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September 3, 2014
Wisconsin fans no stranger to heartbreak
Saturday's season opener against LSU took Wisconsin fans on a roller coaster that eventual ended in disappointment. UW had a chance to secure a huge win over an SEC opponent but collapsed in the fourth quarter, another chapter in a long line of difficult finishes for the program.
Since the 2009-10 season under coaches Bret Bielema (2009-12) and Gary Andersen (2013-present), the Badgers have nine wins and 11 losses in games decided by six points or less. In those games, UW is 7-7 in games decided by three or less points.
With the loss against LSU still fresh in fans' heads, BadgerBlitz.com provides a brief recap of all 11 defeats.
Score: Northwestern 33, Wisconsin 31
How it went down: Northwestern had a 27-14 halftime lead at home behind quarterback Mike Kafka. The Badgers battled back in the second half and had a chance to win late, but running back John Clay fumbled near midfield with 1:44 left to clinch a win for the Wildcats.
UW loses shootout in Evanston
Score: TCU 21, Wisconsin 19 (Rose Bowl)
How it went down: Wisconsin put together a 77-yard drive late in the fourth quarter that was capped by a Montee Ball four-yard score with two minutes to play. On the following two-point conversion, however, Scott Tolzien's throw to tight end Jacob Pedersen was batted down and TCU recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Missed opportunities costly
Score: Michigan State 37, Wisconsin 31
How it went down: A contest Wisconsin fans will always remember as the "Hail Mary" game. Keith Nichol was on the receiving end of a a 44-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins on the game's final play for a tie-breaking touchdown, giving the Spartans a huge home win. Russell Wilson led the Badgers from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to tie the game with 1:26 left on a two-yard touchdown pass to Ball.
Heartbreak in East Lansing
Score: Ohio State 33, Wisconsin 29
How it went down: Just seven days after a gut-wrenching game against the Spartans, Wisconsin watched another last-minute touchdown decide its contest against Ohio State. Braxton Miller rolled out and tossed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter to end the game. For the second week in a row, the Badgers had big problems on special teams, as Ryan Shazier blocked Brad Nortman's punt. An eventual score gave OSU a 17-7 lead.
Stunned once more
Score: Oregon State 10, Wisconsin 7
How it went down: With Danny O'Brien at quarterback, Wisconsin's offense couldn't get anything going and had just 207 yards of total offense. Sean Mannion threw for 276 yards and a touchdown in what was one of the biggest non-conference wins in Beavers' history.
Beaver dammed in Oregon
Score: Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 27
How it went down: Nebraska put together a big comeback by rallying from 10 down at halftime and 17 in the third quarter to beat Wisconsin and avenge an ugly defeat one season prior. The Cornhuskers stopped Ball and forced a fumble on fourth-and-one from the Badgers' 49-yard line with one minute to play.
Huskers too much in second half
Score: Michigan State 16, Wisconsin 13 (OT)
How it went down: Andrew Maxwell threw a 12-yard touchdown strike to Bennie Fowler in overtime, giving the Spartans a road victory that snapped Wisconsin's 21-game home winning streak. It was their first win at Camp Randall since 2001.
Spartans stun Badgers, 16-13
Score: Penn State 24, Wisconsin 21 (OT)
How it went down: Curt Phillips connected with Jeff Duckworth for a four-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds left to tie the game at 21. But Sam Ficken hit a 37-yard field goal in overtime, and Kyle French's attempt from 44 yards went wide left. Penn State celebrated on Senior Day during a season that was clouded by sanctions from the NCAA for the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
Another heartbreak in overtime
Score: Stanford 20, Wisconsin 14 (Rose Bowl)
How it went down: This one probably wasn't as close as the score indicates. Usua Amanam recorded a late interception that stopped Wisconsin's final drive with 2:30 to play. Ball rushed for 100 yards and his FBS-record 83rd touchdown, but Wisconsin managed only four first downs during a scoreless second half.
In photos: UW falls to Stanford
Score: Arizona State 32, Wisconsin 30
How it went down: The sting of this game may only be rivaled by the "Hail Mary" in East Lansing. In a bizarre finish on the Badgers' final drive, Joel Stave put his knee down and placed the ball on the ground, thinking he had set up a potential game-winning field goal. Instead, the referees failed to handle the situation correctly as the time expired in Arizona. Fans are till shaking their heads about this one.
No explanation for Andersen, UW
Score: LSU 28, Wisconsin 24
How it went down: Wisconsin held a 24-7 lead early in the third quarter, but LSU stormed back to score 21 unanswered points. The Badgers accumulated only 65 yards in the fourth quarter and Tanner McEvoy, in his first game as a starter, was 8 of 24 for 50 yards and two interceptions.
In photos: LSU surges past UW