Wisconsin scored early in the fourth quarter to make the score 26-7 off a 53-yard pass for a touchdown. The Panthers answered with a 55-yard pass from redshirt freshman Sawyer Kollmorgen to David Johnson for a UNI touchdown at the 11:11 mark. Kollmorgen and Johnson weren't finished there, with 7:24 left on the clock Kollmorgen and Johhson hooked up for a second touchdown off a 31-yard reception to make the score 26-21.
Brett LeMaster and Kollmorgen found each other for a key first-down late in the fourth quarter for a 20-yard pass. Terrell Sinkfield followed that play with a diving catch to give the Panthers another first-down with less than four minutes left on the clock. On the next play Kollmorgen shot for a Panther receiver, but the pass was tipped and UNI was forced to punt to end the game.
The Panthers defense played a tough Wisconsin offense during the first quarter, but only allowed a 32-yard field goal after a 14-play drive that consumed 7:41 off the clock. UNI's offense made a few explosive plays including a 16-yard completion from Kollmorgen to Sinkfield late in the quarter.
UNI limited Wisconsin to another field goal to start the second quarter knocking 6:28 off the clock and 13 plays. Wisconsin was able to squeeze in a touchdown late in the second quarter to make the score 13-0 heading into halftime.
Senior Tim Clark notched his first sack of the season for a loss of eight yards after taking down Badger quarterback Danny O'Brien. The sack was followed by former running back turned linebacker Zach Cutkomp turning in a big tackle for a loss of four yards on Montee Ball on the next play.
Wisconsin opened up the second half with an eight-play drive and a touchdown by Ball. Redshirt sophomore Xavier Williams made a diving stop on the extra point and blocked it to keep the score at 19-0.
The Panthers put in a late third quarter offensive surge with offensive threats in Johnson, Chad Owens, Sinkfield and LeMaster. The Panthers finished the quarter with four first downs, six completed passes and a touchdown from Owens.
Owens scored from two yards out with 0:52 left on the clock in the third quarter to make the score 19-6, with Tyler Sievertsen following up with the extra point to make the score 19-7 to end the quarter. Kollmorgen found a rhythm late in the third linking up with Sinkfield for 25 yards, LeMaster for 21 yards and Owens for 12 yards.
Kollmorgen finished his collegiate debut 18-24 for 256 yards and three touchdowns. The Panthers leading receiver was Johnson with four catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Carlos Anderson put up 44 yards as the Panthers main kick returner for the game.
On the defensive end of the ball two players put up 15 tackles with Garrett Scott and Wilmot Wellington both keeping the Badgers under 30 points. Varmah Sonie finished with 10 tackles, seven of those being solo.
The Panthers will return to action when they host the Central State Marauders on Sat. Sept. 8 inside the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The game is set to kick-off at 6:00 p.m.
UNI Post-Game Notes
The game against Wisconsin is the largest crowd (79,568) that the Panthers have played in front of in the program's history. The next largest crowd the Panthers have played against was 70,585 against Iowa in 2005 and 2009.
Sawyer Kollmorgen is the fifth freshman to start at quarterback in UNI history. Tom Petrie, Eric Sanders, Zach Davis and Jared Lanpher preceded him in past years.
Only one team during the 2011 season was able to keep Wisconsin from scoring a touchdown in the first quarter. Illinois and Wisconsin went scoreless in the first quarter of their match-up last season. The Panthers held the Badgers to a mere three points during the first quarter.
Senior punter Kyle Bernard opened his season with a thunderous 51-yard punt in the first quarter and a 50-yard punt in the third quarter. During the 2011 season he finished the season with nine 50-plus yard punts.
Ohio and Illinois were the only two teams during the 2011 season to keep Wisconsin under the 14-point mark at halftime. The Panthers limited the Badgers to only two field goals and a late second quarter touchdown.
Chad Owens scored his first receiving touchdown in his collegiate career against Wisconsin. He notched a rushing touchdown during the 2011 season.
Wilmot Wellington finished the game with 15 tackles and a new career high. His previous career high tackles was against Wofford last season with 12.
In 2009, the Panthers were narrowly defeated by No. 21 Iowa 17-16. This game will serve as the second closest deficit by the Panthers against a ranked FBS opponent.
The game against Wisconsin counts as David Johnson's first career multi-reception touchdown game. It was his fifth multiple touchdown game in his career.