UPDATED 7:27 p.m. ET: A rocky start to the 2012 season for the Big Ten continued this afternoon, with the odds-on favorite to claim the Leaders division title going down in stunning fashion.
Entering the game as the No. 13 team in the country, the Badgers went on the road to Corvallis and came out with a 10-7 upset loss to Oregon State. For the better part of the game, the Badgers could get next to nothing going offensively while at the same time failing to contain Sean Mannion, who passed for 285 yards and the lone Beaver touchdown in the win.
Montee Ball‘s Heisman hopes also took a hit as the running back finished with just 60 yards on 15 carries and, for the first time in 21 games, was kept out of the end zone.
The loss certainly does nothing to impact UW’s shot at representing the division in Indianapolis in early December, but, combined with Alabama’s shellacking of Michigan in the opener, it’s been a ego-bruising beginning for the conference as a whole in 2012.
And by “issues” we mean trailing at the end of 45 minutes to play.
Entering the game as the No. 13 team in the country and a seven-point favorite on the road in Corvallis, Wisconsin was expected to somewhat comfortably head back to Madison with a win stuffed into its back pocket. Instead, the Badgers have found themselves in a dogfight. With Beavers.
At the end of three quarters of play, UW trails unranked Oregon State 10-0. Unbelievably, the Badgers have been held to just 77 yards of total offense by the Beavers.
Running back Montee Ball, one of the preseason Heisman favorites, has been limited to just 34 yards on 13 carries. As a team, UW, which finished 11th in the country averaging 235 yards rushing per game, has just seven yards rushing as of this posting.
On the other hand, the Beavers have 331 yards of offense, paced by Sean Mannion‘s 263 yards passing and the lone touchdown of the game, a 20-yard scoring toss to Brandin Cooks.
Certainly there’s plenty of time for the Badgers to mount a comeback from what’s hardly an insurmountable deficit. Based on how the first three quarters have played out, however, that’s far from something to take to any bank.