Lions thump Badgers

De­fense de­liv­ers for Penn State

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - SPORTS - BY TRAVIS JOHN­SON

STATE COL­LEGE — Trace McSor­ley and Penn State went back to a fa­mil­iar for­mula Satur­day — a steady diet of elu­sive Miles San­ders.

The resur­gent run­ning game put the Nit­tany Lions of­fense back on track, and got McSor­ley a mile­stone vic­tory, too.

San­ders ran for 159 yards and a touch­down on 23 car­ries, McSor­ley matched Todd Black­ledge’s pro­gram record with his 29th win at quar­ter­back and No. 21 Penn State beat Wis­con­sin 22-10.

If San­ders had been ir­ri­tated that his rush­ing to­tals had fallen off along with the Nit­tany Lions’ of­fen­sive out­put lately, he hadn’t shown it. He con­sid­ers him­self a pa­tient tail­back, and he chan­neled some pent-up en­ergy into run­ning over the Badgers.

“Peo­ple may say that at times (San­ders) had been frus­trated, but you never saw that,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “Would we love to rush for more yards week in and week out? No doubt about it.”

Penn State (7-3, 4-3 Big Ten, No. 20 CFP) racked up 200plus rush­ing yards in each of the first six games but had av­er­aged just 120 over the last three. Mean­while, McSor­ley — a key part of the team’s rush­ing at­tack — has been deal­ing with a sore right knee.

McSor­ley com­pleted 19-of25 passes for 160 yards and a TD. He ap­peared to hurt his left knee in the first half but got some re­lief watch­ing San­ders juke through the Badgers with his shifty run­ning style.

“Some­thing that I don’t think he gets enough credit for is the bal­ance he has,” McSor­ley said. “He’s able to take on a hit and shake it off, main­tain his bal­ance and keep go­ing.”

The Badgers had no bal­ance with start­ing quar­ter­back Alex Horni­brook out with a con­cus­sion.

Jonathan Tay­lor ran 20 times for 185 yards and a touch­down for Wis­con­sin (6-4, 4-3), but backup quar­ter­back Jack Coan com­pleted

just 9-of-20 passes for 60 yards with two in­ter­cep­tions and was sacked five times. The Badgers have lost three of their last five games.

“We’ve got to ex­e­cute bet­ter,” Wis­con­sin coach Paul Chryst said. “We knew com­ing in, it’s a good de­fense.”

DeAn­dre Thomp­kins caught a touch­down pass for Penn State, and the Nit­tany Lions held the Badgers to 125 yards in the sec­ond half.

Jake Pine­gar made three field goals for Penn State while Wis­con­sin kicker Rafael Gaglianone added the Badgers fi­nal points mid­way through the third quar­ter.

Wis­con­sin broke through first when Tay­lor ran 71 yards to the end zone on the Badgers’ first pos­ses­sion.

But McSor­ley led back-to­back scor­ing drives to give the Nit­tany Lions the lead for good. He hit Thomp­kins for a 14-yard touch­down pass to cap an eight-play drive, then led the of­fense just past mid­field to set up Pine­gar’s 49-yard field goal.

San­ders added a 1-yard touch­down run mid­way through the sec­ond.

PRESSURE GA­LORE

Beaver Sta­dium was more dif­fi­cult than usual for a quar­ter­back to make his first ca­reer road start Satur­day. Freez­ing tem­per­a­tures were made worse by a con­stant wind pow­ered by gusts up to 40 miles per hour.

At times, it looked like Penn State’s de­fen­sive line was play­ing that fast. Sha­reef Miller and Wis­con­sin na­tive Robert Wind­sor each turned in two sacks, and Coan was hur­ried or hit a hand­ful of times.

YOUNG WIDE­OUTS

The Nit­tany Lions have been look­ing for more op­tions in the pass­ing game all sea­son. Aside from KJ Ham­ler, who was tar­geted on six of Penn State’s first 12 plays, an­other con­sis­tent play­maker has yet to emerge.

But a hand­ful of un­der- class­men saw their most ex­tended play­ing time yet. Ja­han Dot­son, Cam Sul­li­vanBrown and Justin Shorter com­bined to play sea­son­high snap counts and con­trib­uted a com­bined four catches for 51 yards.

THE TAKE­AWAY

Wis­con­sin: The Badgers were lim­ited on of­fense with­out Horni­brook. Coan at­tempted just four passes in the first half and com­pleted two for 10 yards. Mean­while, the Nit­tany Lions were able to load up the box and keep Tay­lor from get­ting into the end zone fol­low­ing his first big run.

Penn State: Of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Ricky Rahne stuck with the run­ning game and fed San­ders the ball, go­ing back to what worked for Penn State ear­lier in the sea­son as McSor­ley deals with a sore knee. The of­fen- sive line was solid, and the strat­egy worked well. It was San­ders’ first 100-yard rush­ing game since Oct. 13.

Penn State’s Sha­reef Miller (48) stiff arms Wis­con­sin’s Gar­rett Groshek, right, af­ter in­ter­cept­ing a pass dur­ing the sec­ond half of Satur­day’s Big Ten game at Beaver Sta­dium. At left is the Badgers’ Tyler Bi­adasz. Penn State won 22-10.

Penn State’s Miles San­ders rushed for 159 yards and a TD dur­ing Satur­day’s 22-10 vic­tory over Wis­con­sin.

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