Football returned to Camp Randall yesterday, as Bret Bielema and the Wisconsin Badgers ran out of the tunnel and into a new season. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but the home crowd left happy, as the Badgers escaped with a 26-21 win over the visiting Northern Iowa Panthers.
The offense was led by Heisman-candidate, Montee Ball, who ran for 120 yards and a touchdown. Danny O’Brien impressed in his debut with the Badgers going 19/23 for 219 yards and two touchdowns, both to his favorite target Jared Abbrederis.
This game reaffirmed that the defense will be critical this season. It was a beautiful first half, as the Northern Iowa offense failed to get into Wisconsin territory. The second half was another story however, as the Badgers’ secondary got beat twice for touchdowns of fifty-five and thirty-one yards.
The Wisconsin defense finished on a high note with a big stop on a fourth-and-one with just under three minutes remaining, as pressure forced a bad throw from Panther quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgan. That gave Montee Ball and the Badger offense the chance to put the game away.
Wisconsin will travel to Corvallis, Oregon next week to take on the Oregon State Beavers. Kickoff time is scheduled for 3:00pm Central time.