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GAME NOTES: No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers 35, Northwestern Wildcats 7

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Braelon Allen had a record-setting day, Jake Ferguson is extending his consecutive games with a catch record and the Badgers record their sixth straight win.

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

NOTABLE QUOTES

  • Paul Chryst on the team’s recent success.

“I think they’re definitely playing as a team, I think it goes back to my gut and what I believed in this team, that they do care about each other and would do anything for each other and I think it’s a group that likes playing football,” Chryst said. “I think that if you can play off of each other and kind of understand what’s going on, that helps, but I think they’re definitely - appreciate the way they go about it each week and kind of make the most of that week and they have done a good job having the focus be, really that day, whatever that day is that we are in and I think it comes from really good leadership on this team.”

  • Paul Chryst on the passing game’s success as of late.

“The protection was good today and I thought guys were running good routes and I thought for the most part Graham (Mertz) saw things well and for the most part made good decisions,” Chryst said. “So I think when you have that and you trust each other, that helps. Bottom line is you gotta execute and they have been doing that we have gotta continue to build on that and grow from it.”

Northwestern v Wisconsin Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
  • John Torchio on Wisconsin’s defensive mentality.

“We’re kind of in a phase where it’s just contagious, turnovers are contagious, big plays are contagious, everyone wants to get in on the fun,” John Torchio said. “I think the first drive kind of needed to settle down a bit, we were missing tackles, but after that it was kind of like alright let’s go, one turnover, boom, who’s going to get the next one.”

  • Jake Ferguson on Braelon Allen.

“After watching him in the weight room in the offseason, there are some guys who look like Tarzan, play like Jane, they don’t really hit, but then you watching on the field and he’s running dudes over, it’s like that translates pretty well,” Ferguson said. “It’s pretty fun watching him, I’ll have a couple of blocks where I am blocking and I’ll look over and he’s just trucking some dude and I’m just... this kid is 17-years-old like, I was still in high school, doing something like that at that age is really crazy.”

  • Graham Mertz on Braelon Allen.

“My favorite thing about him is just the way he, just his entire approach to every day and every practice and every meeting, but it’s cool for me to see it carryover to the field,” Mertz said.

  • Leo Chenal on the play of the defensive backs.

“I saw a lot of guys confident in themselves, confident play, they’re building confidence every week,” Chenal said. “They’re saying like alright, this guy got an interception and I can get an interception too, you know they’re just trusting their techniques and trusting the coaches, that’s all that it is.”

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
  • Dean Engram on his maturation up to this point in the season.

“It’s just getting settled in, just within the defense,” Engram said. “(As the) nickel, I am communicating with the backers, the safeties, the corners, sometimes all in one play, so just you know, improving my film study and having a great coach that is in tune with the scheme each and every week that is allowing me to play faster as the season goes on.”

  • Brady Schipper on what Braelon Allen does that surprises him.

“I think everything, I mean I didn’t know he was 17 until about a month or two ago when everyone started talking about it,” Schipper said. “I was like dude, you’re 17? But it’s incredible how mature he is, how he works, how humble he is, he’s a great teammate, great friendship that I have built with him since he has gotten to Madison and I’m really just happy to see all the success he is having and that way he has been handling it has been really mature for a 17-year-old.”

  • Braelon Allen on his approach this week, given Chez Mellusi’s absence.

“I think, you know obviously I approached it a little differently than in weeks past, at the end of the day I still have the same job and that is to contribute and help this team win,” Allen said. “I told Chez (Mellussi) I was going to finish the season for the both of us, just kind of put in some extra preparation and make sure I was ready for today.”

  • Allen on whether he thought he wore down the Wildcats defense throughout the game.

“I think after my first couple of carries honestly, I was like, these guys really aren’t tying to tackle, they were just kind of bouncing off me,” Allen said. “I think by the end of the game it was the same thing, start to finish, they weren’t really interested in it.”

