MADISON, Wis. (AP) -Meet Penn State, the scrappy little underdog looking to prove its doubters wrong.
OK, so the no-respect bit might be a little hard to swallow at this point, with Penn State ranked No. 3 and plowing through the opposition on its way to a 7-0 start.
But Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark senses some skepticism.
So after a 48-7 dismantling of slumping Wisconsin on Saturday night, Clark said the Nittany Lions are out to prove they're legitimate national championship contenders.
``We ignore what people say - that we're overrated, that we can't win on the road and things like that,'' Clark said. ``Joe (Paterno) tells us to put that on the back burner, but don't forget about it.''
After winning back-to-back Big Ten road games, the Nittany Lions head home to play struggling Michigan - the next step in what might be shaping up as another title run under the 81-year-old Coach Paterno.
id the Nittany Lions ``deserve to be considered'' in the national championship picture.
``Our goal is to get to the top and there is no room for stumbles,'' left tackle Gerald Cadogan said. ``It was important to keep making a statement and we did against Wisconsin.''
Despite dealing Wisconsin (3-3, 0-3) its worst loss since 1989, Nittany Lions players saw room for improvement - especially on offense.
Clark was 16-of-25 for 244 yards and a touchdown, and ran for another two scores. But running back Evan Royster was held to 60 yards and a touchdown.
The lopsided final score was more about the Nittany Lions' dominant defense. Penn State held the Badgers' once-intimidating running game to a relatively tame 148 yards and delivered four turnovers.
``Wisconsin gave us the ball multiple times,'' Paterno said.
So to summarize, Penn State beat a team that recently was ranked in the top 10 by 41 points on the road - and thinks it can play much better.
``We didn't play our best game but it was still a dominant performance,'' wide receiver Jordan Norwood said. ``We still have a lot to work on but it was great to quiet their crowd and to play so well in a hostile environment.''
Camp Randall Stadium certainly was a hostile environment Saturday, but much of that hostility was directed toward the home team and its embattled starting quarterback, Allan Evridge.
ulled Evridge, a transfer from Kansas State who won the job in training camp, in favor of backup Dustin Sherer in the third quarter.
Already on a short leash after disappointing performances in narrow losses at Michigan and against Ohio State at home, Evridge was 2-of-10 for 50 yards and an interception before he was pulled from Saturday's game.
Bielema isn't committing to a quarterback for Saturday's game at Iowa.
``Now it's all about pride,'' Evridge said. ``We've kind of let a lot of things go. We lost those two games by a small margin and today we just got absolutely destroyed. We've got to continue one game at a time and start next week against Iowa.''
It was the second straight home loss for the Badgers, and the first time they'd opened conference play with three losses since 2002.
``Obviously, when you get into the coaching profession, there will be good days and bad days,'' Bielema said. ``Today, our team did some good things at times, but overall, did not do very many positive things.''
Wisconsin's struggles didn't seem to be much of a surprise to Penn State defensive end Aaron Maybin.
``We really are pretty confident in our abilities,'' Maybin said. ``We know what we can do. We knew coming in that we had the ability to break this game open. It was a matter of going out and getting it done, as always. We wanted to make sure we sent a message to them and we did that.''

NCAAF Headlines

More inNCAAF News  

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Boise State vs. Wyoming Pick Will Boise State and Wyoming score enough points to push the score over the betting total or will the teams fall short on Saturday night?
Thumbnail Cal vs. USC Prediction Will the USC Trojans be able to tame the Cal Golden Bears offense when the two meet in a key Pac-12 contest tonight...
Thumbnail Texas Tech vs. TCU Pick Will Texas Tech and TCU light up the scoreboard Saturday afternoon at 3:30PM ET so bettors can cash the over?
Thumbnail Washington vs. Utah Pick Will Washington and Utah rack up enough points to push the score over the total on Saturday at 3:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Ohio vs. Toledo Prediction Will Toledo stay unbeaten in MAC play when the Rockets play host to Ohio tonight at 7:30PM ET?
More inNCAAF Articles  

NCAAF Team Pages