Penn State vs. Wisconsin Series History

Story posted November 29, 2013 in CommRadio, Sports by Mark Leskovansky

Penn State and Wisconsin football both look to add another chapter to their series this coming Saturday as Penn State travels to Madison, Wisconsin. 

Penn State comes into the game with a 6-5 record coming off of a 23-20 overtime loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Wisconsin comes in sporting a 9-2 record coming off of a 20-7 win over then No. 25 Minnesota Golden Gophers. 

The Badgers come into this year’s game with over 3,000 rushing yards as well as over 2,000 yards passing.  Penn State comes into the game with over 2,700 passing yards and 1,962 rushing yards. 

The Nittany Lions and the Badgers have met for a combined total of 16 meetings. The first meeting came in 1953 with Wisconsin winning 20-0.  The two teams would not play again for another 17 years.

The next contest came in 1970 when Wisconsin once again got the best of Penn State, winning 29-16. Wisconsin also won the next meeting after that, beating Penn State 17-9 in 1996.

The Badgers got the better of Penn State in their first three meetings, but Penn State won the next two.  The first of which came in 1996 when Penn State won 23-20. 

Penn State won by the largest margin in the series yet, winning 35-10 in 1997. In 1998 and 2001 Wisconsin was victorious making it a back and forth series even though Wisconsin had seen the best of it.

However, in 2002 Penn State won in a very close game 34-31.  Between the years 2003 and 2006 Wisconsin had the upper hand with a lopsided 3-1 series win margin.

One of the biggest wins for Penn State came in 2005.  Penn State was on a hot streak that season with only one loss coming into the game against Wisconsin. 

The final score was Penn State 35 Wisconsin 14.  From 2007 to 2012 Penn State had the better of the series winning three out of four games. 

The biggest margin of victory in the series however came in 2011 in which Wisconsin dominated Penn State on both sides of the ball.  The Badgers came away with a 45-7 win over the Lions, this coming after the Sandusky scandal broke out at Penn State in which head coach Joe Paterno had been fired only a couple weeks before. 

The last matchup these two teams had however may have been the best yet.  In 2012 it was a back and forth bout that went into overtime in a cold game in Beaver Stadium.

Penn State ultimately prevailed 24-21 after Wisconsin missed a field goal in hopes of tying the game, which leads us all into this year’s matchup in Madison.  Will Wisconsin get revenge from last year’s loss and beat Penn State at home?  Or will Penn State prevail over a ranked team on the road and bring a win back home to Happy Valley?  All we can do is sit back and watch it all unfold. 

Mark Leskovansky is junior majoring in broadcast journalism.  To contact him, email

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Morry Gash)