(Saturday, September 5th)
Final Score: Wisconsin 28, Northern Illinois 20
Madison, WI (Sports Network) - Isaac Anderson scored a pair of touchdowns as he helped lead the Wisconsin Badgers to a 28-20 win over the Huskies of Northern Illinois in non-conference action at Camp Randall Stadium.
Anderson finished with three catches for 100 yards and a TD for the Badgers (1-0), adding a 23-yard scoring run for the home team as well. John Clay registered just 43 yards rushing on 15 attempts, yet he too made it into the end zone twice, while junior Scott Tolzien finished with 257 yards and a touchdown through the air in his first career start.
The Huskies (0-1) were paced by Chad Spann who recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the score more respectable for the visitors.
Tying for the fifth-longest pass play in Wisconsin history, Tolzien hit Anderson with an 80-yard TD for his first pass early in the opening frame to give the Badgers a 7-0 lead.
Later in the frame NIU cut into the deficit with a 40-yard field goal by Mike Salerno.
In the second period the teams again exchanged scoring efforts, first with Anderson finding the end zone on a 23-yard run and then Salerno splitting the uprights from 29 yards away to make the score 14-6 at the break.
In the third period Clay had a pair of one-yard TD runs to push Wisconsin out to a commanding 28-6 advantage, but touchdown runs of one and two yards by Spann closed the gap before the home team could escape with the eight-point decision.
Northern Illinois, which converted just 3-of-12 on third-down plays, allowed the Badgers to post 433 yards of total offense, an average of almost seven yards per snap.
The Badgers, who have now won 12 straight season openers, went into the game holding a commanding 10-1 mark in the all-time series versus NIU.
09/05 23:45:24 ET