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Wisconsin edges Fresno

The No. 10 Badgers use the rushing of Hill and some good fortune to beat the No. 21 Bulldogs, 13-10.

September 14, 2008|From the Associated Press

FRESNO -- P.J. Hill and Wisconsin spoiled the biggest game in Bulldog Stadium history.

Hill ran for 112 yards and Allan Evridge threw a touchdown pass before leaving because of an injury to help the 10th-ranked Badgers beat No. 21 Fresno State, 13-10, on Saturday night.

The much-hyped contest was the physical, tight game that both teams expected. The Badgers ended up on top because they capitalized on key special-teams plays while the Bulldogs didn't.

Wisconsin (3-0) scored its only points of the second half on a 23-yard field goal by Philip Welch after a fumbled punt by A.J. Jefferson. That proved to be just enough to win because Kevin Goessling missed three field-goal attempts, including a 35-yarder in the fourth quarter and a 51-yarder after a blocked punt in the third.

Fresno State (1-1) appeared to have another good chance after Robert Malone's punt was downed inside the one with 1:55 to go. But backup quarterback Dustin Scherer ran for two yards on first down and fullback Bill Rentmeester followed with an eight-yard run, carrying Fresno State defenders on his way to a first down that let Wisconsin just run out the clock.

Wisconsin heads into the Big Ten season undefeated and with the best hopes of any conference team of making it into the BCS title game following No. 5 Ohio State's 35-3 loss to No. 1 USC earlier in the night.

The loss brought an early end to Fresno State's hopes of following the path set by WAC rivals Boise State and Hawaii the last two years of going to a BCS bowl.

Evridge left the game midway through the fourth quarter because of an undisclosed leg injury. But he had done enough to help the Badgers win by that point, throwing a two-yard TD pass to Garrett Graham in the first quarter. Evridge finished 13 for 27 for 163 yards.

Tom Brandstater was 15 for 27 for 225 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, but was stopped by the Wisconsin defense when the Bulldogs needed him most.

After throwing a 47-yard touchdown pass to Devon Wylie early in the third quarter to cut Wisconsin's lead to 10-7, Brandstater was unable to get the Bulldogs back into the end zone.

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