(Saturday, September 11th)
Final Score: (11) Wisconsin 27, San Jose State 14
Madison, WI (Sports Network) - John Clay ran for 137 yards and a pair of scores for 11th-ranked Wisconsin, which posted a 27-14 victory over San Jose State to record its 15th consecutive home opening win.
Scott Tolzien threw for 191 yards on 15-of-22 passing with a touchdown and an interception for the Badgers (2-0), who also won their 27th consecutive non- conference game. Lance Kendricks had three receptions for 60 yards and a score.
"We just made the point in the locker room that we're guaranteed 12 opportunities, and we're two games into it and we're in the right column," said Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema. "We've got two wins under our belt. There is no flow chart to show where you should be; it's just important to get those two wins. Half of the teams today in college football won't win."
Jordan La Secla was impressive for San Jose State (0-2), throwing for 228 yards, two touchdowns while being picked off once on 20-of-26 passing. Chandler Jones caught eight passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, as the Spartans hung in with the Badgers following a 48-3 loss to top-ranked Alabama.
Despite an obvious disparity in talent level, Wisconsin outgained San Jose State by only a 403-307 margin.
"I thought our young men played hard and we had chances in the football game," said San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre. "That's a heck of a football team, and Wisconsin really plays hard. I thought it was a great football game."
Wisconsin wasted no time early, driving 77 yards in 10 plays on the game's opening series.
Tolzien's 16-yard completion to Isaac Anderson following a 15-yard San Jose State penalty put the Badgers on the opposing 26-yard line, and Wisconsin finished the drive with six straight rushing plays. Clay ran the last four, including a one-yard plunge into the end zone for the lead after five minutes of play.
The Spartans recorded only one first down in the opening quarter, though they held Wisconsin to no further points in the period. The Badgers nearly doubled their lead, but James White fumbled the ball out of the opposing end zone for a touchback.
A botched punt attempt by San Jose State, however, put the Badgers deep in the Spartans territory, and Tolzien finished off a four-play drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Kendricks for a 14-0 advantage in the initial moments of the second quarter.
The Spartans stopped Wisconsin on 4th-and-1 inside the SJU five with less than five minutes remaining in the first half and started to drive down the field. A 46-yard pass from La Secla to Jones followed by a pass interference penalty on Wisconsin put San Jose State on the Badgers' 30, but Harrison Waid's 43- yard field goal attempt was blocked.
The Badgers answered with Philip Welch's 45-yard field goal on the final play of the half for a 17-point lead.
Welch added another field goal from 37 yards away to add to Wisconsin's lead early in the third, but San Jose State came alive later in the quarter.
Tolzien was intercepted deep in Spartans territory, and Peyton Thompson took it back to near midfield. After a La Secla pass to Noel Grigsby for 15 yards, he found Jones, who made a reception and knifed through the Wisconsin defense for 36 yards and a touchdown with under a minute left in the third.
Wisconsin quickly answered with a 10-play, 77-yard drive that ended with another one-yard scoring run from Clay early in the fourth, but the Spartans stayed within striking distance, 27-14, on a Grigsby 12-yard touchdown reception with about six minutes to play.
The Badgers, however, were able to drain the rest of the clock on their ensuing drive to secure the victory.
The Spartans last beat a Top-25 team in 2000, and their last such victory on the road came in 1980...Wisconsin leads the all-time series, 2-0...San Jose State has lost nine straight on the road and is 2-5 all-time against the Big Ten...Grigsby finished with seven catches for 79 yards...Wisconsin kick returner David Gilreath left the game with a concussion in the third quarter after taking a hit during a punt. He was placed on a stretcher and taken off the field in an ambulance.
09/11 19:44:38 ET