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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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    Defense helps Penn State Nittany Lions edge Wisconsin Badgers

    Madison, Wis. — Penn State’s defense continually stood tall and Wisconsin kept stubbing its toe whenever the Badgers approached the end zone.

    Those contrasting approaches made the difference Saturday when the 19th-ranked Nittany Lions outlasted No. 12 Wisconsin, 16-10, to end the Badgers’ 25-game winning streak in home openers.

    Jaquan Brisker and Ji’Ayir Brown intercepted Graham Mertz’s passes deep in Penn State territory in the final 2½ minutes. Wisconsin had four scoreless trips inside Penn State’s 25, including three inside the 10.

    “Our kids willed it to happen today,” Penn State coach James Franklin said.

    Penn State won despite getting just one first down before halftime and allowing Wisconsin to control possession for over 42 minutes. The victory assured Penn State would have a better start this year after losing its first five games in the pandemic-delayed 2020 season.

    Brisker picked off a fourth-and-goal pass at Penn State’s 2 and returned it 41 yards with 2:15 left to preserve a 16-10 lead. Brown sealed the victory with an interception on the game’s final play.

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