Spartans Drop Close Match-up to No. 9 Wisconsin On Road, 37-34

Sept. 29, 2007

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MADISON, Wis. - P.J. Hill ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns and No. 9 Wisconsin extended the nation's longest winning streak to 14 by holding off Michigan State 37-34 on Saturday.

The Badgers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) seemed in complete control late in the third quarter after Hill ran for his second touchdown from a yard out to give Wisconsin a 34-24 lead.

However, Michigan State (4-1, 0-1) answered with 10 straight points, first off Brian Hoyer's 3-yard TD pass to Mark Dell to cap a 13-play drive with 13:54 to play.

Tyler Donovan, who finished 17-of-24 for 247 yards and two scores, had been sharp to that point leading the Badgers, but he didn't see safety Travis Key, who went right to the spot Donovan was looking for an easy interception. Brett Swenson kicked a 35-yard field goal to tie the game at 34-all with just over 12 minutes to play.

Wisconsin, which has now won 22 of its last 23 at home, retook the lead after Michigan State had three costly penalties, the final one a defensive holding call in the end zone. Hill, who had 34 carries, couldn't punch it in from inside the 1 and Taylor Mehlhaff kicked a 22-yard field goal, his third of the day, to give the Badgers a 37-34 lead with 6:15 left.

The Spartans, looking for their best start in 10 years, moved back into Badgers territory, but first-year coach Mark Dantonio called a run to Javon Ringer on third-and-8 from the 37 that gained only two and Swenson missed a 53-yard field goal wide left. Ringer finished with 145 yards on 10 carries.

Michigan State's defense held for one final drive, and the Spartans took over with 2:11 to play on their own 40. They quickly moved back to the Badgers 38 before the drive stalled on fourth-and-2 when Hoyer's first option on a screen pass was covered and he missed a leaping Ringer to end the Spartans' chances.

Hill, running behind an offensive line that averages 314 pounds, had his fourth straight 100-yard game and 12th of his career.