(Saturday, October 11th)
Final Score: (6) Penn State 48, Wisconsin 7
Madison, WI (Sports Network) - Daryll Clark threw for 244 yards and one touchdown, and ran for two more scores, as sixth-ranked Penn State dominated Wisconsin, 48-7, at Camp Randall Stadium.
Clark completed 16-of-25 passes and was also intercepted once for the Nittany Lions (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten), who blew out Wisconsin last season, 38-7, at home. But Penn State had only won once at Wisconsin since 1996 -- in 2002 -- and had scored just six combined points in the last two trips to Camp Randall.
"You know, I was nervous earlier in the week and then as the week went on, I wasn't," Penn State head coach Joe Paterno said. "I just knew that these guys were ready to play. And if they (Wisconsin) were better than we were, they'd be better than we were. But where we are right now, we've got football to play."
Evan Royster ran for 60 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, and Deon Butler caught three passes for 70 yards and a TD for the Nittany Lions, whose performance could merit a rise up the Top-25 rankings. No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Missouri and No. 4 LSU all lost on Saturday.
Wisconsin starting quarterback Allan Evridge completed just two of his 10 pass attempts for 50 yards and was intercepted once, and was pulled for Dustin Sherer. He was 9-of-17 for 115 yards and one pick for the Badgers (3-3, 0-3), who have lost three consecutive games.
Evridge ran for the lone touchdown for the Badgers, who had lost their previous two games by a combined five points.
"They are all tough. Every game in college football is a big game," Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said. "Obviously, we are a 3-3 football team and everyone is going to make reference to next week being a big game. When we were a 3-2 football game, this was a huge game for us. They all are big games and they are all losses. Every loss hurts; depending on how the game goes down and how you execute in the end, it takes a lot out of you, but as a coach they all hurt."
Kevin Kelly's 50-yard field goal provided the only points of the first quarter as Penn State took a 3-0 lead. But the Nittany Lions exploded for 21 points in the second stanza to start pulling away.
On a drive that started on the final play of the first, Penn State went 51 yards on nine plays. Clark had a 21-yard pass to Jordan Norwood to bring the ball to the Wisconsin 17, and then ripped off a nine-yard rush put PSU at the three. Several plays later, Clark took the snap on an option play and tossed the ball to Royster as he was drilled, and the running back went two yards into the end zone for a 10-0 lead.
Wisconsin went three-and-out on its next touch, and Derrick Williams returned the punt 63 yards -- without any serious threat of being tackled -- for a TD and a 17-0 advantage just five minutes into the frame.
"I only saw one replay of it and they got leverage out of our left tackle and our left wing and sealed everybody else back inside," Bielema said of the return. "They started in the middle and it broke out to our left."
The Badgers got those points back on the very next series, though. Evridge completed a 42-yard pass to Travis Beckum to set Wisconsin up at the PSU 35, and the Badgers ran it in from there. Evridge eventually scored on a five-yard rollout, opting to keep the ball and dash into the left corner of the end zone.
But Penn State capitalized on a Wisconsin turnover to head into the intermission with a 24-7 lead. Evridge was tackled deep in his own territory by Aaron Maybin, who forced the fumble. Josh Hull recovered at the 16, and after a pass interference penalty brought the Lions down to the two-yard line, Clark plowed in for another score with 1:24 on the clock.
Penn State resumed the blowout in the third quarter. Clark capped a six-play, 76-yard drive with a four-yard scoring run about 2 1/2 minutes into the second half. After a Wisconsin punt, Penn State drove again and Clark connected with Butler on a stop-and-go route for a 44-yard TD that gave the visitors a 38-7 lead.
Kelly's 30-yard field goal put the Nittany Lions ahead 41-7 with 3:15 remaining in the third, and on the ensuing series Sherer took the reins from Evridge for Wisconsin.
He completed several nice passes and drove Wisconsin into PSU's side of the field, but he was intercepted by Lydell Sargeant at the goal line to end the scoring threat. Sargeant had two interceptions in the game.
Penn State opted to go to numerous second-stringers in the fourth quarter, and Pat Devlin's one-yard TD run completed the scoring with 2:40 left in the contest.
Williams' return score was his fifth career return for a TD, which set a PSU record...Norwood finished with three catches for 59 yards...P.J. Hill was Wisconsin's leading rusher with 15 carries for 58 yards...The Badgers play next Saturday at Iowa, while Penn State hosts Michigan on the same day... Paterno was in charge of the game from the press box because of an arthritic leg.
10/12 00:46:05 ET