Wisconsin 31, Rutgers 17
What Happened: Wisconsin pounded away with the ground game to blow by Rutgers, but it wasn’t always smooth. Jonathan Taylor tore off three touchdown runs, but QB Alex Hornibrook appeared to aggravate his concussion issues that kept him out of the Northwestern game. He missed the second half, and the Badger O line and the ground game took over.
Rutgers got two fourth quarter touchdowns on a short score from Jon Hilliman and a scoring catch from Raheem Blackshear, but the Badgers were never in any real danger after a 10-0 halftime lead.
What Mattered: Taylor ran 27 times for 208 yards and three scores, and Taiwan Deal added 77 yards. Hornibrook only completed 7-of-16 passes for 92 yards and two picks before getting knocked out of the game. Jack Coan completed 5-of-7 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown.
– Raheem Blackshear was unstoppable at times, running for a Rutgers-high 58 yards and catching eight passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. Three Scarlet Knight defenders came up with ten tackles, but the defensive front was beaten up.
– The Badgers outgained Rutgers 317 yards to 72 on the ground, but the two turnovers kept the game from being a blowout early. They almost exclusively ran the ball as soon as Coan came in, but he threw a bit in the fourth.
What It All Means: The Badgers are still alive in the Big Ten West race. They need a ton of help – Northwestern has to lose twice – and they need to win out at Penn State, at Purdue and against Minnesota. With this win, they’re bowl eligible for the 17th year in a row.
– Rutgers kept fighting, and even though it was overmatched, it came up with a few interesting late drives. The Scarlet Knights might have made it a fight against Northwestern and now Wisconsin, bit it’s still 1-8 with Michigan, Penn State and at Michigan State to close.
NEXT: Ohio State 36, Nebraska 31