Michigan State beats Wisconsin in OT
OCT 27, 2012 7:05p ET
The Spartans (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten) have now won four of the last six against Wisconsin, though this was their first win at Camp Randall since 2001. It was the first loss at home for the Badgers (6-3, 3-2) since Oct. 17, 2009, and only their fourth since Bret Bielema became coach in 2006.
Only LSU, with 22 straight victories, had a longer home winning streak than Wisconsin.
Wisconsin and Michigan State have been two of the Big Ten's best in recent years. No school has won more conference games since 2010, and they've had a hand in the last two Big Ten championships. They shared it in 2010, and Wisconsin beat the Spartans in the inaugural Big Ten title game last year.
Their rivalry has been one of the highlights of the conference season, with the previous six games decided by all of 31 points. This was another close one, but it wasn't exactly riveting.
After rushing for 804 yards in its last two games, Wisconsin managed a measly 19 yards rushing, its fewest in five years. Montee Ball, who had averaged better than 125 yards rushing in his last three games, was held to 46 and didn't get close to the end zone. James White added 16.
Joel Stave was 9-of-11 for 127 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Pedersen that gave Wisconsin a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. But Stave injured his left shoulder when he was sacked on the opening play of the second half and did not return.
Michigan State recovered a botched punt at the Wisconsin 11 and then proceeded to go backward, giving up yardage on penalties and one of Maxwell's three sacks. They wound up punting after going minus-23 yards.
The Spartans struggled with penalties and negative plays all afternoon, and Wisconsin seemed to have the game in control late despite its own issues. Wisconsin cornerback Marcus Cromartie forced a fumble when he hit Lawrence Thomas hard, and Warren Herring recovered it at the Michigan State 18.
But just as Michigan State had earlier in the game, the Badgers failed to muster any positive yardage and had to settle for Kyle French's 39-yard field goal after a drive that went minus-3 yards. Maxwell responded by driving the Spartans down the field, capping an 8-of-9 performance with a 5-yard pass to Le'Veon Bell, who bulldozed his way into the end zone to tie the game at 10 with a minute left.
Michigan State won the toss in overtime and deferred. The Badgers scored on a 43-yard field goal after Isaiah Lewis broke up Danny O'Brien's pass to Pedersen on third-and-long. The Spartans kept it simple, handing the ball off to Bell repeatedly before Maxwell found him for the winning score.
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