Wisconsin Football: Top 30 Games in Wisconsin Badgers History

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#15 Wisconsin vs. #11 Michigan State: December 3, 2011

Big Ten Championship: Wisconsin 42, Michigan State 39

The inaugural Big Ten Championship game was a thrilling affair with the Badgers pulling off a 42-39 victory thanks to some late-game heroics from Russell Wilson.

The Badgers opened the game with a Wilson to Jeff Duckworth touchdown pass, but Edwin Baker tied the game for Michigan State with an eight-yard touchdown run.

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Wisconsin scored two straight Montee Ball touchdown runs to go up 21-7 at the end of the first quarter, but the second quarter was all Michigan State. B.J. Cunningham caught two touchdowns from Kirk Cousins and Le’Veon Bell ran in another as the Spartans went into the half leading 29-21.

Jared Abbrederis caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to put Wisconsin within a point at 29-28 in the third quarter, but Cousins again hit Cunningham to make it a 36-28 game.

Wisconsin got a fourth quarter touchdown from Montee Ball to make it a 36-34 game after the two-point conversion failed. Michigan State added a field goal, setting up Wisconsin’s big finish.

The Badgers faced a fourth and six to go from around midfield, and Wilson heaved across the field, throwing up a Hail Mary that was answered by Jeff Duckworth for 36 yards, setting up a seven yard Ball score to make it 40-39. Wilson hit Jacob Pedersen for the two-point conversion to put Wisconsin up by three.

The Badgers got the ball back late in the game, but were forced to punt. Brad Nortman was hit on the play, and the penalty gave Wisconsin a first down and the ball game, a win in the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game.

Next: 2000: Wisconsin vs. Stanford