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Penn State Football-Wisconsin’s History By The Numbers

Three days! That’s how long you’ll need to wait until No. 19 Penn State football opens up its season in Madison against No. 12 Wisconsin.

This will be the 20th meeting between the two teams, with the first coming 68 years ago in 1953 when the Nittany Lions lost to the Badgers 20-0 in Madison.

Overall, Penn State boasts a 10-9 record against Wisconsin, including a current four-game winning streak dating back to 2012. During that four-game winning streak, the Nittany Lions have outscored the Badgers 115-86, with two of the wins coming at Beaver Stadium, one at Camp Randall Stadium, and one in the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. The four straight wins are the most consecutive wins Penn State has had against Wisconsin in the all-time series.

Wisconsin’s longest winning streak against the Nittany Lions stands at three games. Ironically, it was the first three games the two teams ever played against each other. The Badgers won the first three games 20-0, 29-16, and 17-9, respectively.

The Nittany Lions have won six out of the last seven meetings against Wisconsin, with the only loss among them coming in a 45-7 blowout in Madison. That 45-7 win for Wisconsin is the largest margin of victory the Badgers have had over the Nittany Lions.

Penn State, on the other hand, narrowly ousts Wisconsin’s largest margin of victory, as Joe Paterno’s squad pummeled the Badgers 48-7 back on October 11, 2008.

When talking about the smallest margin of victory, Penn State takes the cake there. The Nittany Lions squeezed out a three-point win back in 2012 in a 24-21 overtime win. Wisconsin’s smallest margin of victory came in 2003 when it beat Penn State 30-23.

The Nittany Lions are 4-6 all-time on the road against the Badgers, and they’re 5-3 when they play Wisconsin in Happy Valley. Penn State won the only game at a neutral site, which was, of course, the previously mentioned Big Ten title game back in 2016.

While it now seems like a treat, there was a time when Penn State and Wisconsin would face off quite literally every season. The two teams played every year from 2001 to 2008, and they each won four games during the eight-year run. That’s some competitive Big Ten football right there.

For the entire all-time series, Penn State has narrowly outscored Wisconsin 398-387. Pretty close, huh?

Finally, after Penn State beat Wisconsin back in 2012, then-head coach Bill O’Brien famously called his team a “bunch of f*ckers.” Folks, this only happened once.


Penn State Athletics‘ archives were used to find information for this post.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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