Nov 26, 2011; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball (28) rushes with the football as Penn State Nittany Lions safety Drew Astorino (28) defends during the fourth quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers defeated the Nittanty Lions 45-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
Madison, WI (Sports Network) - Montee Ball ran for 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help the Wisconsin Badgers erase an early deficit and collect a 31-14 win the Illinois Fighting Illini in a Big Ten matchup at Camp Randall stadium.
Jared Abbrederis caught seven passes for 117 yards and a touchdown for Wisconsin (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) which improved to 4-0 at home this season. Joel Stave completed 16-of-25 passes for 254 yards, two scores and an interception. No receiver other than Abbrederis had more than two receptions.
Illinois (2-4, 0-2) got the bulk of its offensive production from quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase who threw for 178 yards and a touchdown on 18-of-29 passing while also leading the team with 84 yards rushing. Overall the Illini were limited offensively managing only 284 total yards in losing their third straight.
Scheelhaase broke through for a five-yard rushing touchdown early in the second quarter to give the Illini an early 7-0 lead.
Wisconsin evened things up when James caught a screen pass from Stave and ran the ball 62 yards for a touchdown.
The Badgers would then take a 10-7 lead midway through the third quarter when Kyle French nailed a 46-yard field goal.
That lead grew to a 17-7 advantage for Wisconsin on a nine-yard rushing touchdown from Ball early in the fourth quarter.
Less than two minutes later Stave completed a 59-yard touchdown pass to Abbrederis as the Badgers continued to pull away.
Illinois wouldn't let Wisconsin run away with the decision though with the Illini getting an eight-yard passing touchdown from Scheelhaase to Ryan Lankford with six and a half minutes remaining.
Ball sealed the win for Wisconsin with his second touchdown of the day, a 19- yard run that put the Badgers ahead 31-14.
Wisconsin won despite converting on only 2-of-10 third down attempts. The Badgers sacked Scheelhaase four times while allowing no sacks themselves.
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