MADISON, Wis. -- Matt
Bernstein ended his fast with a feast.
The 270-pound fullback
bullied his way to a career-best 123 yards after
replacing an ineffective and injured Booker Stanley to
help No. 20 Wisconsin hold off Penn State 16-3
hadn't eaten for 24 hours because of Yom Kippur, so he
wolfed down oranges and turkey on the sideline after
kickoff, along with several chugs of water.
"It's been a tough
day," he said. "I was happy (kickoff) was at 5 o'clock
so I could play."
So was Badgers coach
Barry Alvarez, who cracked that after the game "we
gave him a hoagie and an IV."
The Badgers (1-0 Big
Ten) held their opponents out of the end zone for the
third time in four games and ended the month 4-0
despite the absence of star tailback Anthony Davis
(eye) for the past 3½ games.
The loss was costly
for the Nittany Lions (2-2, 0-1), who lost their top
two offensive weapons in the first quarter when
quarterback Zack Mills injured his right shoulder on
Penn State's first series and his replacement,
multitalented Michael Robinson, suffered a concussion.
After the game, Penn
State coach Joe Paterno learned his son-in-law, Chris
Hort, had been involved in a serious bicycle accident
in State College and immediately flew home ahead of
Bernstein was pressed
into duty when Stanley, who gained just 9 yards on 10
carries, couldn't go in the second half after
aggravating a turf toe injury and Jamil Walker hurt a
offensive coordinator Brian White told him during the
week to be ready.
"And I didn't believe
him, obviously, because who's going to put in a
270-pound tailback?" Bernstein said.
After gaining 3 yards
on one carry before halftime, Bernstein learned White
wasn't kidding and he rushed 26 times for 120 yards in
the second half, numbers similar to his entire 2003
output, when he gained 120 yards on 29 attempts. His
previous career highs were six carries and 29 yards
Not only did he chew
up yards and clock, but Bernstein displayed an
athleticism few of the Camp Randall Stadium record
crowd of 82,179 knew existed when he twice hurdled a
safety for big gains.
"Little guys don't
really go high, they go low," Bernstein explained.
Bernstein carried 11
times for 62 yards on a 17-play, 73-yard drive to open
the second half that ate eight minutes and put the
Badgers up 16-0 on Mike Allen's third field goal, this
one from 26 yards.
"I thought the drive
in the third quarter is what killed us," Lions
defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said. "Bernstein was
playing as a tailback. (Greg Root) was the fullback.
They're not running backs. They're guards."
The Badgers hope to
get Davis back in the lineup, at least on a limited
basis, next week against Illinois.
There's no telling how
long the Lions will be without their playmaker.
Robinson spent the night at University of Wisconsin
Hospital & Clinics, where doctors reported he was
moving all his fingers and toes.
Because Robinson is so
versatile, it was like losing three players at once.
"We lost him at
fullback, at wide receiver, at quarterback," teammate
Paul Jefferson said. "That's a big hit to our whole
On first-and-10 from
his 18, Robinson spun around just in time to take a
hit on the chin from the charging defensive end
Erasmus James, who had beaten right guard Tyler Reed
around the edge.
Robinson crumpled to
the turf and the crowd fell silent as medical
personnel attended to him for several minutes before
strapping him to a body board and putting him into an
Robinson had caught a
49-yard pass from Mills on the Lions' first play.
Mills threw an
interception on the next snap, his 11th turnover in
the last three games, sprained his right
(non-throwing) shoulder on the play and was replaced
under center by Robinson, who completed 1 of 3 passes
for six yards and was sacked twice.
quarterback Chris Ganter replaced Robinson and
completed just 6-of-23 passes for 32 yards.
"We had to alter our
game plan a lot. Michael is a quarterback, is a wide
receiver. He helps you in so many ways," Bradley said.
"Our offense was forced to become very limited."
The Lions went
1-for-13 on third downs and gained just 157 yards
after averaging 30.7 points and 465 yards coming in.
capitalized on the Lions' second turnover -- a fumble
by Tony Hunt that James recovered -- to drive 44 yards
for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
John Stocco ran a naked bootleg to the right side from
the 5-yard line. Allen added field goals of 39 and 38
yards as Wisconsin took a 13-0 halftime lead.
All the Lions could
muster was Robbie Gould's 23-yard field goal in the