Notes: Sherer Has Successful Homecoming

Dustin Sherer  (Brad Fedie/08)

Although his numbers weren't impressive in his return to his home state as a starting quarterback, Wisconsin junior quarterback Dustin Sherer does enough to give his the Badgers their second conference win.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – From a game standpoint, Dustin Sherer's first homecoming as a starting quarterback was a complete success. Wisconsin ran the ball to perfection, averaging 7.2 yards per carry, in a blowout 55-20 victory at Memorial Stadium to give Sherer his second win as a starting quarterback.

From a statistical standpoint, Sherer still has room to grow.

The junior completed 10-of-19 passes for 141 yards but failed to connect on a touchdown pass and threw a second-quarter interception, his fourth interception of the season.

"It's a thing where if you don't see it, you can't throw it and I threw it," Sherer said of his interception. "Obviously, you don't want to make throws like that and not do it, but it was nice coming home and getting a win."

Backup quarterback Scott Tolzien came in at the 11 minute mark of the fourth quarter, completing his only pass for 17 yards and running for a two-yard touchdown.

Sherer's numbers haven't been spectacular this season, as the junior quarterback is only averaging 156.3 passing yards per game and has a touchdown-interception ratio of 1.00. Still, Sherer has earned the confidence of his teammates by being a successful engineer of the offense.

"That's the guy that is steering the ship for us," Hill said. "He's the quarterback. He's one of the main guys in the huddle that is going to make things go and we have to have confidence in him. Since he's been playing, he's been getting more comfortable and doing a great job at the quarterback position."

Defense Stands Up

After watching Indiana's third-ranked conference offense (averaging 390 yards per game) match the Badgers punch for punch. That having been said, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema, a stout believer and one who never deviates from his philosophies, decided to take a different action for his struggling ball club.

He told the Badgers that they were winning going into the second half.

"We hadn't played a clean game, we knew what was out there and the opportunity that lied in front of us," Bielema said. "I took a different approach at halftime. We talk about it being a 0-0 game. We talked about us having a four-point lead and I had a strong indication that we would get a better result in the second half."

After giving up 269 yards on 39 plays (6.9 yards per play) in the first half, the Badgers only yielded 53 yards on 35 plays (1.5 yards per play). More importantly, Wisconsin went from allowed 20 first-half points to zero second-half points.

"Defensively, we didn't know what exactly we were going to get," Bielema said. "I thought our defensive kids really stayed true to what we were trying to do. I really liked the way our kids prepared all week and we have great kids with a great mentality to get us a road win."

Injuries Bite Badgers

After Bielema proclaimed on Thursday that his team was as healthy as they had been since the Fresno State game, the Badgers suffered two injuries to key components of their starting lineup.

Wisconsin right tackle Eric Vanden Heuvel was carted off the field after Wisconsin's second play with what appeared to be a lower right leg injury.

"He was shaken and he didn't know exactly what (happened)," Bielema said about Vanden Heuvel. "I know that (the medical staff) told me that the initial x-rays were negative but he wasn't going to be able to return in this game. I don't have anything other than the initial report as far as anything fracture wise."

Middle linebacker Jaevery McFadden left early with a concussion, according to Bielema. Bielema thought McFadden might be able to return until he was ruled out in the third quarter.

Stat of the Game

After being penalized a season-high 12 times for 121 yards, the Badgers' barely saw a penalty flag on Saturday, getting flagged for only three times for 35 yards. The only major penalty was a roughing-the-passer penalty on Matt Shaughnessy, a flag that led to Indiana's first field goal.

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