Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Record-setting day by bruising sophomore sets offensive tone

After winning their first game of the season with a deadly aerial assault and their second despite a largely inconsistent offensive effort, the Badgers went back to the basics Saturday, running the ball with tenacity and persistence while eating up the clock and yardage.

"This week our focus was running," fullback Chris Pressley said. "We were going to run the ball. [The] Citadel, we knew they would give us some different looks, they’re fast on the outside, so we were going to run straight at them."

In the end, that approach paid off to the tune of 253 yards rushing, a 5.5 yards-per-carry average, four rushing touchdowns and nearly 32 minutes in time of possession.


After a solid 147-yard game last week against UNLV, running back P.J. Hill turned in a game for the ages Saturday, rushing for 168 yards and four touchdowns. Hill added another score on an 11-yard touchdown reception to give him five trips to the end zone for the game — a feat that tied the school record for most in a game.

"I felt pretty good, but it wasn’t just me. It was the guys up front," Hill said.

Hill became only the fifth player in school history to score five touchdowns. The last person to do so for Wisconsin was Hill’s predecessor, Brian Calhoun, who accomplished the feat twice during the 2005 season.

"It’s a great thing for us as well," center Marcus Coleman said of the offensive line about the record. "There were some holes there; P.J. found them and had a great day."

Hill’s bruising style of running helped the Badgers take control of the ground game and the repetitive smashing of The Citadel's defense ended up taking a toll.

"P.J. was doing a real great job today, real physical like he does and making guys not want to tackle him," right tackle Eric Vanden Heuvel said.

"You could see [The Citadel] was starting to break down as the game went on, and they just didn’t want to tackle P.J.," Vanden Heuvel added.

Hill’s day was promising from the very beginning. The first time he touched the ball, he kicked off the scoring with a 22-yard run on the Badgers' first drive of the game.

"Another statement from him of what he’s able to do," head coach Bret Bielema said. "I thought he really tempoed the ball really well, was patient, understood where the blocks were coming from and was able to accelerate, and you saw the burst he had on a couple different runs."

At the start of the third quarter, the Wisconsin offense used Hill’s running and some key passing plays to drive the ball 81 yards and chew up more than six minutes of time.

"You always want to keep the ball as long as you can to keep the defense off the field a little longer and take some time off the clock," Hill said.

That drive ended with Hill’s fourth touchdown of the day, a one-yard dash that put the Badgers in the lead for good.

Coupled with some short drives by The Citadel, the Badgers were able to control the ball for 12:43 of the third quarter.

"That’s a throwback to Coach Alvarez," Bielema said. "I never really tracked time of possession as a defensive coordinator until I came here, and that was one of his first talks to me defensively. … I talk about it every week."

The four touchdown runs were great for Hill, but the running back was more eager to talk about his fifth touchdown of the day: his receiving score.

"This season we are working on getting me in the passing game more, so I felt really good about that one," Hill said.

Hill wore a green "no-contact" jersey for most of the week during practice, something that helped keep him fresh for the game.

"It keeps guys away from me and just gets me ready to play the next week," Hill said.

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