Wisconsin searching for answers after three straight losses

A word comes to mind to describe WisconsinâÄôs last three weeks: Yikes. Naturally, after the team went 3-0 in nonconference play and climbed into the top-10 in both national polls , expectations in Badger country were high entering Big Ten play. Even though Wisconsin faced a daunting start to conference play âÄì at Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State âÄì the Badgers seemed to be the team to beat. Michigan was still experiencing growing pains under first-year head coach Rich Rodriguez ; Ohio State was rolled in week three by then-top ranked USC and struggled to put away teams such as Ohio and Troy ; Penn State was dominating weak teams but was notorious for its inability to win big games on the road. How quickly things change. Wisconsin jumped out to a 19-0 halftime lead in its Big Ten opener against the Wolverines, then allowed 27 unanswered second half points and fell 27-25. A week later Wisconsin hosted the Buckeyes at Camp Randall. It brought a 16-game home win streak into the game but left with a heartbreaking 20-17 loss. Then the wheels came off. The Nittany Lions dominated the Badgers in every way Saturday, cruising to a 48-7 victory that has left Wisconsin reeling and searching for answers. One answer may be a shake-up at quarterback. Late in the third quarter of SaturdayâÄôs game, starting senior quarterback Allan Evridge was replaced by junior Dustin Sherer. At that point, the Badgers trailed 41-7 and Evridge was only 2-of-10 passing for 50 yards and had turned the ball over twice. Though ShererâÄôs performance wasnâÄôt brilliant âÄì 9-of-17 for 115 yards, an interception and a fumble âÄì head coach Bret Bielema said he âÄúliked DustinâÄôs response.âÄù The quarterback situation is hardly decided; both men are listed as possible starters on the depth chart released Sunday. How much influence will the fact that Evridge is a senior have on BielemaâÄôs decision about which man to start? âÄúAbsolutely none,âÄù he said. Paterno in press box again With as many years as Joe Paterno has been at the helm of Penn StateâÄôs football program (43) , one might be inclined to think thereâÄôs nothing that can keep the 81-year-old off the sidelines. Turns out thatâÄôs not entirely true. Paterno is, of course, still the Nittany LionsâÄô head coach. But for the past two games, heâÄôs directed the game from the press box instead of the field. The 81-year old suffered a right hip injury prior to the season while demonstrating kicking techniques during practice. HeâÄôs been moving around recently with the assistance of a cane. Of course, State is doing just fine with Paterno in the box. TheyâÄôve climbed to No. 3 in the country after dominating wins over Purdue and Wisconsin. As for where heâÄôll end up this Saturday when the Nittany Lions visit Ohio State? âÄúWell, I’m playing it day-to-day, really,âÄù Paterno said. âÄúI’m not sure what we’re going to do this week. Some days I really feel that I can go out there and almost jog. Other days it’s really sore.âÄù