Penn State 24, Wisconsin 21, OT
UW -- Melvin Gordon 57-yard pass from Curt Phillips (Kyle French kick), 13:11. Drive: 4 plays, 74 yards, 1:49. Analysis: The glow from the senior day ceremony -- complete with players wearing Michael Mauti's No. 42 on the side of their helmets -- fades quickly. Wisconsin wastes little time after the opening kickoff, scoring in four plays. Senior quarterback Phillips catches Penn State on a blitz and dumps it off to Gordon, his change-of-pace back, who has nothing but green in front of him down the right sideline. It's the first touchdown allowed by Penn State in the first quarter all season and the first allowed since Jan. 2 in the TicketCity Bowl against Houston. WISCONSIN 7, PENN STATE 0.
PSU -- Zach Zwinak 3-yard run (Sam Ficken kick), 8:17. Drive: 15 plays, 78 yards, 4:50. Analysis: Penn State's offense strikes right back, using a healthy dose of Zwinak, who will head into 2013 entrenched as the team's feature back. The sophomore carries nine times on the 15-play drive, gaining 41 yards and finishing it off with the 3-yard score. It's particularly impressive considering it comes against a Wisconsin team that came into the game with the country's ninth-ranked rushing defense, allowing just 106 yards per game on the ground. Tight end Jesse James kept the drive alive with a leaping catch that saw him use every bit of his 6-foot-7 frame to reach up and grab a third-down pass. UW 7, PSU 7.
UW -- Montee Ball 17-yard run (French kick), 6:27. Drive: 4 plays, 53 yards, 1:41. Analysis: The first three drives of the game produce touchdowns, and Ball makes some history on this one. The Badgers' senior tailback goes off right tackle and beats the defense to the pylon for the 79th total touchdown (73 rushing, six receiving) of his career, breaking the all-time NCAA record. He had been tied with Travis Prentice of Miami, Ohio. Penn State came into the game having allowed just six first-quarter points all season. Wisconsin puts up 14 points in the opening nine minutes. UW 14, PSU 7.
PSU -- Ficken 23-yard field goal, 10:55. Drive: 11 plays, 77 yards, 4:00. Analysis: Penn State nearly has a tie game and Matt McGloin nearly had another record. But instant replay overturns what was ruled a McGloin touchdown pass to Brandon Moseby-Felder and the Lions settle for a field goal On third-and-goal from the 6, McGloin finds Moseby-Felder in the back of the end zone. The junior manages to barely get down in bounds, but replay officials, after a very lengthy review, rule that he did not have complete control of the ball at that point. McGloin remained one passing touchdown behind Daryll Clark for the single-season record at Penn State. Penn State fans, still smarting from a replay review that didn't go their way out at Nebraska earlier this month, rain down boos throughout the field goal try and during the ensuing TV timeout. For Ficken, it's his eighth straight successful kick in a season that saw him start 1-for-5. Jesse James again set up the score with a 37-yard catch-and-run over the middle. UW 14, PSU 10.
PSU -- Ficken 32-yard field goal, 2:58. Drive: 11 plays, 72 yards, 4:10. Analysis: A month earlier, Bill O'Brien may not have considered sending Ficken out for this kick. But on fourth-and-3 in the red zone, the Penn State coach elects to use his suddenly dependable sophomore kicker, who boots the kick into the wind to cut Penn State's deficit to one point headed into the fourth quarter. Zwinak continues to pound away at a tiring Badgers defense, setting a new career high by hitting 157 yards on the ground and nearing 1,000 for the season. After a very rough start, Penn State's defense has forced a punt on seven straight Wisconsin possessions. UW 14, PSU 13.
PSU -- Jesse James 41-yard pass from Matt McGloin (Zwinak run), 13:32. Drive: 6 plays, 67 yards, 2:43. Analysis: This one counts. McGloin hits his true freshman tight end on a fourth-and-6 play to give Penn State its first lead of the game. A Zwinak 2-point conversion on a draw play out of the shotgun gives the Lions an all-important seven-point lead. With plenty of time to throw, McGloin is able to wait for the 6-foot-7 rookie to come wide open on a post route to the left sideline. The 18-year-old makes the catch for the first down and then takes it the rest of the way for the score. A replay review comes on this play, too, to see if James stepped out of bounds before the goal line, but the score stands. McGloin ties Clark for most passing touchdowns in a season at Penn State with 24 on the play. PSU 21, UW 14.
UW -- Jeff Duckworth 4-yard pass from Phillips (French kick), 0:18. Drive: 14 plays, 66 yards, 3:33. Analysis: Penn State had shut the Badgers down the entire second half, snuffing out their only big drive with an interception by Williamsport grad Jake Fagnano with five minutes left. But Wisconsin forces a punt and proceeds to grit out a drive down to the Lions' goal line. Ball has his eyes on the end zone on third-and-goal, only to be crushed for a loss by Jordan Hill and Mike Hull. With the game on the line, Phillips makes a tight throw into Duckworth, who goes low to cradle it for the score. In a bit of a surprise, Wisconsin -- which has to play next week in the Big Ten title game -- elects to extend the game into overtime on the road rather than go for the win right there with the NCAA's all-time touchdown leader in the backfield. But overtime it is, the first time for Penn State since 2006, and the first time at Beaver Stadium in a full decade. PSU 21, UW 21.
PSU -- Ficken 37-yard field goal. Drive: 4 plays, 6 yards. Analysis: And Ficken, who was shaky even on extra points back in September, comes through with a huge kick to finish the year off with 10 straight makes. Zwinak gets 6 yards on his 36th and final carry to hit exactly 1,000 yards rushing on the season, but the Lions can't get closer and settle for three points. The Badgers can't even get that, nearly turning it over twice on their drive before attempting a 44-yarder that sails wide left and sends the Penn State sideline into one final celebration for 2012. PSU 24, UW 21.
|Time of Possession||28:15||31:45|
RUSHING—Wisconsin, M.Ball 27-111, Abbrederis 1-24, White 7-13, Gordon 1-9, Watt 1-2, Phillips 6-(minus 1). Penn St., Zwinak 36-179, Zordich 5-8, Team 1-(minus 1), McGloin 3-(minus 23).
PASSING—Wisconsin, Phillips 12-25-1-191. Penn St., McGloin 19-37-0-200.
RECEIVING—Wisconsin, Abbrederis 3-35, Watt 2-45, Fredrick 2-28, Gordon 1-57, Doe 1-10, Pedersen 1-7, Hammond 1-5, Duckworth 1-4. Penn St., Robinson 4-35, James 3-90, Kenney 3-28, Zwinak 3-5, Lehman 2-22, Moseby-Felder 1-10, Zordich 1-7, Gilliam 1-5, Williams 1-(minus 2).