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COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Wisconsin Jumps On Penn State Confusion : Big Ten: Badgers take full advantage of lapses and stun No. 6 Nittany Lions, 17-9.

October 01, 1995|From Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State was a confused team Saturday night. And, for the first time in nearly two years, it was also a loser.

Darrell Bevell completed 18 of 22 passes and threw for two touchdowns as Wisconsin upset the sixth-ranked Nittany Lions, 17-9.

Joe Paterno made a couple coaching bungles, including forgetting what down it was late in the first half, costing Penn State, 3-1 overall and 0-1 in the Big Ten, a chance to get three points.

Bevell was nearly perfect as Penn State's linebackers were unable to keep up with Wisconsin's receivers and backs.

"We saw some holes in their defense after looking at the films," Bevell said. "We knew we could throw a lot of crossing patterns at them."

Wally Richardson, who set a Penn State record with 33 completions, threw a five-yard scoring pass to Freddie Scott to cut the lead to 17-9 with 5:49 remaining. Penn State faked the kick and went for two, but Jon Witman was stopped short of the goal line.

The Nittany Lions got the ball back one more time, but lost it on downs with two minutes left. Penn State had won 20 in a row since losing to Ohio State on Oct. 30, 1993, the longest streak in Division I-A.

"Streaks don't go on forever," Paterno said. "Fans think they should, but they don't."

Penn State fans thought that this streak would go at least one more game. Wisconsin (2-1-1, 1-1) was a two-touchdown underdog, and Penn State plays No. 7 Ohio State next weekend.

"It was a huge football game for us," Wisconsin Coach Barry Alvarez said. "Coming into a tough environment, the kids responded and played their hearts out."

Wisconsin scored on its first two drives.

Flanker Michael London caught a short pass and turned it into a 25-yard gain to set up a 26-yard field goal by John Hall. On the next Badger drive, London caught a similar pass for 37 yards.

Two plays later, Bevell threw 21 yards to tight end Matt Nyquist, who easily beat cornerback Brian Miller and made an over-the-shoulder catch to put Wisconsin up, 10-0.

The Badgers held Penn State to 83 yards on the ground, its lowest total since 1991.

"To shut them down and only give up nine points is a surprise," linebacker Eric Unverzagt said. "Our secondary did a great job of coming up and making tackles."

Richardson passed for 259 yards, but his longest completion was 18 yards, as the Badgers' zone defense prevented the big play.

"They forced us to play very patiently, which is something we're not used to," said Scott, who set a Penn State record with 13 receptions.

With 20 seconds remaining in the first half and Penn State trailing, 10-0, Engram dropped Richardson's pass on fourth and four at Wisconsin's 24-yard line.

"I saw third and five on the scoreboard," Paterno said. "If I knew it was fourth and five, I would have gone for the field goal."

"We all made mistakes today, and Joe will tell you, he made his mistake," said kicker Brett Conway, who missed a 39-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter.

Penn State marched to the Wisconsin seven on the opening drive of the second half, before a sack forced the Nittany Lions to settle for a field goal that cut the lead to 10-3.

Wisconsin had an 87-yard drive that ate up seven minutes late in the third and early in the fourth quarter. With 10 minutes remaining, Bevell rolled out and threw to Tony Simmons, who outleaped safety Clint Holes for a 21-yard touchdown to make the score 17-3.

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