The main impetus of this whole endeavor was to watch the Wisconsin Badgers beat the Illinois Fighting Illini in football with the 2019 rosters. And, despite the game being tied at halftime, the No. 2 Badgers (6-0 overall, 3-0 B1G) used a dominant second half performance to beat the Illini (3-3 overall, 0-3 B1G) 42-21.
The Badgers got things started off on the right foot with a short John Chenal rushing touchdown and a short Jake Ferguson receiving touchdown but the second quarter was a whole new ballgame.
Jack Coan, who had an electric day passing the ball, turned the ball over twice in the second quarter (and then two more times in the second half for good measure) resulting in a fumble return for a touchdown and a missed scoring opportunity for the Badgers due to an interception. After the interception the Badgers defense allowed a 93-yard touchdown run by Illinois QB Brandon Peters on a read option.
If both of my children hadn’t been trying to fall asleep I’m pretty sure my tv would have been lodged in my wall.
Thankfully Coan marched the Badgers right down the field to tie the game up just before halftime with a 6-yard pass to Jonathan Taylor.
::extremely Chris Berman voice::— Bucky’s 5th Quarantine (@B5Q) May 26, 2020
Coan threw for 355 yards (29-of-37) and four touchdowns but also tossed three picks and had two fumbles (one lost) on the day. Taylor had a quiet day, scoring wise, only finding the endzone twice, but he did rack up 224 total yards while wearing down the Illini defense in the second half.
The game-winning score was made by Danny Davis III on this catch and run where he made three of the four Illinois defensive backs look like tiny, malnourished, blind children who had never even seen a football field before.
The Badgers added a couple of more scores in the fourth quarter but they had complete control of the game throughout the second half. Wisconsin held Illinois to 126 yards in the second half and also forced a pair of interceptions of their own to keep the Illini off the scoreboard for the final two quarters.
Here are the final stats for the Badgers:
It should be noted that Jake Ferguson is having an All-American type season so far and has been Coan’s top target throughout the season.
Donte Burton and Rachad Wildgoose were the two players who intercepted Peters. As we close in on the halfway point of the season, Chris Orr is one of the leading tacklers in the nation. We’ll have a post updating the season stats in the coming days.
Collin Larsh missed his only field goal attempt and also missed an extra point. He is struggling.