This one will hurt, no question about it. Wisconsin blew a 10-3 lead with just 6:06 left in a game that saw both defenses dominate. However the Badgers defense would crack late and that allowed Michigan State to spoil Wisconsin's homecoming in a 16-13 overtime victory at Camp Randall.
Adding insult to injury is the uncertain status of a shoulder injury to Badgers starting quarterback Joel Stave, who went down on his non-throwing shoulder as William Gholston sacked him in the 3rd quarter.
His replacement, Danny O'Brien went 5 for 11 for just 44 yards and took 3 sacks. Those sacks helped to attribute mightily to the fact that Wisconsin only gained 19 yards rushing for the entire game. Montee Ball was the leading Badger rusher going for 46 yards on 22 carries, averaging jut 2.1 yards a carry.
On the other side of things it was quarterback Andrew Maxwell that came up huge for Michigan State, going 24 of 39 for 216 yards and throwing the final two touchdowns of the game for the victory.
Bucky upped their game on 3rd down conversions slightly, going 6 of 16 in the game, but they couldn't stop Michigan State when it mattered on 3rd downs, allowing them to go 9 of 17 on the day. The Badgers had been holding opponents to just 27.5% conversions on 3rd downs.
Wisconsin got the better of what little action there was in the 1st half, going up 7-3 into the intermission thanks to some stingy defense and an opportunistic offense.
Stave was 9 of 11 passing for 127 yards and threw the lone touchdown in the half to tight end Jacob Pederson in the late 1st quarter.
The running game was non-existent for each squad in the 1st half with Wisconsin rushing 14 times for just 23 yards while holding the Spartans to just 14 yards on 14 carries. The Badgers would manage -4 yards rushing the rest of the way in the loss.
After playing punt, punt, punt for most of the entire 2nd half on both sides of the ball, the Badgers defense continued to come up big thanks to cornerback Marcus Cromartie's huge hit on MSU fullback Lawrence Thomas, forcing a fumble inside the Spartans own 20 yard line that was recovered by Wisconsin's Warren Herring.
Following that turnover the offense couldn't get anything done and with 6:06 left in the game Wisconsin kicker Kyle French stepped up for a 39yd field goal and knocked it just inside the left upright to give the Badgers a touchdown lead at 10-3.
On the ensuing MSU drive Andrew Maxwell took advantage of soft coverage from Wisconsin and drove the Spartans right down the field on a 12 play, 75 yard drive to tie the game up at 10-10 with just 1:08 left to play.
Wisconsin had 1:01 left when it took over after the kickoff return, but couldn't get into position for a field goal attempt and a nice timed blitz by Michigan State ended regulation with 19 seconds left to play.
After Wisconsin lost the toss and got the ball first they knocked in another field goal from Kyle French to make it 13-10 and knowing Michigan State needed a touchdown to win it were looking to stop them cold.
That wasn't to be though as Le'Veon Bell carried the ball well, gaining 13 yards on 3 carries. After an incomplete pass to Bennie Fowler the Spartans would go right back to him in the end zone and this time the pass was completed for the stunning victory over Wisconsin.
Wisconsin has this next weekend off for their by week and a lot of work will need to be done should something long term be wrong for Stave as Danny O'Brien looked like the QB Bielema pulled at half of the Utah State game.