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November 16, 2013

Awful start, awful finish

It took less than three minutes for Indiana to fall behind 14 points and the Wisconsin Badgers cruised from that point in a 51-3 win over the Hoosiers today at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

The lopsided win extended Wisconsin recent dominance over Indiana. In the last four meetings the Badgers have won by a combine score of 225-44, an average result that rounds to 64-11.

The game was also the second straight the Badgers have run for over 500 yards against Indiana. A year after giving up an all-time opponent record of 564 yards on the ground, Indiana allowed the Badgers to rack up 554 yards today. James White led the way with a career high 205 yards, Melvin Gordon had 146 yards and Corey Clement finished with 108 yards. Wisconsin finished the game averaging 11.1 yards per carry.

"They stayed home and blocked," said IU coach Kevin Wilson. "Wisconsin has quality backs, (a) really good line and again I think that their fullback, tight end play makes them really good too."

The nightmare start kicked off when on the game's opening drive a deep Nate Sudfeld pass was picked off by Wisconsin corner back Sojourn Shelton at the Badger 7-yard line. Then on the following play James White broke a tackle by Hoosier defensive tackle Ralphael Green at the line of scrimmage and raced to a 93-yard touchdown run. The score was the longest ever touchdown run by a Wisconsin player.

Sudfeld's troubles continued on the next drive. On the second play a handoff to Stephen Houston was dropped and recovered by Badger linebacker Brendan Kelly at the Hoosier 14-yard line. Just over a minute later Melvin Gordon ran in easily from a yard out and it was 14-0 just 2:59 into the game.

When the first quarter was over it was 20-0 and Wisconsin had kicked off an amazing five times in that opening period. The lone bright spot was two red-zone stops by the Hoosier defense that led to a pair of short field goals by Badger kicker Jack Russell.

James White again broke through into the Hoosier defensive backfield for a 38-yard run to set up another Wisconsin touchdown later in the second quarter. By halftime the senior had accumulated 176 yards. Melvin Gordon also ran for 120 yards on just 9 carries. When the half was over, the Badgers had outrushed Indiana by a 323-33 margin, averaging 12.9 yards per run.

Indiana's high powered offense was nowhere to be found in the first half as the Hoosiers struggled with the wet conditions. Two dropped shotgun snaps helped end a pair of drives and the three following drives failed as the Hoosiers were shut out in the opening half for the first time this season. Tre Roberson came in for a pair of those drives and had no success moving the Hoosiers and coach Kevin Wilson returned to Sudfeld before the half was over.

The Hoosiers did get on the board midway through the third quarter on a 23-yard field goal. Even there Indiana shot itself in the foot when it picked up a delay of the game penalty on a third down play from the Buckeye half-yard line.

The run defense woes continued when just before the end of the third quarter the Hoosier allowed a 49-yard touchdown run by Jared Abbrederis. Reserve back Corey Clement was the star of the fourth quarter with touchdown runs from 19 and 33 yards.

Sudfeld finished the day connection on just 9-for-22 passes for 99 yards. Roberson was only 3-for-8 for 23 yards.

Kevin Wilson did not want to blame the rainy conditions for the lack of success in the passing game.

"Neither of them (were in sync), and again weather was not a factor, I give coach Anderson credit, Wisconsin played very good football today; they're a good football team," said Wilson.

With Tevin Coleman sidelines with an ankle injury, Stephen Houston earned most of the carries, running 15 times for 61 yards.

Indiana's offense mustered just 224 yards, far below the 527 yards average the Hoosiers had coming into the contest.

The loss drops the Hoosiers to 4-6 on the season and 2-4 in Big Ten play. Indiana will have to win its final two games to become bowl eligible. A long shot at best given the Hoosiers have a road game at unbeaten No. 3 Ohio State next Saturday.

Notes
  • Indiana's streaking of scoring 28 or more points obviously was ended today. The streak had reached 10 games.
  • James White's 93-yard touchdown is the second longest run in the nation this season.
  • Mitch Ewald's perfect season on field goals continued when he successfully booted the 23-yarder in the third quarter. The senior is now 9-for-9 on the season.
  • Freshman linebacker Clyde Newton earned his second straight start and made the most of it with a career high 14 tackles
  • Wisconsin is now giving up less than seven points per game in six wins this year at Camp Randall.
  • With injuries to guards Collin Rahrig and Jacob Bailey, Indiana reserve lineman Cody Evers made his first start of the season and the second of his career at right guard today. Evers is a native of Wisconsin.


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