MADISON — The No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers (1-1 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) upended the Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-1 overall, 0-0 MAC), 34-7 in a bounce-back win on Saturday night at Camp Randall Stadium.
Following a season opener where Wisconsin was unable to get out of its own way, as the Badgers stalled in the red zone early and often, Wisconsin opened its match up with the Eagles doing, uh, the same thing.
Following a 60-yard rush by Chez Mellusi on the second play of the game, Wisconsin had a first-and-goal from the Eastern Michigan 7-yard-line. Mellusi was then tripped behind on the line following a hand off and then was kept out of the end zone on three consecutive plays, with Wisconsin turning the ball over on downs.
However, this trend would end quickly as Wisconsin went on to score on it’s following four drives, getting rushing touchdowns from Mellusi, Jalen Berger and an 82-yard score from Isaac Guerendo. Freshman Braelon Allen added his first collegiate score late in the game as well.
Wisconsin picked up 352 yards on the ground in the game, led by Mellusi who rushed 20 times for 144 yards and added one touchdown. Mellusi became the first Wisconsin back to rush for 100+ yards in his first two games on the team, since Corey Clement did so in 2013.
While Wisconsin’s rushing attack was prevalent, Wisconsin’s defense was suffocating. The Badgers defense held Eastern Michigan to 92 total yards and only allowed three first downs in the game, one of which coming on a penalty. Wisconsin forced seven three-and-outs in the game, including the Eagles’ first four drives.
While the game did not end in a shut out, Wisconsin’s defense gave up zero points, as Eastern Michigan’s only score of the game came on a 98-yard interception return by Darius Boone, Jr. off of a Chase Wolf pass, when Wolf relieved Mertz in the second half.