Sept. 1, 2007
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- New starting quarterback Tyler Donovan threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to help No. 7 Wisconsin shake off a mediocre defensive performance in a 42-21 victory over Washington State in Saturday's season opener for both teams.
With Washington State focused on stopping running back P.J. Hill, the Badgers turned to Donovan, a fifth-year senior who was given the starting job by coach Bret Bielema only 10 days ago.
Wisconsin trailed 14-7 late in the first quarter but scored 21 unanswered points before halftime as Donovan got hot and the defense began to contain Cougars quarterback Alex Brink.
Washington State tried to rally early in the third quarter after a special-teams miscue by Wisconsin. The Badgers' Ken DeBauche hit a short punt, then was flagged for illegally batting the ball forward, giving the ball to Washington State at the Wisconsin 42.
Brink drove the Cougars deep into Badgers territory, then found wide receiver Brandon Gibson on a 7-yard slant pattern for a touchdown, cutting the score to 28-21.
Donovan answered by leading the Badgers on another extended drive that ended with Hill scoring his second touchdown. Donovan completed 19-of-29 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns before being replaced midway through the fourth quarter by junior Allan Evridge, the player Donovan beat out for the starting job.