The Wisconsin Badgers scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the fourth straight game, then saw their offense disappear for the remainder of the game. Yet UW, thanks to their defense, pulled out a 24-15 win over the Northwestern Wildcats to improve to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Big Ten.
The offense went 54-yards on 10-plays to go up 7-0. Over the next 12 possessions, the Badgers managed one field goal.
The Northwestern defense made Jonathan Taylor work for everything. He finished with 119 yards on 26 carries with the games opening touchdown. It’s just the first 100-yard rushing day for Taylor against the Wildcats in three tries. He has now going over 100 yards 26 times in 31 games. Taylor also moved into fourth place on the Badgers career rushing list with 4,730 yards, moving past Anthony Davis (4,676).
The Wildcats spent much of the game in a zone defense, making life difficult on Badger quarterback Jack Coan.
The Wisconsin defense scored a pair of touchdowns, giving them three in four games. Safety Eric Burrell drilled Northwestern quarterback Hunter Johnson on a blitz. Johnson coughed up the football and Matt Henningsen recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
The second defensive score came when Zach Baun hit quarterback Aidan Smith from behind, forcing another fumble. Noah Burks picked up the ball and raced 68 yards for the score to give the Badgers a 24-3 lead.
The defense would force a third fumble on a Chris Orr sack. Mike Maskalunas recovered to help the Badgers hold off the Wildcats for the win.
The Badgers host Kent State at 11 a.m. Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.