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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Lucky number 70: Wisconsin rolls to 4-0

James White: Matt Marheine

Lucky number 70: Wisconsin rolls to 4-0

If Wisconsin fans had any concerns about UW's inability to overwhelm a non-conference team this season, they should feel better now.

The Badgers rolled up 618 total yards of offense, scored five times in the second quarter, had six different players find the endzone and set a modern-era (since 1946) school record for points in a single game en route to a 70-3 steamrolling of Austin Peay.

The previous record for points scored in a game was 69, which the Badgers put up against New Mexico State in 1962.

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Freshman running back James White stole the show, racking up 145 rushing yards on 11 carries and scored four touchdowns. The four scores were the first of his career and also set a freshman record for touchdowns in a single game.

His biggest run of the day came on a short third down in the second quarter when he took a toss to the left, turned the corner and—with the help of a good lead block from junior fullback Bradie Ewing— raced 66 yards to the endzone. The rush gave Wisconsin a 21-3 lead and opened the floodgates for what was to come.

""As soon as I got the ball, it was just Brady and the cornerback out there. And as soon as he cut [blocked] him, it was just me and the open field and I just had to run away with it,"" White said.

""I think I should have put him on my fantasy team this week,"" senior strong safety Jay Valai joked afterward.

White's performance, coupled with junior running back John Clay's tenth consecutive 100-yard game—he had 15 carries for 118 yards and a score—highlighted a 346-yard rushing day for Wisconsin.

Senior quarterback Scott Tolzien, who only played the first half of the ball game, executed the Wisconsin passing attack to near perfection. He finished the day 15-17 for 217 yards and three scores. One of the incompletions came when Clay dropped an open pass over the middle. He threw the ball with authority and did not force a pass in to coverage as he had done at times over the first three games.

While UW had more receivers running open against Austin Peay's secondary than last week against Arizona State, Tolzien and the receivers looked in rhythm right from the start.

""[Tolzien] does a great job of controlling the game,"" head coach Bret Bielema said. ""Scott is probably one of those guys that he's probably playing well when he goes unnoticed.""

Wisconsin scored touchdowns on all seven of its first-half drives and outgained the Governors 418-87 in the first thirty minutes.

The defensive highlight of the game came in the second quarter when junior free safety Aaron Henry broke up a pass by delivering a thunderous hit on Governors' tight end Ashlon Adams. Adams tried to haul in a ball over the middle, but Henry's hit caused him to leave his feet and lose control of the ball.

""Nobody really knows too much about me back there,"" Henry said when it was noted that Valai is traditionally known as the secondary's resident big-hitter. ""If I can get some, I'm definitely going to take my opportunities and take advantage of them.""

The 618 yards of offense is the sixth-best mark in school history and the best mark since gaining 630 against Michigan State in 2003. Coincidently, the Spartans are next on the docket for Wisconsin, as Big Ten play kicks off next week, and the Badgers will certainly have Michigan State's attention after Saturday's final score.

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