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

Games notes, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department

TEAM NOTES

  • Today’s captains: senior TE Jake Ferguson, senior CB Faion Hicks and senior ILB Jack Sanborn.
  • Today’s attendance: 73,194
  • Paul Chryst improved to 63-22 (.741) in his seventh season as Wisconsin’s head coach, ranking fourth on UW’s all-time wins list and the fourth coach in school history to win 60 games:

WINS AS WISCONSIN COACH, ALL-TIME

Coach (Years) Wins

1. Barry Alvarez (1990-2005)* 119

2. Bret Bielema (2006-12) 68

3. Phil King (1896-1902, ’05) 65

4. Paul Chryst (2015-present) 63

5. Milt Bruhn (1956-66) 52

* Also served as coach in two bowl games (2012, 2014)

  • Under Chryst, Wisconsin is:

4-3 (.571) vs. Northwestern

31-7 (.816) vs. the Big Ten West Division

42-15 (.737) in Big Ten Conference play

35-8 (.814) at Camp Randall Stadium

  • UW won its sixth straight game, the team’s longest win streak since opening the 2019 season 6-0.
  • The Badgers have won five consecutive Big Ten games for the first time since posting a perfect 9-0 conference record in 2017.
  • Wisconsin won its third consecutive matchup with Northwestern at Camp Randall Stadium and has won seven of the last eight meetings in Madison.
  • Overall, the Badgers have won four of their last six meetings with the Wildcats, dating to 2016.
  • During their six-game win streak, the Badgers have allowed an average of 7.3 points per game and 194.5 yards per game.
  • For the second consecutive game, UW tallied at least 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing.
  • The last time UW had back-to-back 200/200 games came in the first three games of the 2017 season.
  • The Badgers turned consecutive 200/200 games in Big Ten play for the first time since posting three straight such games in wins over Indiana, Michigan and Northwestern in 2010.
  • Wisconsin’s defense held an opponent without an offensive touchdown for the fourth time this season (Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Rutgers, Northwestern).
  • The Badgers have given up just four offensive TDs during their six-game win streak, including zero offensive TDs allowed in their last two games.
  • The Badgers registered four takeaways and have forced 16 total turnovers in the last four games. UW had just four takeaways in its first six games.
  • UW has recorded at least three interceptions in three of its last four games.
  • The Badgers have not allowed an opponent to score on an opening possession in any game this season, and have forced a three-and-out on the opponent’s initial drive in 7-of-10 games.
  • UW matched its season high with 12 TFLs and has registered four games this season with at least 10 TFLs (including three of last four).
  • The Badgers ran for 268 yards vs. Northwestern and are averaging 269.7 during their six-game win streak.
  • Wisconsin went 6-for-11 (54.5%) on third down, the team’s best percentage of the season.
  • UW is 12-for-23 (52.2%) on third down over the last two games after converting 29.7% (33-11) over the first eight games.
  • The Badgers outscored Northwestern 21-0 in the second quarter and have outscored their last three opponents (Iowa, Rutgers, Northwestern) by a combined margin of 58-0. During its six-game win streak, UW has outscored opponents 84-13 in the second period.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Sophomore QB Graham Mertz went 18-for-23 for 216 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, completing passes to nine receivers. Mertz’s 177.1 passer rating is his second-highest of the season, trailing only his 244.1 mark at Rutgers.After throwing for 240 yards at Rutgers last week, Mertz has posted back-to-back 200-yard games for the second time in his career (230 at Northwestern and 202 vs. Indiana last season).
  • Mertz also has thrown multiple touchdown passes in consecutive games for the second time in his career (five vs. Illinois and two at Michigan last season).
  • Freshman RB Braelon Allen made the first start of his career, carrying 25 times for 173 yards and three touchdowns — all career highs — while surpassing the 100-yard mark for the sixth-straight game.
  • Allen’s sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing game marks the longest such streak at UW since Jonathan Taylor opened the 2018 season with seven straight 100-yard games en route to winning the first of consecutive Doak Walker Awards.
  • Allen is the first UW true freshman with six consecutive 100-yard games since Anthony Davis in 2001:

