Penn State thumps Wis­con­sin

Run game, de­fense key win

The Republican Herald - - 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 and Mc­sor­ley matched Todd Black­ledge’s pro­gram record with his 29th win at quar­ter­back as 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 200- plus 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.

Dean­dre T homp­kins 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.

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. A hand­ful of un­der­class­men saw their most ex­tended play­ing time yet. Ja­han Dot­son, Cam Sul­li­van- Brown and Justin Shorter com­bined to play sea­son­high snap counts and con­trib­uted a com­bined four catches for 51 yards.

Up Next

Wis­con­sin trav­els to Pur­due.

Penn State vis­its Rut­gers.

ABBY DREY / CEN­TRE DAILY TIMES

Penn State run­ning back Miles San­ders hur­dles Wis­con­sin’s Faion Hicks dur­ing Satur­day’s game at Beaver Sta­dium. San­ders rushed for 159 yards and a touch­down dur­ing the Nit­tany Li­ons’ 22- 10 vic­tory over the Badgers.

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