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Lions stay awake at night, stomp Badgers

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoWhen a home crowd’s loudest cheer comes during the entrance of a backup quarterback, you know things aren’t going your way.That’s what happened Saturday night, as visiting No. 6 Penn State (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) came into Camp Randall Stadium and completely dismantled Wisconsin 48-7, dominating all facets of the game.“Here at Camp Randall, we don’t want to lose at home,” linebacker Jaevery McFadden said. “Last week, we had a tough one against Ohio State; this one, just getting blown out, it definitely hurts. We take pride in defending our home turf.”The loss dropped the Badgers to 3-3 overall and 0-3 in conference play.“When you get into the coaching profession, there’s going to be good days and bad days,” head coach Bret Bielema said. “Today our team at times did some good things, but overall, obviously didn’t do very many positive things, especially in the first half.”The Nittany Lions jumped out to an early 17-0 lead and never looked back, taking advantage of a Wisconsin offense that punted on its first five possessions and had trouble moving the ball all night.“We just got spanked. It’s never fun when you get spanked all the way across the board,” quarterback Allan Evridge said. “We weren’t on our game tonight, and that’s the way it turned out.”After throwing a third-quarter interception that Bielema later called an “easy read,” Evridge was replaced by backup Dustin Sherer.“The pick was obviously very frustrating; that wasn’t a good way to go out,” said Evridge, who finished the game just 2-of-10 for 50 yards and one interception.The Lions only led by a 3-0 margin after the first quarter, but the Badgers’ inefficiency on offense and some poor Brad Nortman punts gave the visitors a consistently short field with which to work, allowing them to score 21 second-quarter points, en route to a 24-7 halftime lead.Penn State then took the second-half kickoff and marched 76 yards down the field for another score, capped by a 4-yard Daryll Clark touchdown run.“When they started the second half and were able to score on their first drive, it really made it a difficult day from that point forward,” Bielema said. “I really saw some momentum swing at that point that we were never going to get back.”Clark led the Lions attack all night, scoring points at will, finishing with three total touchdowns and 244 yards passing.“He’s a great player, a big, physical guy,” linebacker DeAndre Levy said. “He throws the ball very well; his strength allows him to get outside the tackles and get that ball out still.”Bielema was also impressed.“Penn State is a very good football team,” he said. “Of all the teams we’ve faced, they’ve got the most talent that we’ve seen to date.”Still, Levy feels accountable.“I point to myself. I don’t think I contributed enough to the defense,” the senior said. “I don’t think we played the best we could have.”Penn State converted 7-of-14 third-down opportunities.“We didn’t get off the field today; we didn’t tackle too well today,” Levy continued. “We tackled well last week, but we can’t be up and down like that.“Inconsistency is killing us right now.”Sloppy play, including eight penalties and four turnovers, also contributed to the Badgers’ downfall.“The little things were killing us,” center John Moffitt said. “Every week it seems we’re getting a drive, getting momentum moving, and then we go offsides or we got lined up [improperly]. We’re our own worst enemy in that aspect, and we’re picking ourselves apart.”The lone highlight for Wisconsin came on a 5-yard Evridge touchdown scramble, after he ran for 19 yards earlier in the drive.“The design of the play was you have one guy front side, and we were trying sneak two out the back,” Evridge said. “I had to go through my progression and look to the back, and luckily Billy (Rentmeester) did a great job, and I was able to get in the end [zone] and outrun those guys.”But ultimately, the Badgers were simply embarrassed in front of their home fans, who booed them periodically as the night progressed.“It’s not fun. There’s a lot of pain going into everybody,” Evridge said. “It’s not fun being here right now, it’s not fun coming off of a huge loss like that. Those guys played awesome and whooped us all the way across the board.”“I went around telling the seniors that I apologize,” running back John Clay added. “We’ve got a good group of guys, and this shouldn’t be happening to us.”Bielema simply looked helpless.“I’ve never I don’t think lost three [straight] ball games in my time, let alone as a head coach,” he said. “As those things go against you, you define who you are when you’re faced with adversity as a man, as a player, as a coach, as an assistant coach. You have to make sure that you’re hardest on yourself and make sure that you’re able to supply the leadership to move forward as a football team.”last_img read more