(Saturday, September 13th)
Final Score: (10) Wisconsin 13, (21) Fresno State 10
Fresno, CA (Sports Network) - Allan Evridge threw for 143 yards and a touchdown as the 10th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers escaped with a 13-10 victory over No. 21 Fresno State.
Evridge left the game in the fourth quarter with apparent cramping but returned to the sidelines later without showing any ill effects of the injury.
PJ Hill was a workhorse back, rushing for 112 yards on 26 carries, while Garrett Graham brought in Wisconsin's lone touchdown, finishing with five catches for 58 yards for the Badgers (3-0), who have not lost a non-conference game away from home since 2001.
"Our guys rose to the challenge tonight," Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said. "We knew it was going to be a hard fought game that went into fourth quarter. I can't say enough about the defense. The 11 guys on the field dictate the outcome of the game. It is a great situation to be undefeated heading to conference play. This is a big victory for us."
Tom Brandstater threw for 225 yards with a touchdown and an interception on 15-of-27 throws for Fresno State (1-1), which dropped just its second home opener in 12 years under head coach Pat Hill. Devon Wylie caught a touchdown, but kicker Kevin Goessling missed tries of 35, 47, and 51 yards out, while making a 33-yarder in defeat.
Wisconsin's defense was the first to make its mark in the game, as Deandre Levy intercepted Brandstater at his own 27. A 22-yard reception from Graham set up his two-yard score with 48 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
Fresno State used up the next four minutes on the clock but came away empty- handed thanks to Goessling kicking his 47-yard attempt wide left.
Goessling's counterpart, Philip Welch was good from 38 yards out midway through the second quarter, as the Badgers took a 10-point lead heading to the locker room.
The Bulldogs finally got on the board in the third quarter on Wylie's 47-yard touchdown at the 9:25 mark, but a muffed punt later in the quarter gave the Badgers good field position, as Welch's 23-yard boot made it a 13-7 game.
Fresno State marched down the field on their next possession, gaining a 1st- and-goal at the nine behind Ryan Mathews' 61-yard reception. But a sack on second down brought the ball back to the 16 and Goessling made it a three- point game with a 33-yard field goal.
Lonyae Miller's 52-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter gave the home fans something to cheer about, but Goessling's subsequent miss of 35 yards let the air out of the stadium.
Fresno got the ball back, and though they moved the ball into enemy territory, another huge sack on third down forced the squad to punt with seven minutes remaining. The Bulldogs used almost six minutes on the scoreless drive and never got the ball back as Wisconsin ran the clock out.
"Tonight was a tough loss but the kids played hard," Fresno State head coach Pat Hill said. "They're a good team and it was a heck of a game. I'm really proud of our fans and we still have a lot to play for, we still have the entire season."
Fresno State travels to Toledo next weekend, and Wisconsin has a bye before taking on Michigan September 27...Wisconsin and Fresno State have split their only two previous meetings, both of which took place in Madison...Mathews finished with just 54 yards on 17 carries, while Miller led the Bulldogs in rushing with 58 yards on seven carries.
09/14 04:23:16 ET