CONSEC. 100-YD GAMES, TRUE FRESHMEN (UW)

Player Consec. Games Year

Anthony Davis 6 2001

Braelon Allen 6 2021

Anthony Davis 4 2001

Jonathan Taylor 4 2017

  • Only Anthony Davis (10), Jonathan Taylor (10) and Ron Dayne (seven) have more 100-yard games as a true freshman than Allen:

100-YD RUSHING GAMES, TRUE FRESHMEN (UW)

Player Games Year

Anthony Davis 10 2001

Jonathan Taylor 10 2017

Ron Dayne 7 1996

Braelon Allen 6 2021

James White 5 2010

  • Allen is the first Badger with three touchdown runs in a game since Jonathan Taylor scored four rushing TDs vs. Kent State on Oct. 5, 2019.
  • Junior RB Brady Schipper ran for 38 yards on seven carries, including a career-long 24-yard reception in the second quarter.
  • Sophomore RB Julius Davis set career highs with 47 yards and nine carries.
  • Senior WR Danny Davis logged a touchdown for the second consecutive game, hauling in a 13-yard pass from Mertz in the second quarter for his second TD catch of the season and the 13th of his career.
  • Davis now ranks No. 14 on UW’s all-time receiving yards list:

CAREER RECEIVING YARDS (UW)

Rk. Player Years Yards

12. Jonathan Orr 2002-05 1,824

13. Troy Fumagalli 2014-17 1,627

14. Danny Davis 2017-pres. 1,582

15. Donald Hayes 1994-97 1,575

16. Quintez Cephus 2016-17, 19 1,496

17. Garrett Graham 2006-09 1,492

18. Jake Ferguson 2017-pres. 1,466

  • Senior TE Jake Ferguson caught four passes for 43 yards, including an 11-yard TD catch.
  • Ferguson has caught at least one pass in each of his 44 career games, a school record, and extending the nation’s second-longest active streak:

CONSEC. GAMES WITH RECEPTION, FBS (ACTIVE)

1. Justin Hall, Ball State (WR) *53

2. Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin (TE) *44

3. Emeka Emezie, NC State (WR) 41

4. JD Spielman, TCU (WR) *40

5. Jahan Dotson, Penn State (WR) 38

* Every game played in career

  • Ferguson’s 1,466 receiving yards place him 18th on UW’s career list, and fourth among tight ends all-time at Wisconsin:

CAREER RECEIVING YARDS, TIGHT ENDS (UW)

Rk. Player Years Yards

5. Travis Beckum 2006-08 2,149

13. Troy Fumagalli 2014-17 1,627

17. Garrett Graham 2006-09 1,492

18. Jake Ferguson 2017-pres. 1,466

21. Jacob Pedersen 2010-13 1,394

  • Junior ILB Leo Chenal led the Badgers with 14 tackles, the second-highest total of his career.
  • Chenal entered the game ranked fourth in the NCAA in TFLs and added an additional 3.0 TFLs and 1.0 sack today. He has 13.5 TFLs over the last five games and leads UW with 15.0 TFLs overall and ranks second with 6.5 sacks.
  • Senior ILB Jack Sanborn tallied 10 tackles and a career-high 3.0 TFLs.
  • Senior CB Caesar Williams intercepted a pass for the second consecutive game, picking off QB Andrew Marty in the end zone on Northwestern’s game-opening drive for his third interception of the season and the fifth of his career.
  • Sophomore CB Dean Engram recorded the first interception of his career, picking off Marty in the third quarter.
  • Freshman LB Jordan Turner had his second INT in as many games, intercepting Ryan Hilinski in the fourth quarter.
  • Freshman S Hunter Wohler tallied two tackles, including his first-career sack.