No.6 Wisconsin (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) vs. No.8 Penn State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten)
Date/Time - Saturday, December 3 at 7:17 p.m. CT
Stadium – Lucas Oil Stadium (67,000/Field Turf)
Television – FOX (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Shannon Spake)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)
Series – Wisconsin leads 9-8 (First meeting in a neutral site)
Last Meeting – Penn State won, 31-24, on Nov. 30, 2013 in Madison
Wisconsin leads the all-time history between the schools, 9-8, but Penn State has won four of the teams’ last five meetings, dating back to 2007.
Penn State holds an 8-7 lead in the series since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten Conference.
Seven of Wisconsin’s nine all-time wins vs. Penn State have come by at least 10 points.
Saturday’s matchup will mark the first in which both Penn State and Wisconsin are ranked among top 10 of the Associated Press poll. The Badgers are 4-5 all-time vs. Penn State as a ranked team.
The two schools are not slated to meet again until a 2018 conference game in State College, PA.
Wisconsin redshirt freshman QB Alex Hornibrook hails from West Chester, Pa., and attended Malvern Prep. Hornibrook’s sister, Mackenzie, is a senior captain for the Penn State women’s swimming and diving team.
Penn State defensive tackle Robert Windsor is from Fond Du Lac
Wisconsin RB Taiwan Deal and Penn State RB Mark Allen were teammates at DeMatha Catholic (Maryland) High School. Penn State DE Shane Simmons also attended DeMatha.
Wisconsin RB Corey Clement and Penn State WR Juwan Johnson both attended Glassboro (New Jersey) High School.
PSU freshman OL Alex Gellerstedt and Wisconsin freshman OLB Griffin Grady played together at Dublin Coffman High School in Ohio.
PSU junior S Troy Apke played for Wisconsin special teams coach Chris Haering at Mt. Lebanon High School as a sophomore (2011). Haering was Mt. Lebanon’s head coach for 17 seasons before joining Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst’s staff at Pitt in 2012.
PSU head coach James Franklin and Wisconsin outside linebackers coach Tim Tibesar both coached at Kansas State during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Franklin was the offensive coordinator and Tibesar was the special teams coordinator in 2006 and the defensive coordinator in 2007.
Wisconsin Notes to Consider
Wisconsin will make its fourth appearance in the Big Ten title game in the event’s six-year history, with the Badgers owning a 2-1 record in the game en route to claiming titles in 2011 and 2012. Wisconsin and Alabama are the only Power Five programs to advance to their conference title games in four of the last six seasons.
At 10-2, Wisconsin has its sixth 10-win season in the last eight years. The Badgers had five 10-win seasons in the program’s first 119 years.
Including a season-high 363 rushing yards vs. Illinois on Nov. 12, the Badgers are averaging 230.0 rushing yards per game over their last seven contests. UW averaged 161.6 yards over its first five games.
The Badgers are 9-1 this season and 17-2 under Paul Chryst when holding an advantage in time of possession.
The Badgers have allowed 15 offensive touchdowns (7 rushing, 8 passing), matching Ohio State for the second-fewest of any FBS defense. Only Alabama (12) has allowed fewer offensive TDs.
Wisconsin ranks fifth nationally and third among Big Ten teams in passing efficiency defense, with opponents posting a pass efficiency rating of 97.7. Ohio State (91.4) leads the nation, followed by Michigan (91.9), Florida (96.2) and Colorado (97.7).
This season, UW has held seven of 12 opponents under the century mark. The Badgers rank third in the FBS, allowing 100.8 rushing yards per game. Alabama (68.7 ypg) and Houston (97.9) are the only teams to rank ahead of the Badgers.
Penn State Notes to Consider
Penn State has won three overall Big Ten regular season titles and two divisional crowns since joining the league in 1993. This is its first appearance in the Big Ten championship game.
Penn State is one of eight FBS teams to have posted winning records each of the last 12 years (Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Boise State, Oklahoma, USC, Florida State, LSU).
At 10-2, Penn State owns its best 12-game record since posting the same mark in 2009.
Saquon Barkley ranks second in the Big Ten with 1,219 rushing yards and third with an average of 101.6 per game. The figures rank 23rd and 33rd in FBS, respectively. He also leads the Big Ten with 1,303 all-purpose yards per game, which ranks 30th in FBS.
Penn State has earned 100 first downs on second down, which ranks fifth-best in FBS at 41.67 percent. Of the 240 first downs PSU has gained this year, just 49 have come on third down plays, which is the second lowest percentage (20.42 percent) of any team in FBS.
Sophomore QB Trace McSorley, who has thrown for at least 200 yards in nine of his 12 starts, is the fourth Penn State quarterback to lead his team to 10 wins in his first year as the starting quarterback, joining Daryll Clark in 2008 (11), Tom Shuman in 1973 (12-0) and Chuck Burkhart in 1968 (11-0).
Penn State has had no turnovers in six of the last eight games and had four turnover free games this season. It is the first time the Nittany Lions have had four games without a turnover in the same season since 2012 (five games).