MADISON, Wis. – Freshman James White rushed for four touchdowns, Scott Tolzien threw for three more scores and No. 11 Wisconsin steamrolled Austin Peay 70-3 on Saturday.
The Badgers (4-0) rolled in their final warmup for conference play, scoring touchdowns on all seven of their first-half possessions to take a 49-3 lead at halftime. It was a modern-era record for the Badgers, whose previous high was 69 points in a victory over New Mexico State in 1962.
John Clay rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown and fullback Bradie Ewing also had touchdowns rushing and receiving.
Stephen Stansell's 51-yard field goal was about the only highlight of the day for the Governors (2-2), a Football Championship Subdivision team playing its first game against a Big Ten team.
Wisconsin opens Big Ten play at Michigan State next Saturday.
The Badgers were once again without wide receivers Nick Toon and David Gilreath because of injury, and have lost linebacker Chris Borland for the season with a shoulder injury. But it didn't really matter Saturday.
Tolzien threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns in the first half — including one to tight end Lance Kendricks, who had another big game with 103 yards receiving, all in the first half.
Backup quarterback Jon Budmayr took over in the third quarter.
But the most impressive performance of the day might have been White, a true freshman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. who had 145 yards rushing. He scored on an 18-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, showed his speed on a 66-yard touchdown run in the second quarter — then scored two more in the third quarter to turn it into an epic rout.
The Governors got an early ray of hope when safety Jeremy Ross came through the line unblocked to sack Tolzien on Wisconsin's first offensive series. But the Badgers converted a third-and-16 on Tolzien's pass to Kyle Jefferson, then marched for a 7-yard touchdown run by Ewing and an early 7-0 lead.
Austin Peay showed a similar burst to start its first offensive series, with Ryan throwing to Preston Rouse for a 22-yard gain. But they went backward on their next three plays, with running back Ryan White getting thrown for losses by linebacker Mike Taylor and defensive end Louis Nzegwu and a sack by David Gilbert.
The Badgers met even less resistance on their next possession. On second-and-5 from the Austin Peay 18-yard line, White went left — with big center Peter Konz pulling and running step for step with him down the field — and into the end zone.
Trailing 14-0, the Governors were pinned deep in their own territory after a penalty on a kickoff return. But they managed to march for a 51-yard field goal by Stansell, cutting the Badgers' lead to 14-3 early in the second quarter.
Any sense of momentum didn't last long, as White broke the game open with a 66-yard touchdown run that gave the Badgers a 21-3 lead.
Tolzien threw a touchdown to Kendricks on the Badgers' next possession, then found Ewing — a player who rarely touches the ball for the Badgers — for a 3-yard touchdown with 6:12 left in the quarter.
Clay later went 12 yards untouched into the end zone for a 42-3 Wisconsin lead, and the Badgers scored once more in their hurry-up offense before halftime when Tolzien threw a 10-yard touchdown to Jacob Pedersen.