MADISON- The Wisconsin Badgers got off to a slow start, but took care of business in Madison, beating the New Mexico Lobos, 45-14.
Wisconsin won the toss but deferred to the second half, which was not a great choice at the time.
After receiving the opening kickoff and starting the drive on their own 13 yard-line, New Mexico ran their triple option to perfection for 87 yards, culminating in an 11-yard pass from Tevaka Tuioti to Delane Hart-Johnson for a touchdown to go up 7-0.
On the scoring drive, the Lobos ate up over half of the time clock in the first quarter.
Wisconsin got the ball and moved down the field pretty easily, including a 28-yard one handed catch from AJ Taylor, but the drive stalled, and the Badgers were forced to settle for a 26-yard field goal from Rafael Gaglianone.
After the first quarter, the Lobos led the Badgers in Madison, 7-3.
Then the game really stalled, with both defenses stepping up, leading to back-to-back-to-back punts. Finally, the Badgers took the ball all the way to the red zone behind strong running from Jonathan Taylor and Taiwan Deal, but Taylor coughed up the ball around the 10-yard line, and lost a fumble for the second game in a row. Taylor is incredibly talented, but the fumbles really are an issue for the sophomore.
Wisconsin’s defense forced another three-and-out, and the offense got the ball with great field position, eventually scoring a touchdown off of an easy 16 yard run by Taylor.
At the half, Wisconsin led 10-7 at the Camp.
The first seven minutes of the second half were much more action-packed than basically the whole first half. Wisconsin received the second half kickoff and was driving. On a third down dropback, Hornibrook was pressured, forced a bad ball and was intercepted by the Lobos. Then, the Badgers’ defense stepped up yet again.
Scott Nelson, a very impressive freshman safety, got his first interception of his young Badgers career, holding New Mexico scoreless yet again. And this time, the Badgers’ offense made the most of it.
Jonathan Taylor did the dirty work most of the drive, but Hornibrook connected with AJ Taylor for a 10-yard touchdown, giving the home team the lead, 17-7.
Wisconsin’s defense continued its dominance, forcing a fumble on the next drive, which was recovered by freshman DL Kayden Lyles.
With great starting field position, the Badgers again finished the drive with a score, this time behind another rushing touchdown from Jonathan Taylor.
Wisconsin quickly got the ball back, and on the first play of the fourth quarter, ran it in with fullback Alec Ingold for the score, extending the lead to 31-7 in the process.Through three quarters, Taylor rushed for over 200 yards, while the Lobos had just 130 yards as a team.
With the big lead, Wisconsin put in several backups on defense, and New Mexico capitalized with a score, making it 31-14 with 11:00 remaining in the final quarter after a nine play, 75-yard drive.
Jonathan Taylor more than made up for his fumble in the first half, picking up yet another touchdown on the following drive en route to an incredible 253 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon. At that moment, Wisconsin led 38-14 over New Mexico.
Danny Vanden Boom later came in for Hornibrook, and led the Badgers on one final touchdown drive to finish off the Lobos.