No. 13 Wisconsin falls to Oregon State 10-7
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - For 21 consecutive games, Wisconsin star running back Montee Ball found his way into the end zone.
Because of Oregon State's stifling defense, Ball's touchdown streak is over, along with Wisconsin's non-conference win streak and possibly Ball's Heisman Trophy hopes.
Sean Mannion threw for 276 yards and a touchdown, Oregon State's defense smothered Ball and the Beavers upset the No. 13 Badgers 10-7.
Oregon State had a 10-0 lead after Mannion's connection with Brandin Cooks for a 20-yard touchdown on the first possession of the second half.
The defense forced two turnovers and held Ball to 61 yards rushing. Since becoming the Badgers' full-time ball carrier late in the 2010 season, the 61 yards are the fewest Ball has run for in a game.
"If I was a guy used to putting up numbers and the numbers weren't coming up, it would be human nature to be (frustrated),'' Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. "There weren't any clear looks at the line to get through.''
The win snapped Wisconsin's 33-game non-conference winning streak, the second-longest in the country behind LSU.
Wisconsin finished with 207 yards and 35 on the ground. It was the lowest total yards for Wisconsin in five years. The previous non-conference loss for Wisconsin (1-1) came early in the 2003 season when the Badgers lost to UNLV.
And the Badgers hammered the Beavers 35-0 last year in Madison.
"The team we saw last year is now a much improved one with a quarterback that can be very accurate. I give a lot of credit to Oregon State again,'' Bielema said. "Mike Riley is a very good football coach and they do a good job at beating ranked opponents and they did it again today.''
It took 41 years for a Big Ten team to visit Corvallis after Iowa was handed a 33-19 loss in 1971. With this kind of reception from the Beavers, it might be 41 more.
Billed as the biggest non-conference home game in the school's history, the Beavers responded with a stellar defensive effort that made up for missed chances by the Oregon State offense. Oregon State (1-0) outgained the Badgers 354-207 and had an 11-minute advantage in time of possession.
The concerns that arose last week in the Badgers' 26-21 win over Northern Iowa reappeared. Wisconsin struggled to run against the FCS squad and needed a strong performance from O'Brien and receiver Jared Abbrederis to stop the Panthers. Ball had 120 yards rushing against Northern Iowa, but needed 32 carries to get it.
Ball was clogged up all day by the Beavers and quarterback Danny O'Brien failed to make enough plays. He finished 20 of 38 for 172 yards and was sacked three times.
It didn't help O'Brien that Abbrederis missed the final 2 1/2 quarters with a chest injury. He was hurt when he got sandwiched by Oregon State's Rueben Robinson and Feti Taumoepeau on a crossing route. Abbrederis was taken to the locker room and about 20 minutes later walked under his own power to an ambulance.
A school spokesman said Abbrederis was transferred to a hospital for evaluation. Bielema didn't have more details on the injury, but said Abbrederis was to accompany the team back to Wisconsin.
"Guys didn't really lose their composure at all. We didn't panic,'' O'Brien said. "We just didn't put together a drive until it was too late.''
Wisconsin tried to turn the momentum midway through the third quarter only to have the Beavers defense come up with a huge play. Oregon State walk-on punter Keith Kostol dropped a perfect snap and was tackled for a 16-yard loss giving the Badgers the ball at the Oregon State 36.
An 11-yard pass to Jacob Pedersen got the Badgers to the Beavers 11, but on second down O'Brien held the ball too long and was sacked from behind by Dylan Wynn, knocking the ball loose and defensive end Scott Crichton fell on it at the 21.
O'Brien led one final drive, hitting Pedersen on an 11-yard touchdown pass with 1:31 left that kept the Badgers from being shut out for the first time in 15 years.
The onside kick was executed by Wisconsin kicker Kyle French, who hit it with his left foot and was initially ruled to have recovered it at the Badgers 46. The play was reviewed and determined that French touched the ball before it went 10 yards giving possession to the Beavers.
"I was completely shocked it was overturned. I thought it hit one of their hands first,'' French said. "I thought they touched it first, but it's over with and there's nothing we can do about it now.''
Mannion was efficient using short passes to make up for Oregon State's struggles running. Mannion completed 29 of 47 passes and four times in the first half led the Beavers inside the Wisconsin 35 only to come away with a 43-yard field goal from Trevor Romaine. Markus Wheaton had eight catches for 87 yards and Cooks had six for 80.
And Mannion got the experience of taking a knee as the final seconds ticked away and the orange-clad Beavers fans flooded the field.
"They played their hearts out today and I'm so proud of them,'' Riley said. "It's unbelievable. They just played like crazy to win that game.''
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