Michigan State Spartans defeat Wisconsin Badgers, 34-24

East Lansing, Mich. — Bret Bielema's football team will have other opportunities in 2010 to prove its lofty preseason ranking was justified, that the talk of winning a Big Ten Conference title was legitimate.

Yet for now the uneven, sometimes sloppy and mostly unacceptable performance No. 11 Wisconsin gave in the Big Ten Conference opener Saturday against Michigan State will have two results.

First, the 34-24 loss before a crowd of 73,108 leaves UW with little margin...

East Lansing, Mich. — The final statistics told you all you needed to know about the contributions made by Wisconsin wide receivers Nick Toon and David Gilreath.

Toon, out for the last three games after suffering a turf toe injury in the opener, had one reception for 28 yards.

Gilreath, out for the last two games after suffering a concussion in Week 2, played sparingly and finished with one reception for 14 yards.

That wasn't the impactful return the players envis...

East Lansing, Mich. — Special teams cost Wisconsin 10 points on two big plays Saturday.

Certainly, the Badgers were deficient in a number of other areas, but it was those plays that greatly contributed to Michigan State's 34-24 victory in their Big Ten opener.

"Those were two huge momentum changers," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. "It's something we weren't good enough to overcome."

With the Badgers leading, 10-3, early in the second quarter, Philip Welch kick...

East Lansing, Mich. — Under the best of conditions, Spartan Stadium isn't the most inviting environment. Befitting its name, it's an austere place. There's an industrial-age smokestack looming ominously over the corner of one end zone.

Throw in some harsh weather - the rain, gloom, wind and cold of a Big Ten opener - and it can be downright foreboding.

It's a place where seasons can go to die.

If you're a Bucky fan, you know the grim drill.

Wisconsin can come h...