Badgers get revenge on Spartans, win Big Ten title

Wisconsin 42, Michigan State 39

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INDIANAPOLIS — Montee Ball scored four touchdowns and Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes as No. 15 Wisconsin came from behind to win the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game 42-39 over No. 11 Michigan State on Saturday night.

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Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis is tackled by Michigan State's Brad Sonntag during the first half.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis is tackled by Michigan State's Brad Sonntag during the first half.

The Badgers earned the Big Ten’s automatic BCS Bowl bid and will face Pac-12 champion Oregon in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2.

Wisconsin was down to fourth-and-6 from the Spartans’ 43-yard line with 5:20 left when Wilson scrambled away from the rush and threw across his body to the 7-yard line, where Jeff Duckworth beat a pair of defenders to come down with the ball.

Wilson broke former Texas Tech star Graham Harrell’s NCAA record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass with the score. He increased Wilson’s streak to 37 consecutive games. It began while he was playing for North Carolina State.

The touchdown reception was the first of Duckworth’s career and it gave the Badgers a 7-0 lead.

Ball brought it into the end zone on the next play to give the Badgers back the lead. Wilson made a similar play to complete the two-point conversion and put Wisconsin on top 42-39 with 3:45 left.

Ball finished with 137 yards on the ground. Wilson threw for 187 yards on 17 of 24 passing. He had no interceptions.

It looked as though Michigan State would have a chance to win or tie, but the Spartans were called for a running-into-the-punter penalty with 1:37 left, allowing the Badgers to kneel out the clock.

Michigan State had battled back from an early 21-7 deficit, and took the lead on the play of the game. Kirk Cousins completed a pass to Keith Nichol, who was about to be brought down short of the goal line. Nichol turned and lateraled to B.J. Cunningham, who took it the extra 7 yards.

The Badgers got some revenge for earlier in the season, when the Spartans beat them on a Hail Mary pass with no time left.


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