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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Hoosiers fall 59-7 to Badgers

Football vs. Wisconsin

Within the first 2:01 against Wisconsin on Saturday, IU accomplished something it failed to do last year against the Badgers: stop a drive.

After not forcing a single punt against the Badgers last season, the Hoosiers forced six Saturday in Madison.

Yet, Wisconsin still prevailed 59-7, with the game quickly devolving to resemble last season’s one-sided contest.

“They’re a big physical team,” freshman safety Mark Murphy said. “They’re going to run the ball. They’re going to play-action. You know what they’re going to do. They threw in a few trick plays.”

One such play came 3:28 into the second quarter, with the Badgers already boasting a 14-0 lead, thanks to their ground game. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball took a pitch from quarterback Russell Wilson, then threw a 25-yard touchdown strike back to Wilson.

Ball led the way for the Badgers, racking up 142 yards and three rushing touchdowns to go with his passing score and a 46-yard reception. Backup running back James White had 87 yards and a first-quarter touchdown.

“If they get out in space, those two backs are pretty good,” IU Coach Kevin Wilson said. “I don’t know if they have blazingly great speed, but it’s pretty good speed. They run through trash, and they’re always moving forward. They had a bunch of nice eight-, nine-, 10-yard runs and then some big ones.”

The Hoosiers got on the scoreboard themselves after a 67-yard run by sophomore running back Stephen Houston with 4:07 left in the first half.

Houston had 135 yards in 19 carries to lead an IU rushing attack that had 223 yards.
Wisconsin responded to IU’s score with a 38-yard field goal, then snagged an interception to end an IU drive. The Badgers scored on a Wilson pass with four seconds remaining in the half.

“(Russell) Wilson is a good player,” Wilson said. “I watched him from afar when he went to NC State. Now, he’s up here playing with a pretty complete offense.”
The third quarter began with a showcase of defense as three drives by IU and two by Wisconsin ended in punts.

The Badgers’ defense ruled the fourth quarter. Wisconsin downed a punt on the Indiana one-yard line and, two plays later, forced a fumble and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.

Sophomore quarterback Edward Wright-Baker, in his first action this season against Big Ten competition, was six of 15 for 54 yards and two interceptions. Sophomore quarterback Dusty Kiel was out with an ankle injury, but true freshman Tre Roberson played on several series. IU had a season-low 64 yards passing.

“I felt like I can be out there playing,” Wright-Baker said. “We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot every week. We can’t do that. We can’t give good teams the ball. We can’t turn the ball over if we want to (win) games. We can’t do it against Wisconsin or any good Big Ten team.”

In addition to Kiel, true freshman defensive end Bobby Richardson missed the game with a concussion, while the Hoosiers lost their leading receiver, senior Damarlo Belcher, to an injury in the second quarter, and junior center Will Matte left with an injury in the fourth quarter.

The Hoosiers finished with 287 yards total, their second-worst output of the season and hardly half of Wisconsin’s 524.

“We’re all trying to work hard,” Murphy said. “We’re all putting the time in, and we’re just not getting the results we want. We just need to translate our play from the practice field to the game field. Once we start doing that, we’ll start to see the results.”

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