College Football

Oregon State Defeats Wisconsin in Shocking Upset

CORVALLIS, OR - SEPTEMBER 08:  Quarterback Sean Mannion #4 of the Oregon State Beavers throws the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers on September 8, 2012 at the Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2012

The Wisconsin Badgers faced an unexpected test in Week 1 against Northern Iowa, and Oregon State only made matters worse in Week 2 by handing the Badgers a shocking defeat.

No. 13 Wisconsin lost 10-7. They failed to get anything going on either side of the ball, and the Beavers were able to capitalize in ways Northern Iowa couldn't.

Wisconsin made a last-second push. Quarterback Danny O'Brien found Jacob Pedersen with 1:31 left, setting up an onside kick. Wisconsin recovered, but a booth review determined the ball didn't travel 10 yards.

This was Oregon State's 10th victory over a ranked opponent in the last seven years.

The loss breaks a streak of 33 straight non-conference victories for the Badgers.

This is disappointing for a team that only lost two games in the regular season last year. Losing Russell Wilson to the NFL draft tempered their 2012 expectations a bit, but this was still considered one of the Big Ten's better squads.

Now, Bret Bielema and his squad must head back to the drawing board.

O'Brien has been charged with the enviable task of replacing Wilson, and he struggled on Saturday. He went 20-of-39 for 172 yards and threw one touchdown. He also threw one interception.

His touchdown to Pedersen with 1:31 remaining made the game interesting for a moment, but the onside-kick controversy settled things.

Even more shocking was Heisman Trophy contender Montee Ball's performance. The bruising back couldn't find any room, and Wisconsin's massive offensive front didn't get any push. He finished with 59 yards on 15 carries.

The Badgers defense struggled as bad, if not worse, than the offense.

Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion attempted 48 passes, racking up 284 yards and one touchdown. He came into the year with turnover tendencies, but he played admirably in front of his home crowd on Saturday.

Mannion found a consistent connection with Brandin Cooks, including the third-quarter touchdown that put the score at 10-0.

Wisconsin will have two more tune-up games before they begin their Big Ten schedule, but it's hard to call them a favorite at this point. They will play Utah State in Week 3 and Texas El-Paso in Week 4.

Both of those contests should be victories, but you never know. O'Brien hasn't been efficient, the defense has taken a step back and Ball cannot carry the team by himself.

College football season is littered with upsets every year, but this is the most shocking one thus far.

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