MADISON (WSAU-TSN) Subbing for an injured Montee Ball, James White notched a pair of rushing touchdowns to lead Wisconsin to a 37-26 win over Texas-El Paso in non-conference action at Camp Randall Stadium.
Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, left game in the second quarter with a head injury and did not return. Melvin Gordon helped make up for Ball's absence with a game-high 112 rushing yards to go along with a touchdown on only eight carries. Jared Abbrederis finished with a team-best 147 receiving yards and a TD on six catches to help the Badgers (3-1) extend their home winning streak to 19 games, the second-longest in the nation.
Nick Lamaison threw for 259 yards and two scores for the Miners (1-3). Both of those TDs went to Michael Edwards, who finished with a game-high seven catches and 151 receiving yards.
UTEP opened the scoring with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Lamaison to Edwards at the 2:15 mark of the first quarter. However, the extra-point attempt was blocked and returned the other way by Devin Smith for a two-point defensive conversion, making it a 6-2 game.
Early in the second quarter, Ball put the Badgers on top, 9-6 on a one-yard touchdown run. However, he took a shot to the head on the play and, after being evaluated by the team's training staff, was ruled out for the rest of the game.
White took over in the backfield and scored on a three-yard run on the team's next offensive series.
Later in the second quarter, Joel Stave pushed the Badgers' lead to 23-6 on a 47-yard touchdown pass to Abbrederis with 4:23 to play until halftime.
UTEP kicker Steven Valadez cut the deficit to 23-9 with a 45-yard field goal as time expired in the opening half.
The Miners clawed their way back into the game in the second half. Xay Williams scored on an eight-yard run with just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter to trim the deficit to 23-16.
Valadez added a 43-yard field goal at the 7:59 mark of the fourth quarter to make it a 23-19 game.
However, Wisconsin answered with a decisive nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive, which ended with White's two-yard touchdown run to give the Badgers a 30-19 lead with 3:20 remaining. UTEP's Edwards lost a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, setting up Melvin Gordon's 26-yard touchdown run on Wisconsin's next play from scrimmage.
The Miners added a late touchdown on Lamaison's 62-yard pass to Edwards in the final minute.
The victory was Wisconsin's 26th in a row at home against non-conference foes, a streak that dates back to 2003. Following the game there was no immediate word on the extent of the injury to Ball, who suffered a concussion in the early morning hours of Aug. 1 when he was attacked by a group of men on a street in Madison.