I never thought I would type these words out in a meaningful context, but the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers are undefeated heading into the Big Ten Championship Game after their 31-0 win over Minnesota on Saturday.
12-0. That’s twelve wins and zero losses. Holy buckets.
Jonathan Taylor ended up with 149 yards on 20 carries and a 53-yard touchdown. The much-maligned Alex Hornibrook completed 15 of 19 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns. That was more than enough for the Badgers, who only allowed the Gophers to go over 100 total yards of offense with around 12:30 left in the 4th quarter.
The Fighting P.J. Fleck Boat Rowers struggled offensively, as quarterback Demry Croft had only completed three passes through four quarters of football. The Wisconsin defense, not-so-shockingly, was suffocating, and didn’t give the Gophers much hope all game long. Wisconsin ended up victorious by a score of 31-0.
Here’s what we learned:
Here’s what we learned:
1. Alex Hornibrook is good enough for this Badgers offense.
Contrary to what the twitter dot com and a certain section of Badger fans will tell you, Hornibrook is plenty good enough to get where this Badgers team can and wants to go. The redshirt sophomore (!) finished the game with only four incompletions on 19 throws for 151 yards, those three touchdowns with a very important goose egg in the interceptions column.
His 21 touchdown passes through 12 games are third-most in a single season in school history. In the red zone, he’s thrown 17 touchdowns compared to only one interception this season.
Hornibrook isn’t a world beater by any means, but the players have confidence in him, and he’s getting better and better each game.
2. The Wisconsin defense is elite.
Okay, so we already knew this, but there’s one more shot in at the Gophers before having to wait until 2018 to do it again. The Badgers defense was suffocating, allowing only 133 yards and eight first downs in the entire game. It was the third time this season that UW allowed under 200 yards to an opponent. Minnesota never had much room to run all game, gaining only 2.4 yards per carry.
Pair that with the reserves coming in the fourth quarter and Croft’s three of nine passing for 40 yards for the game, and the Wisconsin defense was in charge the entire day.
3. Wisconsin is undefeated - 12-0!
The Wisconsin Badgers heads into the Big Ten Championship Game with a 12-0 record to face the No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes. I never thought that I would say that, and many need to understand how impressive and important this is. This is the first time in school history they have achieved this record, and it is the first time since 1912 (7-0) that Wisconsin has registered an undefeated regular season.
Like the men’s basketball program reaching back-to-back Final Fours a few years ago, this is relatively unprecedented territory. Soak all of this success in—this is special for a school like Wisconsin.