Badgers steamroll Michigan State

Wisconsin improved to 6-3 (1-3 Big Ten) with a 42-24 pounding of Michigan State in East Lansing Saturday night.

COURTESY UW SPORTS INFORMATION

Using all its offensive weapons, the Wisconsin football team (6-3, 1-3 Big Ten) put 21 points on the board in the first half leading to a 42-24 victory over Michigan State Saturday night. The win gives UW its first conference victory of the year.

Senior quarterback Brooks Bollinger threw for 135 yards on 10-18 passing, and produced five touchdowns: three passing and two rushing. The Badgers totaled 313 rushing yards against MSU with running backs Anthony Davis and Dwayne Smith leading the charge with 170 and 110 respectively. Three different receivers caught TD passes as the Badgers totaled 135 yards in the air.

The Badger offense didn't provide any foreshadowing to its 42-point performance as they started the game by punting after three downs and failing to convert after recovering a fumble inside the MSU 10-yard line.

But UW's offense fired up and scored on its next three possessions. Bollinger scored his two rushing touchdowns of the game in the opening frame to make it 14-0. Bollinger found a wide open Mark Bell in the end zone right before the end of the first quarter to give UW a 21-0 lead.

After an MSU field goal put the Spartans on the board in the second quarter, UW used its 30-second offense to score just before time expired again. Bollinger completed a 27-yard pass to Darrin Charles and on third-and-10, completed a 26-yard pass to Jonathan Orr to keep the drive alive. After a timeout with nine seconds left in the half, Bollinger connected with Brandon Williams for a nine-yard strike to put the score at 28-3.

On the opening drive of the second half, MSU drove 84 yards to paydirt, pushing the tally to 28-10. Wisconsin answered on the following drive on four Davis carries and one long Smith run. Smith increased the Badger lead to 35-10 on a 33-yard run. Michigan State looked to respond following Smith's TD, but the Badger defense stepped in and ruined MSU's comeback. Jim Leonhard picked off Damon Dowdell on fourth-and-four from the Badger eight-yard line to preserve UW's 25-point lead.

Someone had to score as the quarter closed and this time it was Michigan State. Dowdell threw quick strikes to Eric Knott and Charles Rogers in the final 12 seconds to pull the score to 35-17. Wisconsin opened the final quarter with a clock gobbling seven-minute drive that saw Orr score a 23-yard TD catch. MSU tacked on seven more points before the night was through, but a Badger victory was already in the books.

Wisconsin travels to Iowa next week to face the Big Ten leading Hawkeyes.

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