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Monday, May 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

IU loses to No. 24 Wisconsin 31-28

IU-Wisconsin Football

A main issue plaguing IU this season has been a lack of production in the fourth quarter. But despite scoring 14 points in the final period against Wisconsin, it was still not enough to earn the victory.

The Hoosiers fell 31-28 to the Badgers after Wisconsin rushed for 294 yards and three touchdowns.  Running back John Clay, who only played in the first half after suffering a concussion, finished wit h 134 yards and a touchdown.

His counterpart, running back Montee Ball, added 117 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

IU quarterback Ben Chappell had an efficient game with 323 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.  After IU freshman running back Darius Willis went out with a leg injury in the third quarter, IU senior running back Bryan Payton rushed for 48 yards on only eight carries.

“Early on we played well, but I really thought they dominated,” IU coach Bill Lynch said.  “We have played some good football teams this year, but that is a very, very good football team.”

The Hoosiers started the game as they had hoped.

After a muffed punt early in the first quarter, IU got the ball at the Badger 10 yard line.

Two plays into the drive, IU junior quarterback found IU sophomore wide receiver Tandon Doss in the left corner of the end zone for the early 7-0 lead.

Wisconsin quickly responded with a score of its own.  Clay began with a 48-yard run and was followed by two rushes for nine yards by fellow running back Montee Ball.

Two plays later, Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien connected with wide receiver Isaac Anderson in the back of the end zone from 18-yards out to even the score.

Tolzien next led an 18 play, 72-yard drive that culminated in a 26-yard field goal for the Badgers.

And Wisconsin was not finished.

Wisconsin got the ball back with 11:28 remaining in the half.  Clay rushed for 33 yards on seven carries before Ball ran into the end zone from one yard out for a 17-7 advantage.

With 2:32 left in half, IU got back on the board.

On the third play of the drive, Chappell threw a high lob-pass that was caught by Doss in the left part of the end zone to bring the score within three.

On Wisconsin’s next drive, Clay took over.  The big running back carried the ball three times for 30 yards and finished with a 14-yard burst to the right part of the end zone for the touchdown and ten point lead.

The score remained 24-14 at halftime.  At this point of the game, Clay already totaled 134 yards and a touchdown.

The third quarter was a defensive stalemate in which neither team was able to add to their total.

The final 15 minutes, though, was an offensive battle.

Early in the fourth, Chappell connected with junior wide receiver Terrance Turner in the end zone to make the score 24-21 in favor of the Badgers.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Turner said of scoring his first touchdown of the season.  “I would take the win any day.  But it was good to get it and get the monkey off my back.”

Wisconsin answered with a seven play, 78-yard drive that ended in a three-yard rush up the middle by Ball for the touchdown.

On the next IU drive, junior running back Trea Burgess punched it in from two yards out to bring the score to 31-28.

Chappell said he felt the momentum shift.

“I think we had a chance,” Chappell said.  “We believed the whole game if we could just get a break or two here, we knew we could move it on them.  We were throwing it very well, so we just wanted to get the ball as much as could.”

The Hoosiers had a chance to get the ball back one more time, but the Wisconsin running game was too much.

Ball rushed eight consecutive times as the Badgers took the Big Ten contest with a three-point win.

“It’s just frustrating overall not being able to pull it out,” Turner said.  “We just have to make the plays when they come regardless of what side of the ball.”

The Hoosiers will travel to Penn State next Saturday for a meeting with the Nittany Lions before facing rival Purdue at Memorial Stadium.

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