Saturday, November 24, 2012
Instant Analysis: PSU 24, Wisconsin 21 OT
By Josh Moyer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Montee Ball set the NCAA record for total touchdowns Saturday, but the Badgers were unable to improve their conference record as Penn State rallied late for the 24-21 overtime win.
Sam Ficken connected on a 37-yard field goal to open up overtime. Wisconsin responded by fumbling and nearly tossing an interception before Kyle French missed a field-goal attempt wide left from 45 yards.
Wisconsin took the early lead in the game by scoring two quick touchdowns -- including Ball's record 79th touchdown -- but Ted Roof's defense adjusted and allowed just seven points the rest of the way. Matt McGloin, who had only 47 passing yards at halftime, rebounded in the second half and paced the offense.
With the win, Penn State's season ends at 8-4 (6-2 Big Ten) while Wisconsin drops to 7-5 (4-4).
It was over when: French missed a 45-yard field goal attempt wide left in overtime. Glenn Carson nearly picked off a pass on third down, and Sean Stanley pushed Wisconsin back after forcing a fumble.
Game ball goes to: Zach Zwinak. He set career highs in carries (36) and rushing yards (179) and was the constant that Penn State's offense needed. He was never tackled for a loss and even outrushed Ball by 68 yards.
Stat of the game: 27 -- the number of yards Ball rushed for in the second half. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry in the first half but only mustered 1.9 yards a carry in the second half. Defensive tackle Jordan Hill helped clog up the middle to limit Ball's production.
Turning point: Early in the final quarter with PSU trailing 14-13, Bill O'Brien found himself on Wisconsin's 41-yard line. He opted to go for it, and McGloin connected with Jesse James on a crossing route that ended up as a 41-yard touchdown. That gave PSU its first lead.
Unsung hero: Hill. He's not yet 100 percent, but he might have had his best game of his career Saturday. He finished with 12 tackles and a pair of sacks. He was a big reasons PSU was able to shut down Ball in the second half.