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No.11 Wisconsin opens Big Ten play with a 30-6 whipping of No.8 Michigan State - the defending Big Ten champions

A swarming Wisconsin defense and a confident young quarterback turned out to be a great recipe for the Badgers, who delivered a statement performance in their 30-6 win over No.8 Michigan State in the conference opener.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Maybe this much-talked about Big Ten gauntlet won’t be so bad for the University of Wisconsin?

Starting a conference stretch of facing five straight teams currently ranked in one of the two major college football polls, No.11 Wisconsin put a complete clinic on No.8 Michigan State in a 30-6 blowout in front of 75,503 mostly-stunned fans at Spartan Stadium.

Senior tailback Corey Clement ran for two touchdowns, redshirt freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook – making his first career start – threw for 195 yards and the defense forced four turnovers, giving Wisconsin (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) its second top-10 win in the first four weeks of the season.

The Badgers had only beaten two top-10 teams in a season three times in school history, not having accomplished the feat since 1962.

Wisconsin led 13-6 at halftime thanks to the arm of Hornibrook, who went 10-for-17 for 121 yards. He committed a fumble on his first drive and an interception on his last, but in between went 5-for-6 on third down for 81 yards on four first downs. More importantly Hornibrook led the offense to two touchdowns on two trips to the end zone, including a 1-yard touchdown pass to Eric Steffes.

The Steffes touchdown capped a 16-play scoring drive that chewed 7 minutes, 38 seconds off the clock.

Finishing 9-for-12 for 136 yards on third down, Hornibrook’s ability to move the offense was more than enough thanks to Wisconsin’s defense, which shut down a Spartans’ attack that put up 35 points at Notre Dame the previous week.

Of Michigan State’s 13 drives, only five went more than 20 yards and only the final one made it to Wisconsin’s red zone.

UW’s defense also got into the action. After UW’s offense went three-and-out to start the second half, safety D’Cota Dixon forced a fumble on tailback L.J. Scott on the second play of the ensuing drive, allowing safety Leo Musso to go 66 yards for the touchdown that put the Badgers up 20-6.

And considering the craziness that’s happened to Wisconsin in this stadium before, the Badgers added an insurance touchdown following a muffed punt at Michigan State’s own 5-yard line.

That sent the Spartans faithful streaming for exits as UW’s fa section started jumping around at the start of the fourth quarter.

Wisconsin’s defense finished with four sacks, seven tackles for loss and seven quarterback hurries.

full coverage from BadgerNation.com – the Internet’s No.1 Wisconsin subscriber site.

In his first start, freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook delivers

Wisconsin's defense shuts down another top-10 program

Premium Notes: Analyzing the play of the game, Corey Clement's health and Andrew Endicott's rebound

Photo Gallery

A September to Remember for UW center Brett Connors

No.11 Wisconsin 30, No.8 Michigan State 6

First Half 

First Quarter

3-0 Michigan State

7 plays, 16 yards, 1:31 TOP, 8:03 left

FG Michael Geiger 48

Key Play: Vince Biegel had a wide-open shot at quarterback Tyler O'Connor but whiffed on the sack. O'Connor stepped up in the pocket through the alley Biegel came and completed a 17-yard pass on third-and-15 to the UW 35.

7-3 Wisconsin

16 plays, 65 yards, 7:38 TOP, :25 left

Eric Steffes 1-yard pass from Alex Hornibrook (Andrew Endicott kick)

Key Play: Alex Hornibrook completed his first two third-and-long situations, the first one on the scoring drive being a 25-yard completion to Jazz Peavy to the MSU 40. UW was facing a third-and-10. Kudos as well to Paul Chryst, who successfully rolled the dice on two fourth-and-short situations.

Second Quarter

13-3 Wisconsin

6 plays, 28 yards, 2:40 TOP, 7:14 left

Corey Clement 1-yard run (Andrew Endicott kick failed)

Key Play: After Sojourn Shelton returned an interception to the Michigan State 28, Alex Hornibrook stood strong in the pocket and completed a 23-yard pass to Jazz Peavy on third-and-12, giving UW a first down at the MSU 7.

13-6 Wisconsin

15 plays, 62 yards, 5:51 TOP, 1:18 left

FG Michael Geiger 40

Key Play: Wisconsin ran a switch at the line of scrimmage, trying to get Vince Biegel on an inside blitz. When he got tripped up and Tyler O'Connor rolled out of the pocket on third-and-7, there was nothing but green field ahead of him. His 15-yard gain moved the chains to the UW 36, one of three third-down conversions he delivered on.

13-6 Wisconsin

15 plays, 62 yards, 5:51 TOP, 1:18 left

FG Michael Geiger 40

Key Play: Wisconsin ran a switch at the line of scrimmage, trying to get Vince Biegel on an inside blitz. When he got tripped up and Tyler O'Connor rolled out of the pocket on third-and-7, there was nothing but green field ahead of him. His 15-yard gain moved the chains to the UW 36, one of three third-down conversions he delivered on.

Second Half 

Third Quarter

20-6 Wisconsin

1 play, 66 yards,13:10 left

Leo Musso 66-yard fumble recovery (Endicott kick)

Key Play: After Wisconsin's offense went three-and-out, the defense filled in the gaps. D'Cota Dixon went low on L.J. Scott to force the fumble, which rolled right to Musso in the center of the field. With a convoy, Musso delivered a spin move on MSU quarterback Tyler O'Connor at the MSU 40 and Vince Biegel delivered the final block on the fullback inside the MSU 5.

23-6 Wisconsin

10 play, 54 yards,5:40 TOP, 4:58 left

FG Andrew Endicott 40

Key Play: Hornibrook's third-down poise has been incredible. With defenders closing in, Hornibrook perfectly dropped a deep pass into the arms of Jazz Peavy for a 31-yard gain to the MSU 30.

30-6 Wisconsin

1 play, 5 yards, :06 TOP, 3:52 left

Corey Clement 5-yard run (Endicott kick)

Key Play: A high snap on Michigan State's punt attempt led to punter Jake Hartbarger fumbling the ball, allowing Wisconsin to get prime field position.

Fourth Quarter

No Scoring

Wisconsin Insider Game Thread

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