Illinois at Wisconsin

Wisconsin 31, Illinois 14

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Joel Stave threw two touchdown passes and Wisconsin's running game showed signs of life as the Badgers defeated Illinois 31-14 on Saturday.

Stave threw for 254 yards for the Badgers (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten), who rushed for 173 yards - 96 in the fourth quarter.

The offensive struggles of the Illini (2-4, 0-2) continued, with quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase the only positive. He finished with 178 yards passing and 84 rushing as Illinois gained 287 yards overall.

Scheelhaase ran for a 5-yard touchdown in the first quarter and threw for an 8-yard touchdown to Ryan Lankford to make it 24-14 late in the game.

But Jared Abbrederis fielded the ensuing onside kick, and Montee Ball scored his second touchdown of the game to snuff any hopes of an Illinois comeback.

Ball has 69 TDs (63 rushing, six receiving) in his career, nine shy of tying the FBS record held by Travis Prentice of Miami of Ohio from 1996-99. He finished with 19 carries for 116 yards.

Abbrederis caught Stave's 59-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that put Wisconsin up 24-7 and gave him his third consecutive game with more than 100 receiving yards since returning from an injury. He finished with seven catches for 117 yards.

The Badgers capitalized on a pair of Illinois miscues for their other second-half points.

With the game tied at 7-7, Stave hit Derek Watt for 26 yards, and Illinois defensive back Terry Hawthorne was called for a personal foul on the hit, putting the ball at the Illinois 33.

Following the collision, Hawthorne lay motionless on the field and was put on a stretcher and taken off in an ambulance, giving a thumbs up as he was loaded into the vehicle.

The drive ended when Kyle French made a 46-yard field goal.

Illinois' next drive stalled near midfield, and a shanked 10-yard punt by Justin DuVernois gave Wisconsin good field position. James White had a 22-yard run, Stave hit Abbrederis for 15 yards, and Ball ran it in from 9 yards out to put Wisconsin up 17-7.

As Wisconsin's offense has struggled, coach Bret Bielema has gone back and forth between Stave and Danny O'Brien at quarterback. Stave started the game, but Bielema went to a third option at the end of the first quarter, bringing in Curt Phillips.

Phillips has had multiple surgeries on his right knee, has thrown just 13 passes in his career and hadn't played since the 2009 regular season finale at Hawaii. He handed off to end the first quarter, kept the ball for a 2-yard loss to open the second and gave way to Stave on third down.

The juggling didn't work. Stave was picked off, with Steve Hull returning the ball to the Wisconsin 28. Scheelhaase completed a pass for 23 yards to give the Illini first-and-goal at the 5 before running it in on the next play.

Stave hit James White for a 62-yard touchdown on a screen pass.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoring Summary
ILLNathan Scheelhaase 5 yd run (Taylor Zalewski kick)
WISCJames White 62 yd pass from Joel Stave (Kyle French kick)
WISCKyle French 46 yd FG
WISCMontee Ball 9 yd run (Kyle French kick)
WISCJared Abbrederis 59 yd pass from Joel Stave (Kyle French kick)
ILLRyan Lankford 8 yd pass from Nathan Scheelhaase (Taylor Zalewski kick)
WISCMontee Ball 19 yd run (Kyle French kick)
 
Team Stats
 ILLWISC
First Downs1518
Third Down Efficiency5-162-10
Fourth Down Efficiency1-10-0
Plays-Net Yards64-28458-427
Rushes-Yds34-10633-173
Passing Yds178254
Kick Return Yds750
Punt Return Yds126
Passes18-30-116-25-1
Punts8-3235-208
Fumbles-Lost2-13-1
Penalties-Yds4-305-45
Time of Poss.31:4828:12
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
ILL: Nathan Scheelhaase 22-84, Josh Ferguson 7-11, Ryan Lankford 1-6, Donovonn Young 4-5
WISC: Montee Ball 19-116, James White 6-42, Melvin Gordon 5-15, Joel Stave 1-3, Team 1--1, Curt Phillips 1--2
PASSING
ILL: Nathan Scheelhaase 18-29-178-1, Miles Osei 0-1-0-0
WISC: Joel Stave 16-25-254-1
RECEIVING
ILL: Darius Millines 5-54, Spencer Harris 4-46, Josh Ferguson 3-46, Ryan Lankford 2-15, Donovonn Young 2--2, Matt LaCosse 1-12, Jon Davis 1-7
WISC: Jared Abbrederis 7-117, Derek Watt 2-35, Chase Hammond 2-11, James White 1-62, Jacob Pedersen 1-16, Jordan Fredrick 1-6, Sam Arneson 1-5, Montee Ball 1-2
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Illinois5th Big Ten West3-56-7
Wisconsin1st Big Ten West7-111-3