STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – There have been plenty of dreadful moments for the University of Wisconsin football team this season, but one particular stretch Saturday afternoon might have jumped to the top of the list.
Late in the third quarter of a 22-10 loss to Penn State at Beaver Stadium, the Badgers’ offense took the field hoping to cut into a nine-point deficit.
The series began with right guard Beau Benzschawel being penalized for a false start. After an 8-yard run by tailback Jonathan Taylor got the drive back on track – or so it seemed – center Tyler Biadasz was flagged for an illegal snap to start the fourth quarter and right tackle David Edwards was whistled for a false start on the next play.
Four snaps, three penalties.
“A bunch of bonehead stuff like that, it’s going to hard to beat good teams on the road,” UW senior left guard Michael Deiter said. “It’s going to be hard to win at all.”
Add in another false start on Benzschawel earlier in the game and UW’s final pre-snap penalty count for the game was four. That’s an embarrassing total for any unit, much less one with as much experience – and preseason fanfare – as UW’s offensive line.
The Wisconsin Badgers fell to the Penn State Nittany Lions, 22-10, on Saturday at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.
Benzschawel said the Badgers were using silent counts at times to deal with crowd noise, but that’s hardly something new for a veteran group.
“It’s super annoying,” Deiter said. “It just can’t fly. You’re going to be behind the chains. You’re going to be frustrated all the time. You never get into a rhythm that you want to get into if you hurt yourself.”
Scott Nelson returned to the field Saturday for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in UW’s loss at Michigan on Oct. 13.
The couple times Nelson left the field hobbled against Penn State before returning, however, weren’t related to his hamstring. Nelson said after the game he’s been dealing with a knee issue since fall camp.
“It’s nothing new,” Nelson said. “It just tweaks a little bit, catches a little bit. We’ve just got to pop it back in and keep playing. …
“I can’t extend my knee when it happens, but then you just kind of pop it back in and it’s alright.”
Wisconsin State Journal reporter Jason Galloway collected some of the best tweets after the Wisconsin Badgers fell to the Penn State Nittany L…
Nelson said it happens every now and then in practice but “it’s nothing too bad.” The redshirt freshman is unsure if he’ll need a procedure in the offseason.
“I might have to,” Nelson said. “I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s nothing too bad where you can’t play. Of course I’m going to play as long as I can. … I don’t even know what’s going on. I know how to fix it, and that’s about all that matters to me.”
Chryst explains end-of-half decision
UW took what some might view as a strange approach to the end of the first half Saturday, which eventually led to quarterback Jack Coan’s first interception.
The Badgers took over on their own 6-yard line with 1:03 left in the second quarter. Jonathan Taylor ran three straight times for gains of 16, 4 and 3 yards. On third-and-3 from the 29, Coan under-threw a play-action pass to fullback Alec Ingold down the near sideline, and the ball was intercepted by cornerback Amani Oruwariye with 12 seconds remaining.
“The first thing was, we were backed up and they had three timeouts,” UW coach Paul Chryst said. “So can we kind of hold onto that and not give it away? And then we got a chance and got some breathing room and thought that we had a chance for a hit and maybe get some points out of it.”
It nearly backfired for UW. Penn State quarterback Tommy Stevens scrambled for 20 yards after the interception, but Isaiahh Loudermilk blocked the ensuing 44-yard field-goal attempt.
Penn State fakes punt from own 36
Penn State came through with a big special teams play of its own in the third quarter.
Facing fourth-and-1 from their own 36-yard line, the Nittany Lions faked a punt, with running back Johnathan Thomas gaining the one yard necessary for a first down. Badgers outside linebacker Zack Baun made matters worse by picking up a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty after the play.
“I just pushed someone down,” Baun said. “My emotions took over, and I made a bad decision.”
Penn State finished that drive with a 42-yard field goal that extended its lead to 19-10.