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Wisconsin defeats Maryland on Homecoming weekend

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The Badgers cruised to a 38–13 win.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

MADISON — Homecoming weekend did not start off on a sobering note, as the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Maryland Terrapins 38-13 at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday.

Wisconsin’s defense held the Maryland offense to 268 yards. Wide receiver D.J. Moore, who came into the game leading the Big Ten in a variety of categories, was contained to three receptions for 44 yards by defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard’s secondary.

Offensively, the Badgers displayed a balanced attack, gaining 225 yards passing and 215 yards rushing. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook completed 16 of 24 passes for 225 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while true freshman running back Jonathan Taylor gained 126 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Tight end Troy Fumagalli caught seven passes for 83 yards, including three on third down to move the chains.

Maryland drove down the field to start the game, but the Wisconsin defense halted the Terrapins’ momentum and actually put points on the board first. Two plays after an Olive Sagapolu sack on a first down, outside linebacker Garret Dooley pressured quarterback Max Bortenschlager.

The ensuing pass was intercepted by redshirt junior inside linebacker T.J. Edwards, who took it back 54 yards for a touchdown. It was Wisconsin’s fourth pick-six of the year, and third in the past four games.

The Badgers’ offense continued its inconsistency early, especially in the first quarter, as two turnovers hampered productivity and actually led to a prime Maryland scoring opportunity.

Jonathan Taylor fumbled the ball at the Badgers’ five-yard line, allowing the Terrapins to take over within striking distance. Henry Darmstadter converted a 23-yard field goal to cut the lead to four points.

Wisconsin’s offense responded thereafter, driving 70 yards in 10 plays. Two key third-down throws by Hornibrook moved the chains, with a 30-yard completion to Quintez Cephus on a 2nd-and-13 to place the Badgers inside the Maryland 5-yard line. Taylor then atoned for his miscue, taking it in for a touchdown from three yards out to put Wisconsin up 14–3. Hornibrook was 5-of-6 for 74 yards on that drive.

The offense was not finished with its scoring in the first half. A 12-play, 85-yard drive with a steady combination of Taylor and the passing game yielded another touchdown. Hornibrook found tight end Zander Neuville for an eight-yard touchdown to up the lead to 21–3.

The offense continued to show its potential with the second half-opening drive. A.J. Taylor’s 18-yard touchdown capped an eight-play, 71-yard drive for a 28–3 lead. Hornibrook completed four of five passes for 65 yards on the drive.

Maryland finally found the end zone on the ensuing drive thanks to a long series of its own. Taivon Jacobs caught a Bortenschlager 10-yard touchdown pass to cut the Terps’ deficit to 18 points.

Bortenschlager completed 13 of 30 passes for 125 yards with a touchdown and interception on the afternoon.

A Darmstadter 45-yard field goal brought the Terps within 28–13 at the end of the third quarter. Maryland out-gained Wisconsin 129–105 in that 15-minute period.

Wisconsin would answer immediately after that field goal, however, with a 76-yard drive that wiped 6:13 off the clock. Redshirt senior Austin Ramesh ran it in from a yard out on 3rd-and-Goal to put the Badgers up 35–13 with just over nine minutes left in the game.

The Badgers’ offense added a 33-yard field goal by Rafael Gaglianone to cap the scoring at 38–13 with 36 seconds left in the game.

After wrapping up a 7–0 start, Wisconsin heads down to Champaign next week to face Illinois.