The curse has been lifted.
The No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers continued their bid for a Big Ten West division title, defeating the Northwestern Wildcats 21-7 at Ryan Field on Saturday. It’s the first time UW (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) has won in Evanston against NU (4-5, 3-3) since 1999.
In another positive development for the offense, Wisconsin ran for 190 yards on the way to 333 total yards. Running back Corey Clement gained 106 yards and one touchdown on 32 carries, while redshirt freshman Bradrick Shaw ran for 54 yards off of 11 attempts.
Overall, Wisconsin held the ball for 40 minutes, 25 seconds—over two-thirds of the game.
On defense, the Badgers held the Wildcats to 316 total yards, only 39 running the ball. Running back Justin Jackson ran for only 42 yards on 13 carries. Quarterback Clayton Thorson completed 28 of 52 pass attempts for 277 yards and one touchdown, while the UW secondary contained wide receiver Austin Carr to 12 catches for 132 yards.
At halftime, the Badgers led 10-7. Wisconsin’s lone touchdown was off an end around by redshirt junior wide receiver Jazz Peavy, who proceeded to run across the field for a 46-yard touchdown to give UW a 10-point lead. Peavy himself had a huge game, catching four passes for 73 yards.
The Badgers rushed for 162 yards in the first half, led by Peavy’s big run but also the combination of Shaw and Clement. Shaw ran for 51 yards on six carries, while Clement churned for 50 yards on 14 carries.
Northwestern made it a three-point game with an eight-play, 87-yard touchdown drive that ended with Thorson hitting Carr for a 13-yard strike before the end of the first half. Wisconsin held NU to 2-of-8 on third downs in the first half, with redshirt sophomore inside linebacker Ryan Connelly leading the way with five tackles.
After senior Andrew Endicott missed a 51-yard field goal in the third quarter, Northwestern’s offense drove to the UW 19. The Wildcats wouldn’t get any farther on that drive, as a holding penalty and Wisconsin’s defense held. On a third-and-21, Conor Sheehy and Garret Dooley combined to sack Thorson, who coughed up the ball.
Safety D’Cota Dixon recovered the ball, and that ensuing drive, Wisconsin drove 45 yards in nine plays—ending with Clement’s two-yard touchdown run. Alec Ingold’s two-yard plunge extended the advantage to 21-7.
The Badgers’ defense took over from there, shutting down the Wildcats’ offense. Northwestern converted only five of 18 third downs and gained 14 first downs.
Wisconsin returns home to Camp Randall Stadium to face Illinois next Saturday on homecoming weekend with a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff.