No. 15 Wisconsin beats No. 11 Michigan State 42-39

December 4, 2011 - 12:12 AM
Big Ten Championship Football

Wisconsin's Nick Toon runs against Michigan State's Trenton Robinson during the second half of the Big Ten conference championship NCAA college football game on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Montee Ball ran for three touchdowns including the decisive 7-yard score with 3:45 to go, leading No. 15 Wisconsin past No. 11 Michigan State 42-39 in the inaugural Big Ten championship game.

Wisconsin (11-2) is now headed to its second straight Rose Bowl.

Ball ran 27 times for 137 yards and caught a TD pass, giving him 38 touchdowns this season. That's one short of Barry Sanders' single-season record.

Russell Wilson was 17 of 24 for 187 yards with three TDs and no interceptions. He set a new NCAA record with a TD pass in his 37th straight game. Texas Tech's Graham Harrell had the previous mark of 36.

The Big Ten's first championship game made the idea of a conference title tilt seem like a good one.

Michigan State (10-3) rallied from a 21-7 first-quarter deficit to take a 29-21 halftime lead and still led 39-34 after Dan Conway's 25-yard field midway through the fourth quarter.

But Wilson and Ball answered with a score and a 2-point conversion.