Madison, Wis. • Wisconsin’s solid defense and ball-control strategy limited the production of BYU’s offense Saturday as the No. 21 Badgers took a 27-17 victory at Camp Randall Stadium.
The loss ended a five-game winning streak for BYU (6-3), during which the Cougar offense scored at least 31 points in every contest.
Wisconsin (7-2) remained in contention for a BCS berth as quarterback Joel Stave and running back James White led an offense that topped 400 yards early in the fourth quarter.
On the other side, BYU’s offense was knocked out of rhythm by the Badger defense. Cougar quarterback Taysom Hill had trouble finding open receivers and Wisconsin kept him from running effectively. The Cougars topped the 300-yard mark only in the final five minutes. BYU got within 27-17 with 3:12 remaining on Hill’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Cody Hoffman.
The Badgers had scored 10 points in the final four minutes of the first half, including a 5-yard touchdown pass from Stave to White with 14 seconds remaining for a 17-3 lead.
BYU posted 142 total yards and eight first downs on its seven first-half possessions, including two handoffs to conclude the half. Hill accounted for only 60 yards of running and passing in the half.
BYU’s defense asserted itself after allowing the Badgers to drive 76 yards for a touchdown on the opening possession. Wisconsin did not sustain much of anything offensively for a long stretch, until driving into position for Jack Russell’s 38-yard field that made it 10-3 late in the first half.
In between, BYU put together two nice drives, but only one of them resulted in points as Justin Sorensen kicked a 31-yard field goal in the first quarter.
And then Wisconsin mounted a good drive to add a touchdown just before the half, making it 17-3.
In the third quarter, following a Wisconsin field goal, Hill hit Hoffman with a 34-yard touchdown pass.
But after BYU’s fifth three-and-out sequence of the game, Wisconsin produced a 92-yard drive that ended with White’s 14-yard touchdown run for a 27-10 lead.
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