No. 6 Nittany Lions Go To 7-0 With 48-7 Pounding No. 24 Wisconsin
Oct. 11, 2008
MADISON, Wis., October 11, 2008 - Sixth-ranked Penn State delivered its most impressive performance of the season in stunning fashion, thumping No. 24 Wisconsin, 48-7, Saturday night in Camp Randall Stadium.
The victory moved the Nittany Lions to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten, atop the conference standings with Michigan State and Ohio State. Penn State defeated a ranked team on the road for the first time since beating No. 19 Wisconsin in 2002.
Penn State is 7-0 for the 11th time under Joe Paterno and is off to its best start since the 1999 team began 9-0.
Junior quarterback Daryll Clark delivered another strong performance, throwing for a career-high 244 yards and a touchdown and running for a pair of scores for the first time in his career. Clark was 16 of 25, with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Deon Butler and just his second interception of the season. He has 10 touchdown passes and two picks this year.
Wide receiver Derrick Williams gave the Lions great momentum in the second quarter, returning a punt 63 yards for his third kick return score of the season to make it 17-0. Williams has five career kick return scores, the most of any player in the Joe Paterno era. The senior co-captain made a team-high four receptions.
Senior wide receiver Deon Butler made three receptions for 70 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown catch during the decisive third quarter. Senior wideout Jordan Norwood made three catches for 59 yards in his return to the field after missing two contests with a strained hamstring, Sophomore tailback Evan Royster gained a game-high 60 yards on 14 carries to lead the Penn State rushing attack.
The Penn State defense delivered another superlative performance, limiting the Badgers to just seven points and forcing a season-high four turnovers. Sophomore defensive end Aaron Maybin forced two fumbles and senior cornerback Lydell Sargeant grabbed two interceptions. Maybin was all over the field making plays, as he recorded six tackles (five solo), one official sack for minus-12 yards (three sacks unofficially), 3.5 TFL, two forced fumbles and a pass break-up/
Sophomore linebacker Navorro Bowman made eight tackles, with a tackle for loss, and senior safety Anthony Scirrotto also had eight stops. Senior safety Mark Rubin and junior defensive end Maurice Evans made six hits apiece.
On its second possession, Penn State grabbed a 3-0 lead as Kevin Kelly drilled a 50-yard field goal with 5:28 left in the first quarter. The field goal was his third career of 50 yards or more and extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one field goal to 27.
Early in the second quarter, the Nittany Lions were on the move again. A 17-yard completion from Clark to Jordan Norwood took the ball deep into Wisconsin territory. A nine-yard run by Clark gave the Lions a first and goal and Royster scored from two yards out for a 10-0 lead with 10:46 left in the quarter. The touchdown was his ninth of the season.
Williams delivered a huge play less than a minute later, taking a punt 63 yards for his third kick return touchdown of the season, following a downfield block by freshman Nate Stupar. The kick return was the fifth of his career (3 punts, 2 kicks), the most by a player in the Joe Paterno era.
The Badgers got on the scoreboard with 4:21 to go in the first half on a five-yard run to make it 17-7.
Late in the half, Maybin crunched Wisconsin quarterback Allan Evridge, who fumbled and linebacker Josh Hull pounced on the pigskin at the UW 16. After a Wisconsin penalty, Clark ran for a two-yard score with 1:24 left to make it 24-7 at halftime.
Penn State's 24 points were its most in the first half of a Big Ten road game since scoring a school record 56 at Illinois in 2005.
The Nittany Lions took their first possession of the second half 76 yards to paydirt. Clark finished the drive with a four-yard touchdown run, as he led the Lions on a six-play drive in 2:28 to make it 31-7 with 12:27 left in the third stanza.
Penn State quickly scored again on its next possession. Clark got out of trouble and found James McDonald on a 25-yard completion. Clark then fired a 44-yard scoring strike to Deon Butler to make it 38-7 with 7:22 left in the third frame. The touchdown catch was the 18th of Butler's career, good for third place on the school list.
On Wisconsin's next possession, Sargeant grabbed his first interception of the game at the Wisconsin 48. The drive ended with Kelly connecting on a 30-yard field goal with 3:15 left in the third quarter to make it 41-7. The field goal was the 67th of his career, tying him for fourth place on the Big Ten career list with Iowa's Nate Kaeding.
In the fourth quarter, sophomore quarterback Pat Devlin directed a 51-yard scoring drive, scoring on a one-yard run for his first career touchdown.
The Penn State-Wisconsin game will re-air on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 11:00 p.m ET.
Penn State will host Michigan for Homecoming on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. ET and ESPN will televise the contest to a national audience. The Wolverines (2-4, 1-1) lost to Toledo, 13-10, on Saturday.