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Bernstein Answers the Bell for Badgers, 16-3

September 26, 2004|From Associated Press

Matt Bernstein, a 270-pound fullback, bullied his way to a career-best 123 yards after replacing an ineffective and injured Booker Stanley to help No. 20 Wisconsin manhandle Penn State, 16-3, Saturday night in a Big Ten Conference opener at Madison, Wis.

Bernstein hadn't eaten for 24 hours because of Yom Kippur, so he wolfed down oranges and turkey on the sideline after kickoff, along with several chugs of water.

"It's been a tough day," he said. "I was happy [kickoff] was at 5 o'clock so I could play."

So was Badger Coach Barry Alvarez, who joked that after the game "we gave him a hoagie and an IV."

The Badgers (4-0) held their opponents out of the end zone for the third time in four games.

The loss was costly for the Nittany Lions (2-2), who lost their top offensive weapons in the first quarter when quarterback Zack Mills injured his right shoulder on Penn State's first series and his replacement, Michael Robinson, suffered a concussion.

After the game, Penn State Coach Joe Paterno learned his son-in-law, Chris Hort, had been involved in a serious bicycle accident in State College, Pa., and flew home ahead of his team.

Bernstein was pressed into duty when Stanley, who gained only nine yards in 10 carries, couldn't go in the second half after aggravating a turf toe injury and Jamil Walker hurt a shoulder.

Bernstein carried 26 times for 120 yards in the second half.

There's no telling how long the Nittany Lions will be without Robinson, who spent the night at University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics, where doctors reported he was moving all his fingers and toes.

No. 15 Purdue 38, Illinois 30 -- Kyle Orton passed for 366 yards and four touchdowns and Taylor Stubblefield caught 11 passes for 115 yards to lead the Boilermakers to victory at Champaign, Ill.

Orton completed 35 of 50 passes and was not intercepted for the third consecutive game. He had scoring passes of two, five and 34 yards to Stubblefield and 49 yards to Brandon Jones as the Boilermakers (3-0) totaled 515 yards.

Jon Beutjer threw three touchdown passes for the Fighting Illini (2-2).

No. 18 Michigan 30, Iowa 17 -- Braylon Edwards caught six passes for 150 yards and a touchdown and the Wolverines turned four turnovers into 27 points to roll past the Hawkeyes (2-2) at Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Wolverines (3-1) won their 23rd consecutive Big Ten opener. They have won 12 in a row at home since Iowa handed them their worst loss at Michigan Stadium since 1967.

No. 19 Minnesota 43, Northwestern 17 -- Laurence Maroney had a 50-yard touchdown run and finished with 145 rushing yards, and freshman Justin Valentine had three short scoring runs to lead the Golden Gophers to victory at Minneapolis.

Bryan Cupito, who completed passes to eight different receivers, threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns for Minnesota (4-0). Quarterback Brett Basanez scored the only offensive touchdown for Northwestern (1-3) on a 15-yard run.

Michigan State 30, Indiana 20 -- Spartan quarterback Drew Stanton ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns in his starting debut at Bloomington, Ind.

The Spartans (2-2) scored 23 consecutive points in the second half to erase a 20-7 halftime deficit. The Hoosiers (2-2) managed only 41 yards of offense in the second half, losing a Big Ten opener for the 13th time in 14 years.

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