Notes: Second-Quarter Gaffe Sets Tone

No.14 Wisconsin had a chance to salvage its first half with a seven-point lead. Instead, failure to cover Eugene Lewis opened up the floodgates for Penn State in a 31-24 triumph over the Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium.

MADISON - In a game full of mistakes and miscommunications by Wisconsin's defense, it was the one that caused coach Gary Andersen to slam his headset and visor into the turf that epitomized the regular-season finale.

With Wisconsin leading 14-7 late in the second quarter, Penn State tied the score when quarterback Christian Hackenberg connected with a wide-open Eugene Lewis in the red zone.

That set the tone for 24 straight points for Penn State in a 31-24 victory over No.14 Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium, and was one of the many new nuisances the Nittany Lions threw at the Badgers that UW was totally unprepared for.

"That personnel package has never been split out," said Andersen. "Never seen a receiver come out of that. It's not an excuse. It's inexcusable. Person on the edge of the defense has got to be prepared to be able to play, and they did a nice job." The call Wisconsin was in, according to senior safety Dezmen Southward, was geared toward stopping a goal line run, called a "zero blitz" where every player was crashing. When Wisconsin uses that personnel, it removes a cornerback for an extra defensive lineman.

"Obviously we put a bigger body in because we're expecting run," said Southward.

Expecting one receiver to be on the field, Andersen recognized no one was on Lewis, causing him to sprint down the sidelines to try and use a timeout. No time out was given and Andersen, who was standing right in front of the official position at the goal line where Lewis caught the ball, slammed his headset down in disgust.

"They just said they didn't see me," Andersen said of his dialogue with the officials post touchdown. "I guess I didn't get there in time. I wasn't fast enough."

Southward, nor any defender, recognized that the Badgers were in the wrong package.

"Obviously I was the closest one to it, so it will probably be my fault in the news, but no one knew," Southward said. "Obviously coach Andersen saw we were wrong in the personnel and tried to get the timeout. Obviously that didn't work out very well. It happens to a lot of teams where they have the wrong personnel but they still get the timeout but we didn't and obviously it resulted in a touchdown."

The Badgers had a chance to prevent a touchdown on the drive before it even got to that point, but the defense failed to get off the field on a third-and-7 when Hackenberg completed a 29-yard pass to Lewis. Two plays later, Sojourn Shelton was called for a defensive pass interference, which would have set up a third down at the Badgers' 31-yard line.

Andersen placed the blame on himself and the coaching staff for his team's struggles on defense.

"It starts with the coaches. So that starts with me," Andersen said. "It's not the kids' fault. If we've got nine guys out there in that spot, it's coaches that have got to be better. We've got to communicate faster."

Concussion for Caputo

Starting the first 11 games of the season, junior Michael Caputo's breakout season had given up 62 tackles, three pass deflections and three tackles for loss, as the Wisconsin coaching staff has been able to use Caputo's versatility at numerous positions.

In the regular season finale, Caputo watched in warmups from the sidelines after suffering a head injury earlier in the week. Without Caputo, Nate Hammon got the start, and missed two tackles on the first two drives that led to length Penn State touchdowns.

"Michael is a huge loss for our defense, used in every package," said Andersen. "We've just got to get him back where he needs to be. We're going to take all the precautions with the kids to make sure that we're making the right decisions, and we're trying to make the right decisions with him. But it was a major loss to not have Michael out there."

Extra Points: Wisconsin lost at Camp Randall Stadium for just the third time in the last four years and is now 61-7 at home since the start of the 2004 season. UW entered the game with the third-best home record in the nation since 2004 … The Badgers were also defeated for just the fifth time over in games played after Nov. 1, dating back to 2006, falling to 27-5 in such games …With 120 yards on the ground today, UW set a school record for rushing yards in a season (3,396). The school record was 3,309 set last season. The 12-game mark of 3,305 was set in 1999 … The Badgers failed to post a rushing touchdown for the first time since a 16-13 overtime loss to Michigan State on Oct. 27, 2012.

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