Wisconsin throws, runs through WVU 34-17

MADISON, WIS. -- Wisconsin's 27-point second-quarter outburst buried West Virginia early as the Badgers rolled to a dominating 34-17 win that was more lopsided than the score here at Camp Randall Stadium Saturday.

The No. 21/25 Badgers (3-0) controlled undisciplined and unpoised WVU (1-1) in every play phase and capitalized on wide open receivers and poor passing by Rasheed Marshall to romp in a flag-filled game.

Miscues of every typed plagued the Mountaineers, who were never in the contest.

The penalties head coach Rich Rodriguez lamented in the opener were prevalent again. In the first half alone WVU totaled six flags for 67 yards, including three personal fouls. All three -- all late hits on the quarterback -- of those prolonged drives, and two setup fantastic field position.

The Badgers, starting 3-0 for the fourth time in seven years, scored touchdowns every time in leading 34-3 at the half. UW missed one extra point.

Bad coverage on special teams also put the Mountaineers in a hole throughout the half. Punt returner Jim Leonard brought back five of Mark Fazzolari's six first-half punts for 82 yards (an average of more than 16 yards per return). His longest was a 24-yarder right up the middle of WVU's coverage unit.

Combine penalties and bad special teams play with Wisconsin quarterback Brooks Bollinger, who had great protection, and it's little wonder the win was the Badger's largest since a 43-22 win over Indiana in November of 2000.

Bollinger threw for 203 yards on 12 of 15 passing for two touchdowns in the half. Marshall, who badly overthrew plays all game, was seven of 18 for 86 yards in the opening two quarters.

WVU's defensive backs looked especially lost in second-quarter coverage, as wide open receivers and long completions were the norm in a 27-point outburst.

The chunk passing produced a total combined possession time of 16:17 seconds. The five scoring drives amounted to 12:00, an average of more than 2.8 points per minute.

Wisconsin had 336 yards on 40 plays at the half -- roughly eight yards per play -- and freshman Brandon Williams burnt WVU for 114 yards on five catches. Tailback Anthony Davis, who still had 48 yards and a score, wasn't a major factor as the Red and White threw 20-plus yard completions at will.

The 34-3 halftime deficit was WVU's largest since trailing 35-0 against Virginia Tech last year. And in all, it was a humbling loss that showed how far West Virginia is from being a competitive Top 25 program.

The scoring started early.

After trading two three and outs, Wisconsin moved four plays in 57 yards to lead 7-0. The highlight was a Bollinger completion to Jonathan Orr, who had five grabs for 94 yards and two touchdowns, for 19 yards for the score. That was setup by a roughing the passer penalty for 15 yards and a late hit out-of-bounds flag for another 15.

That ended the quarter's scoring, but UW, which did miss a 32-yard first quarter field goal, began it's barrage immediately after WVU answered with Todd James' 34-yard field goal.

Backup running back Dwayne Smith rushed for 29 yards, including two plays of 11 yards, on an eight-play, 72-stripe touchdown march that put Wisconsin ahead 14-3. Brand Williams also had a 25-yard catch to move the ball inside WVU's territory.

The Badgers went up 21-3 on their next drive. Helped by a roughing the passer call, UW hit Williams for 36 yards and pounded Davis for the six-yard score.

From there Wisconsin punched in on its next two possessions to jump out 34-3 and put West Virginia away early.

Bollinger and Davis were replaced early in the fourth quarter.

West Virginia did, however, score its first touchdown on the first possession of the third quarter as Avon Cobourne carried six yards off the right side to make it 34-10. WVU scored again on a one-yard Marshall keeper to cap a nine-play, 71 yard drive that brought the Mountaineers to within 34-17 with 9:12 remaining.

It was too little, too late as WVU's last-ditch drive to make it respectable was stopped at the UW 21-yard line.

Bollinger finished 14 for 20 passing for 218 yards and two touchdowns. Backup QB Jim Sorgi replaced him with eight minutes remaining. Bollinger's leading wideout was Williams, who had 125 yards on six catches.

Davis rushed for only 75 yards, but consider three other backs ran for 18 or more yards . Marshall went 17 for 36 for 219 yards and no scores. He was sacked once but rushed for 76 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown.

Henderson led WVU receivers with 106 yards on five catches. His long was the 36-yarder.

Fazzolari might have been the busiest player, getting off nine punts for an average of 42.9 yards. Many were low line-drives, however, and easily returnable.

Wisconsin is now 3-0 against West Virginia all-time. The two teams meet Sept. 4 at Mountaineer Field to open next year's slate. The Mountaineers travel to Cincinnati for a 7 p.m. kick next weekend.

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