Mc­Sor­ley matches wins mark, No. 21 Penn State tops Wis­con­sin

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Travis John­son As­so­ci­ated Press

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 of 25 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 un­der­class­men 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 of­fen­sive line was solid, and the strat­egy worked well. It was San­ders’ first 100-yard rush­ing game since Oct. 13. UP NEXT Wis­con­sin trav­els to Pur­due.

Penn State vis­its Rut­gers.

CHRIS KNIGHT - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS`

Penn State’s Miles San­ders (24) runs the ball against Wis­con­sin dur­ing the first half of an NCAA col­lege foot­ball game in State Col­lege, Pa., Satur­day, Nov. 10, 2018.

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