MADISON, WIS. - The No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers (6-0 overall, 3-0 B1G) shutout Michigan State (4-3 overall, 2-2 B1G), 38-0.
For the first time during the 2019 season Wisconsin did not score on its opening drive, but it quickly remedied that by scoring on its second drive of the game, after forcing a three and out by the Spartans.
Wisconsin’s first touchdown was scored by none other than Jonathan Taylor, who has now scored Wisconsin’s opening points in all six games this season.
Taylor’s score came after a Jake Ferguson reception that looked all but destined for six, but Ferguson lost his footing and was ruled down on the one-yard-line, following a 27-yard reception on fourth-and-two.
Wisconsin was 2-2 on fourth down conversions on the day, and is now 8-8 during the 2019 season.
Taylor would finish the game with 80 yards on 26 carriers, falling just four yards short of joining Herschel Walker, Ron Dayne and LaMichael James, as the only players to have rushed for 5,000 yards through their junior season in NCAA history.
Wisconsin’s defense also continued its impressive play on the season, holding Michigan State to 149 total yards, en route to its fourth shutout of the season. They also held the Spartans to 2-of-14 on third down.
Quarterback Jack Coan was the main story offensively for the Badgers, going 18-21 for 180 yards and throwing a touchdown.
Coan connected on his only score of the game, finding Quintez Cephus, who hauled in the pass after bobbling it on the way to the ground.
Quintez Cephus... OH MY!— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 12, 2019
Crazy touchdown catch from @QoDeep_87 boosts our early lead!#OnWisconsin || #Badgers pic.twitter.com/w5rGhDQMSL
Taylor’s second score of the game came once again, after Ferguson got Wisconsin down to the 1-yard-line, following a 21-yard reception on 3rd & 8 for Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s only touchdown drive of the day that did not last at least eight plays, came in the fourth quarter, when Kendric Pryor took a jet sweep 66 yards for the score on the first and only play of the drive.
The Wisconsin defense also added its fourth defensive touchdown on the season, when Zack Baun intercepted a Brian Lewerke pass, and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown. With that score, the Wisconsin defense has now scored as many touchdowns on the season, as it has allowed.
‼️PICK SIX‼️— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 12, 2019
Zack Baun with the interception and 34-yard return for the score!#OnWisconsin || #Badgers pic.twitter.com/igG6WRmfyW
The Wisconsin defense has now outscored opposing offenses, 30-29 through six games, this season (four TDs, one safety).
With Michigan State driving in the final minute of the game, back-up quarterback Rocky Lombardi’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Rachad Wildgoose, to secure Wisconsin’s fourth shut out on the season.
The Badgers travel to Champaign next weekend to play Illinois at 11 a.m. CT on Big Ten Network.