Illinois vs. Wisconsin: Live Scores, Analysis and Results
The final score is Wisconsin 31, Illinois 14.
The game featured two inept offenses, until the fourth quarter at which time the Badgers deflated the Illini and took home the victory.
Both teams still have a number of questions, but the Badgers made some strides forward and can head into next week's game at Purdue—likely the key game for the Big Ten Leaders Division title—with something to build upon.
Be sure to check out the post-game article, 10 Things We Learned From the Badgers' Win vs. Illinois.
Wisconsin: 425 yards, 19 first downs, 58 plays, two turnovers, 7.3 yards-per-play, 2-for-10 on third down, five penalties for 45 yards.
Illinois: 284 yards, 17 first downs, 64 plays, two turnovers, 4.4 yards-per-play, 5-for-16 on third down, four penalties for 30 yards.
Montee Ball is now tied with Taureen Henderson on the NCAA's all-time touchdown list.
He is now tied with former-Badger Ron Dayne for fifth on the all-time rushing touchdown list.
He is tied with Anthony Thompson on the Big Ten's all-time points list.
3:26 remaining, Wisconsin 31, Illinois 14.
This one is over on a 19-yard run.
More notably, Jared Abbrederis, the UW player of the game in my estimation, has gone over 100 yards receiving for the third game in a row.
The last Badger to do that was Lee Evans in 2001.
Apparently, the previously mentioned pinch of tobacco is a violation of NCAA rules (as per USA Today).
Wisconsin recovered the onside kick and will ice the game with two first downs.
6:27 remains in the game, Wisconsin 24, Illinois 14.
In one drive Nathan Scheelhaase more than doubled his passing yardage on the day. He, and the Illinois offense, also took over five minutes off the clock.
Scheelhaase seeing more success on this drive than at any previous point in the game.
That is the flaw in the prevent defense. Some coaches refuse to play a pass prevent defense because this is the end result.
On the other hand, whether the Illini score or not, they are eating clock.
Pat Muldoon got sack No. 3 for the Badgers. This is the line's best game of the season. Previously, it has had to depend far too much on the blitz.
11:40 left in the game, and Wisconsin is up 24-7.
Stave pulled a double-fake, and completed the pass to Abbrederis for a 59-yard completion.
That was the same play that UW used to score on Nebraska.
It also makes Stave the first Badger quarterback since Tyler Donovan to throw for 200+ yards in his first three starts.
That's why not putting Abbrederis on punt return was a terrible idea.
A 25-yard return puts the Badgers at their own 41, and in a good position to put the game away.
Illinois is not yet in a desperation mode. The Illini can still afford to run.
If they get panicky they will be in trouble, as Scheelhaase will not be able to win the game with his arm, and if he tries, the Badgers can tee off.
13:28 left in the game, Wisconsin 17, Illinois 7.
Montee Ball scored from nine yards out.
The previous play—a 15-yard to Abbrederis—was an outstanding play call, and Joel Stave's bet play of the game. He had two men open, and he had the patience and vision to wait for the deep man.
15:00 minutes left in the game. The Badgers are up 10-7.
The Illini have had multiple players open deep all game. The Illinois passers can't hit the deep ball.
Sheelhaase is a sitting duck in 3rd-and-long situations. It seems as though his progressions are "Lankford, panic, panic, run."
5:53 left in the third quarter. Wisconsin 10, Illinois 7.
Kyle French, who has struggled this year, his a career long 46-yard field goal to give the Badgers the lead. Based on the way the Illini have struggled on offense, it will take a Wisconsin implosion to blow this lead.
While Bret Bielema scratches his head, Illinois coach Tim Beckman grabs some chew (via thebiglead.com).
Via John Supinie of the Peoria Journal Star:
Hawthorne taken off by ambulance. Gives a thumb's up.— John Supinie (@JohnSupinie) October 6, 2012
When play continues, Wisconsin will have the ball at the Illini 33-yard-line.
This could galvanize the Illinois defense, or it could crush them. Hawthorne is one of their leaders.
Illinois cornerback Terry Hawthorne is down with an injury after tackling fullback Derek Watt.
Hawthorne has struggled with injuries throughout his career.
3rd-and-9, bring the pressure, and there is no way Scheelhaase has the confidence to hang in the pocket.
Abbrederis back on punt returns. Good decision.
Thus far, it looks like some solid half-time adjustments by the Illini.
They are forcing the linebackers—the strength of the Wisconsin defense—to play sideline-to-sideline.
That's the fourth time Wisconsin has completed a pass on third down, but it has been short of the first-down marker.
Is it on the receiver, the coaches, the quarterback?
On third down, run past the marker.
Illinois: eight first downs, 126 yards, one turnover, 28 plays, 1-7 on third down, 4.5 yards-per-play, two penalties for 10 yards.
Wisconsin: seven first downs, 170 yards, one turnover, 29 plays, 1-7 on third downs, 5.9 yards-per-play, five penalties for 45 yards.
At halftime, the score is Wisconsin 7, Illinois 7.
That is the third time today the Badgers completed a pass short of the first-down marker. Wisconsin is 1-for-7 on third downs.
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