A Big Laugher

The Badgers took down Indiana 83-20 Saturday at Camp Randall and it was every bit as lopsided as the record setting score implies.

MADISON —To capture the absurdity of the 83-20 embarrassment that was the Wisconsin victory over Indiana Saturday just absorb this simple fact:

Badger quarterback Nate Tice scored a 17-yard rushing touchdown.

Nate Tice! On a naked bootleg!

"When coach Chryst called a naked, it brought a variety of different laughter on the head set. To put it mildly," UW head coach Bret Bielema said. "He is probably a 5.5 40 [yard dash] at best.

"I told the group in the locker room afterwards, we found our fifth string tail back in Nate Tice."

Bielema said before the weekend he didn't concern himself with earning "style points" to impress the BCS voters and reiterated that fact after the game.

Wink, wink.

Whether intentionally or not, the Badgers made several resounding statements Saturday.

For one, it was the greatest offensive performance in Wisconsin history. It was the most points UW has ever scored against a Big Ten opponent (the previous high was 62 points) and tied the highest Big Ten score during the modern era. It was the most points scored by any FBS team this season. The Badgers scored on all 12 possessions they touched the ball.

In short, it was a video game with the opponent set on the "beginner" level.

"We actually weren't surprised about scoring [83 points]," starting running back Montee Ball, who ran for 145 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, managed to say with a straight face. "We practiced very hard and we were expecting to impose our will upon them."

Second, BCS implications were made, regardless of the Badgers intentions. It isn't only Auburn and Oregon that can put up points in a hurry.

"I can see people saying that, but honestly we were just coming out and playing the situation," UW left tackle Gabe Carimi said. "We weren't trying to … it was just the situation."

"It was just kind of the way things happened. I don't think Wisconsin will ever get accused of trying to be sexy or get style points," Bielema added.

In the first quarter, Indiana appeared ready to make a game of it. UW scored ten points in the opening period, but the Hoosiers countered blow for blow and the game was tied at 10-10 early in the second quarter.

Then the Badgers took over. UW railed off 42 straight points and led 59-13 entering the fourth quarter with second string QB Jon Budmayr at the helm.

Any signs of the sluggish start exhibited at Purdue last week were eliminated.

"I thought our guys took a very aggressive mentality," said Bielema. "We talked about it. That was the last thing I said in the locker room, that we were going to be the aggressor today in all phases.

"We weren't going to let up an inch."

Everything the Badgers tried on offense worked. Wisconsin racked up 598 yards on the day, including 338 on the ground. The team took just two penalties and never turned the ball over.

UW got big plays on the ground — James White ripped off a 44-yarder and Ball burst for 36 yards — and through the air after Budmayr hit Jared Abbrederis for a 74 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Even when the second-stringers were in the game for much of the third quarter and all of the fourth, Wisconsin moved the ball in a hurry.

The defense helped the process along by forcing three turnovers, knocking quarterback Ben Chappell out of the game and forcing punts early and often.

Special teams were superlative once again, with David Gilreath breaking a 49-yard kickoff and a 22-yard punt return, while Abbrederis chipped in a 52-yard kickoff return when the Hoosiers decided to kick away from Gilreath.

No matter what facet, where you look, at any stat, the Badgers simply dominated in every imaginable way.

"It's easy to say that with 83 points scored we played a complete game, that's for sure," UW defensive end J.J. Watt said.

"It's a fun day to be a Badger that's for sure."

The game was so lopsided, questions were broached like, "At any point did you feel sorry for the other team?"

"To be perfectly honest you feel it a little," left guard John Moffitt said. "But they put in their 'twos' also and that is what happens … that is young guys playing hard and good for them. Why not come into a game and play hard against good competition? I don't discourage it at all."

"It is part of the game, someone has to come out with the loss," Ball added. "It is not our job to stop scoring, you know, that is their job."

But most importantly, Nate Tice scored a touchdown on a 17-yard, juking scramble.

"That was crazy," Moffitt said.


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