MADISON- After a rough outing last week in Evanston, the Wisconsin Badgers looked to get back on track at home against the lowly Rutgers Scarlet Knights. It wasn’t a perfect performance, but Wisconsin got the win, 31-17.
Wisconsin started off the game perfectly, with a smooth, efficient, scoring drive culminating in a five-yard run by Jonathan Taylor for the touchdown. The drive lasted just 2:53 after the Badgers drove 63 yards in six plays to go up 7-0 on Rutgers.
Then, the defense did its job for Wisconsin, and forced the one-win Scarlet Knights into a three-and-out.
The Badgers were driving again, but then Alex Hornibrook was intercepted by Saquan Hampton, a talented corner for Rutgers, although that did not lead to any points for the away team.
Taylor ran really well in the first half, gaining 97 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, and Wisconsin’s defense looked terrific as well, holding Rutgers to just 111 yards and not allowing them into the red zone.
However, the half was not a great one for the Badgers’ offense, as Hornibrook threw two interceptions, both to Hampton. The second one was even worse, as the three-year starter completely telegraphed an out route to Danny Davis.
Hornibrook was just 7/16 for 92 yards in the first half. Wisconsin led in total yardage gained, time of possession, and of course points on the scoreboard, but left a lot to be desired at the intermission.
Hornibrook struggled the majority of the first half, and unfortunately suffered a head injury toward the end of the half. Jack Coan, who started last week at Northwestern, came into the game in the second half for Wisconsin.
Coan didn’t have to do much in his first possession of the game, as he handed the ball off five times to Jonathan Taylor and Taiwan Deal. Deal exploded for a 29-yard run on the drive, and then Taylor took one even farther, for 38 yards and a score to put the Badgers up 17-0.
Wisconsin’s defense finally bent a little bit, but the Badgers did not break, just allowing a field goal to to the Scarlet Knights in the third quarter.
The Badgers then answered with a drive of their own, in which Jonathan Taylor and the offensive line took over. Taylor scored the touchdown on the drive to put Wisconsin up 24-3, and at that point, he was already up to 192 yards and three scores.
Rutgers finally did score a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but Jack Coan drove the Badgers down the field for a score of their own. Danny Davis scored the touchdown, but Taylor and Jake Ferguson were big on the drive as well. Wisconsin went up 31-10 with three and a half minutes left after the score.
Rutgers scored another late touchdown to give them 17 points on the day.
Jonathan Taylor was the best player on the field today, and finished with 208 yards and three touchdowns, as Wisconsin got the victory at home.