Wisconsin came close to tying with 41 seconds left after a long drive, but Rafael Gaglianone’s 42-yard attempt was no good.
Running back Squally Canada ran for 118 yards on 11 carries for BYU (2-1) with two rushes of over 40 yards. The Cougars gaining 191 on the day against a normally stout Wisconsin defense that seemingly could not contain BYU’s rushing attack.
Sophomore Jonathan Taylor ran for only 117 yards on 26 carries, with quarterback Alex Hornibrook completing 18-of-28 passes for 190 yards and one interception in the loss for Wisconsin (2-1).
The game started off strong for UW. On its second series of the game, Wisconsin drove 61 yards in eight plays. Seven of the eight were runs, with the lone pass being a third down connection between Hornibrook and tight end Jake Ferguson for 27 yards to move the chains. On a 3rd-and-2, redshirt senior running back Taiwan Deal pushed it in from two yards out to give UW its first lead at 7-0.
RB Taiwan Deal scores his first TD since he had 2 vs. Minnesota in 2015. 7th score of his career. #OnWisconsin— Brian Mason (@Brian_Mason) September 15, 2018
BYU answered back, however, going 75 yards to tie it up on the ensuing drive. Canada’s 44-yard run set up the Cougars inside Wisconsin territory, and four plays later, his name was called again for a three-yard touchdown.
After another Wisconsin three-and-out, BYU plowed down the field in a very Badger-esque style drive (10 plays, 89 yards, 4:43 off the clock). After converting two third-down conversions, the Cougars busted out a trick play as wide receiver Aleva Hifo threw a 31-yard touchdown to tight end Moroni Laulu-Pututau.
Kalani Sitake’s offense pushed down the field again later in the second quarter, but after a 36-yard completion that would have put BYU inside the UW 5, the play was overturned. Wisconsin held on that 3rd-and-10 opportunity, and Skyler Southam missed a 52-yard field goal to give the Badgers the ball back on their own 35.
In a critical drive for the offense, Hornibrook and Co. responded—especially when adversity pushed UW back during the series. After a Michael Deiter holding call, Jonathan Taylor dropped a screen pass that could have gone for substantial yardage. After an 18-yard completion to Danny Davis on third down, Wisconsin earned the first with a Taylor one-yard carry.
Kendric Pryor’s 21-yard rush pushed Wisconsin to the BYU 5, where two plays later, fullback Alec Ingold took it in from two yards out. With Rafael Gaglianone’s extra point, the Badgers tied it up at 14 right before halftime.
Wisconsin’s defense started strong in the second half with a three-and-out, but Hornibrook’s second interception of the season was a costly one. Zayne Anderson picked off a poorly thrown pass, which gave BYU great field position at UW’s 27-yard line. Six plays later, Canada tallied his second rushing touchdown of the day, giving the Cougars a 21-14 lead.
The Badgers would eventually tie up the game early in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin drove 81 yards in 12 plays, with Deal finding his way into the end zone from five yards out. Gaglianone’s extra point made it a 21-21 game with 12:43 remaining in the contest.
Once again, BYU answered Wisconsin’s drive with one of its own. Canada’s 46-yard run allowed the Cougars to get within the UW 30, but a holding penalty helped soften the momentum for their offense. Southam connected on a 45-yard attempt, however, giving BYU a 24-21 lead with 9:58 remaining.
Wisconsin received the ball back with 4:04 left but at its own 8-yard line. Hornibrook and the offense drove down but could not get past the 24-yard line. Gaglianone’s attempt sailed wide left with under a minute remaining, sealing the loss for the Badgers.
Of note, Wisconsin lost two key contributors early in the game in outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel and tight end Zander Neuville (both right leg). The redshirt seniors did not return to action during the contest.