The Michigan State Spartans tried to close the door on Wisconsin’s Heisman Trophy candidate Jonathan Taylor on Saturday. While they held him to a season-low 80 yards on 26 carries, the Badgers found other ways to pull out a 38-0 victory at Camp Randall Stadium. Taylor did score two rushing touchdowns, and continues to lead the nation in scoring. He has 14 rushing touchdowns and eight receiving touchdowns on the season.
It’s also the 13th time in his career, that Taylor has rushed for multiple touchdowns in a game.
The Badgers did rush for 222 yards for the game. Wide receiver Kendric Pryor scored on a 66-yard run. Kakia Watson added 34 yards and Aron Cruickshank added 28.
Badger quarterback Jack Coan completed 18 of 21 for 180 yards and a touchdown and the Badgers defense did the rest, pulling out their 6th straight win to start the season. Coan completed passes to eight difference receivers, with tight end Jake Ferguson and wide out Danny Davis leading the way with four catches each.
Through six games, Coan has completed 76.3% of his passes (103 of 135) for 1,119 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception.
The Badgers converted 6 of 13 third-down attempts and they were 2 for 2 on fourth downs, making them a perfect 8 for 8 on the season.
With their 6th win, the Badgers are bowl-eligible for the 18th consecutive season. UW’s run of 17 straight bowl games is the longest active run in the Big Ten and tied for the 5th-longest nationally.
The Badgers scored their 4th defensive touchdown of the season on a 34-yard interception return by OLB Zach Baun in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin’s defense has allowed just four touchdowns to opponents on the year.
How good was Wisconsin’s defense? The Badgers recorded their fourth shutout of the season and lowered their nation-leading scoring defense mark to 4.8 points per game. The last time the Badgers recorded four shutouts in a season was 1930, when that Badger team had five.
Michigan State converted just 2 of 14 third down opportunities. On the season, Wisconsin’s opponents have converted just 13 of 83 third down attempts (15.7%).
The Badgers allowed the Spartans just 149 yards of total offense, lowering its nation-leading total defense mark to 173.7 yards a game.
So the Spartans may have slowed down the Badgers top weapon, but they had no answer for the other two, Jack Coan and the Badger defense.
The game was the 5th of five straight home games for the Badgers. They hit the road now with a game at Illinois this coming Saturday, followed by a trip to Columbus to face the Ohio State Buckeyes.