September 25, 2010

Clicking on all cylinders, UW rolls Austin Peay

MADISON - When Bucky Badger does 385 pushups in one Saturday afternoon, it's a good bet his school is lighting up the scoreboard inside Camp Randall.

If you are the guessing type, try estimating a record setting 70-point outburst against a supremely overmatched Austin Peay team that mustered only three points on a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Wisconsin rushed all over the Governors. Wisconsin passed all over the Governors. Really, to put it simply, Wisconsin did whatever it wanted to from start to finish.

Even Wisconsin's two lone punts were emphatic.

Overall, the Badgers racked up 618 yards of total offense (346 rushing, 272 passing) and blew out Austin Peay 70-3 in front of an entertained 77,224 announced attendance as they finished out the non-conference portion of the schedule a perfect 4-0.

"That's why they are No. 10," Austin Peay head coach Rick Christophel said. "They do a great job at coaching, they understand what's coming and defensively they tackle very well. We knew coming in we would have to play a perfect game. Offensively we didn't turn the ball over which is pretty good.

"Defensively we had six or seven penalties."

They also offered little resistance as Wisconsin scored on nine-consecutive drives before Brad Nortman launched his first punt of the day early in the fourth quarter.

Leading the charge was running back James White, who fumbled away an opportunity at a touchdown two weeks ago against San Jose State, but rebounded in a huge way Saturday afternoon.

The freshman rushed for 145 yards on only 11 carries and went mostly untouched on his four touchdown runs.

"Probably twice on all of them," White, who's 13.2-yards-per-carry average ranked fourth in UW history, said regarding the number of times he was touched. "I didn't get touched that many times when I scored. The toss I didn't get touched at all and the first one I barely got touched.

"Somebody pushed me into the end zone."

White, though his numbers were especially gaudy, was not the only Badger to perform at a high level. Quarterback Scott Tolzien completed 15-of-17 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns.

Lance Kendricks reeled in six balls for 103 yards and a touchdown. Bradie Ewing scored twice, once on the ground and once through the air. Jacob Pedersen recorded his first career touchdown reception. Jeff Duckworth logged three receptions for 32 yards, only six yards less than Jared Abbrederis had with the same amount of catches.

The list goes on and on.

Brad Nortman averaged 60.5 yards per punt, including a long of 76 yards on the final play of the game. Montee Ball tallied 64 yards on the ground and another 25 through the air while scoring a touchdown. Jon Budmayr went 6-of-7 for 55 yards during his first playing time in a college game.

And oh yeah, John Clay rushed for more than 100 yards for the 10th-straight game and found the end zone again for his team leading sixth touchdown.

"During the course of the week, what we really preached to the kids was to play the game the way it needs to get played," UW head coach Bret Bielema said. "It doesn't matter what your opponent is. Respect all, fear none. Get them to play a four-quarter game no matter who was in there.

"That's probably the biggest thing I can take out of this."

Overall, 60 Badger players saw time on the field. And combined, those sixty players committed only one penalty.

For the first time this season, the Badgers played like the No. 11 ranking tabbed next to its name. They were crisp in all phases of the game and focused throughout, even though it became obvious very quickly that the Governors were overmatched.

Unfortunately for Austin Peay, it came at their expense.

"With all joking aside, we played at a great venue," Christophel said. "And you can't say much more because it was a good old fashioned butt whooping. But what you tell them is this is where we are, and this is how far we have to go to get to the level we want to compete with."

Wisconsin enters Big Ten play with a perfect 4-0 mark and an offense that seemingly has some rhythm entering league play. Without David Gilreath and Nick Toon for the second straight week, the UW offense still mustered more than 600-yards of offense and upped its scoring average from 29.3 points per game before playing Austin Peay to 39.5 after it.

Maybe it's best just to ask Bucky Badger about it.

"He's going to be sore tomorrow," Tolzien said. "Maybe he'll be in the ice tub. Maybe his night won't be as good as in weeks past."




 

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