Ball, Badgers Drill Nits, Off to Indy

(AP) Montee Ball scored four more touchdowns in his pursuit of an NCAA record, powering No. 15 Wisconsin to a 45-7 rout of No. 20 Penn State and a spot in next week’s Big Ten championship game. Ball has scored 34 touchdowns this season for the Badgers (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten), the second-most in a single season in NCAA history. Barry Sanders holds the record, scoring 39 for Oklahoma State in 11 games in the 1988 season. With the win, Wisconsin will play Big Ten Legends division winner Michigan State in Indianapolis next Saturday. The Nittany Lions (9-3, 6-2) took an early 7-0 lead but quickly unraveled, falling behind 28-7 by halftime. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view our Big Ten scoreboard.

Check out our quarter-by-quarter recap, powered by Narrative Science:

FINAL: Penn State had no answer for Montee Ball, who ran wild to lead No. 14 Wisconsin to a 45-7 victory on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. Ball, who came in ranked No. 1 in the conference in rushing yards at 1466 on the year, rushed 25 times for 156 yards and four touchdowns. Wisconsin’s (10-2) offense dominated, ripping off huge chunks of yardage. The Badgers burned No. 18 Penn State’s defense for four plays of more than 20 yards. With 1:54 to go in the third quarter, Ball ran 28 yards for Wisconsin’s biggest gain of the game. Despite the highlight, the Badgers failed to score on that drive, which stalled at Wisconsin’s own 23-yard line. The Badgers’ Russell Wilson passed for 185 yards, completing 18 of 28 throws. He threw two touchdowns and no interceptions. Wilson also ran for 35 yards on seven attempts. Wilson’s favorite target on the day was Jared Abbrederis. He caught seven passes for 93 yards and one touchdown. Wisconsin racked up 448 total yards. The Badgers’ rushing attack contributed 263 yards on 50 carries in addition to Wilson’s passing effort. Penn State’s (9-3) Matthew McGloin went nine of 17 through the air for a total of 97 yards. McGloin finished the game with one touchdown and one interception. The Nittany Lions’ offense finished the game having gained 231 yards, including 120 passing yards on 11 completions. Penn State also rushed 27 times for 111 yards.

FOURTH QUARTER: Wisconsin completed its blowout of Penn State with a strong fourth quarter and took home a 45-7 victory. The Badgers ended the game on a 45-point run. Wisconsin added to its advantage when Philip Welch kicked a 45-yard field goal, polishing off a six-play, 16-yard drive to give the Badgers the lead, 45-7. Wisconsin started in good field position at the Nittany Lions’ 44-yard line when the Badgers recovered a fumble.

THIRD QUARTER: Wisconsin gained 89 yards on the ground in the third, and the Badgers now lead 42-7. Wisconsin has scored the last 42 points. The Badgers opened up the lead, 35-7, after Montee Ball pounded in a nine-yard touchdown run to end a three-play, 46-yard drive. Wisconsin began the drive with good field position after the Badgers recovered a fumble. Wisconsin added to its advantage when Ball turned a handoff into an 18-yard touchdown, the finishing touch on a three-play, 45-yard drive to give the Badgers the lead, 42-7. Wisconsin started in good field position when Jared Abbrederis returned a punt. Ball clinched a 150-yard rushing game with 88 in the quarter, part of his 156-yard day through three quarters for the Badgers. Wisconsin has possession on its own 23-yard line to start the fourth quarter.

SECOND QUARTER: Wisconsin held Penn State to 36 total yards during the second quarter and the Badgers now lead 28-7. Wisconsin gave up only 13 passing yards during the quarter. The Badgers have scored 28 straight points. An eight-play, 50-yard scoring drive by Wisconsin snapped the 7-7 stalemate, as Montee Ball turned a handoff into a one-yard touchdown. The Badgers expanded their lead to 21-7 thanks to a 10-play, 83-yard drive that ended when Ball ran two yards to paydirt. Wisconsin opened up the lead, 28-7, after marching down the field for a six-play, 31-yard drive that ended when Russell Wilson found Nick Toon open for a four-yard touchdown pass. A fumble recovery by the Badgers set Wisconsin up to start the drive. The Nittany Lions will get the ball to start the second half.

FIRST QUARTER: No. 14 Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis caught five passes for 60 yards and one touchdown in the quarter, and the two teams are tied 7-7 at the end of the first. No. 18 Penn State took the game’s first lead after Matthew McGloin threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Drake on the last play of an eight-play, 80-yard drive. The Badgers got even after Russell Wilson and Abbrederis hooked up for a 21-yard touchdown to end a 10-play, 76-yard drive that tied the score at seven. Wisconsin is knocking on the door to begin the second quarter, with the ball at the Nittany Lions’ one-yard line.

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