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IU football falls to Wisconsin 51-3

By Andy Wittry

MADISON, Wis. — Early turnovers plagued IU at Camp Randall Stadium as No. 22 Wisconsin rolled the Hoosiers 51-3 to keep the Badgers’ Big Ten Championship hopes alive.

IU sophomore quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw an interception on the game’s opening drive. On Wisconsin’s first play from scrimmage, senior running back James White ran for a 93-yard touchdown, the longest in program history.

The Badgers never looked back.

Senior running back Stephen Houston, who was starting in the Hoosiers’ backfield in place of injured sophomore running back Tevin Coleman, fumbled a handoff on IU’s ensuing possession, and the Badgers recovered the ball.

With a short field to work with on offense, Wisconsin redshirt sophomore running back Melvin Gordon punched the ball in the end zone from the 1-yard line, giving the Badgers a 14-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game.

IU’s defense settled down after its shaky start as the Hoosiers (4-6, 2-4) held Wisconsin (8-2, 5-1) to 13 points in the remaining 27 minutes of the half.

Freshman linebacker Clyde Newton, who made his second career start Saturday, said IU would have had more momentum if the team had a better start to the game.

“It was only us 70 out there and a few of our IU fans,” he said. “We knew we had to create our own juice. Starting off like that kind of put a hole in us.”

Wisconsin accumulated 198 total yards of offense in the first quarter and scored on each of its first four possessions to take an early 20-0 lead.

The Badgers finished with 554 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 50 carries.

Wisconsin’s offensive performance drew comparisons during ESPN’s broadcast to former Heisman Trophy-winning running back Bo Jackson’s character in the arcade video game “Techmo Bowl” because of the Badgers’ prolific ground attack.

Wisconsin’s rushing statistics were reminiscent of the team’s 2012 triumph in Bloomington, when the Badgers ran the ball 64 times for a school-record 564 yards and seven touchdowns.

Wisconsin had three 100-yard rushers, led by White’s 208 yards on the ground.
It was a completely different story for the Hoosiers, who failed to find a steady rhythm on offense in adverse weather conditions and without Coleman.

Sudfeld and redshirt sophomore Tre Roberson alternated at quarterback throughout the game. They were a combined 12-of-30 for 122 yards.

“It was real frustrating because, as an offense, we’re not used to that,” Roberson said. “We worked during the week and the offseason so that we can come out and score a multitude of points.”

Houston and junior running back D’Angelo Roberts managed to rush for 97 yards on 22 carries, but IU’s running attack missed Coleman’s explosiveness. The sophomore led the country in runs of at least 40 yards through the first 11 weeks of the

All but one of IU’s drives ended in a turnover, a punt or the Hoosiers running out the clock in the half.

“It’s sad,” junior wide receiver Cody Latimer said. “It’s devastating. (We need to) learn from our mistakes and make sure we don’t do it next week against Ohio State.”

Follow football reporter Andy Wittry on Twitter @AndyWittryIDS.

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