59 yards.

• Tight ends Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler both played after being slowed during the week with ankle injuries. Neither had a catch.

• PSU used a 4-4 defense in a short yardage situation early in the game, with linebacker Bani Gbadyu taking the place of a defensive back.

• PSU used its Big Boy defense at the goal line in the second quarter, with Gbadyu and true freshman Mike Mauti giving the Lions five linebackers on the field at the same time.

• Maybin blew by Badger rookie left tackle Josh Oglesby to drop QB Allan Evridge for a loss in the second quarter. On the next series, Oglesby switched spots with usual right tackle Eric Vanden Heuvel, Oglesby was playing for injured starting left tackle Gabe Carimi.

UNANSWERED QUESTION: How much are you looking forward to the Michigan game?


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