Wisconsin holds on after slow start and late scare for 33-24 win over Northwestern

Wisconsin again improved in the second half, outscoring Northwestern by 12 points.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

The Wisconsin Badgers (1-0 Big Ten, 4-0 Overall) cemented their status as a second-half team before a late scare in their 33-24 win over the Northwestern Wildcats (0-1, 2-2).

A slow start for UW was magnified by early turnovers, beginning with its first play from scrimmage. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook completed an easy pass to redshirt senior wide receiver Jazz Peavy, who proceeded to fumble and give Northwestern the ball just outside of the redzone.

The Badgers' defense held strong through three first-half turnovers, including a pair of ugly interceptions by Hornibrook. Wisconsin shut down senior Wildcat running back Justin Jackson early, holding him to just 2.8 yards per carry in the game.

That put most of the pressure on redshirt junior quarterback Clayton Thorson, especially when his offensive line struggled to keep the physical pressure off of him from the Badgers' pass rush, who brought him down nine times in the game. UW consistently disrupted the pocket on third downs, and the lack of running game made Northwestern's offense one-dimensional and easier to defend with a deficit on the scoreboard.

The Wildcats were still able to go into halftime with a 10-7 lead, but Wisconsin's offense started to over-power them in the third quarter while its defense continued to snuff out the opponent through most of the second half. Northwestern gave the Badgers a bit of a scare late in the game, scoring twice within the final five minutes of the game, but Wisconsin held on to remain undefeated.

Wisconsin's Big Ten schedule continues next week as it travels to Nebraska for a primetime showdown with the 3-2 Huskers Saturday.

Check back here for a full recap from the Badgers win over Northwestern coming soon.

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