Wisconsin defeats New Mexico 45-14 at Camp Randall

Despite a big game for sophomore Jonathan Taylor, the Badgers fell to Penn State 22-10. 

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

Coming off a rusty but successful performance against Western Kentucky, the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers (0-0 Big Ten, 2-0 overall) overcame first half struggles to come away with a 45-14 home win against the New Mexico Lobos (0-0 Mountain West, 1-1 overall) on Saturday afternoon at Camp Randall.

After deferring on the opening coin toss, the Badgers defense struggled to contain the Lobos offense, which featured both spread option and triple option looks on the first drive that kept the Wisconsin defenders on their heels. New Mexico's offense drove 87 yards over the course of 17 plays finishing with an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tevaka Tuioti to wide receiver Delane Hart-Johnson.

The Badgers offense responded with a sustained drive that gave the defense a breather. UW marched down the field 76 yards in 12 plays, but despite moving the chains consistently, the Cardinal and White was unable to reach the end zone and had to settle for a Rafael Gaglianone field goal that cut the deficit to 7-3.

After some more offensive struggles, fortunes turned for the Badgers as they took over with 5:50 left in the second quarter and put together another scoring drive, this time needing only seven plays to go 44 yards. And unlike the first scoring drive, the Badgers were able to reach the goal line on a 16-yard touchdown rush by Taylor, his first of three on the day.

With the Badgers still in a precarious situation coming out of halftime ahead just 10-7, the defense was forced into a high leverage situation after an Alex Hornibrook pass was intercepted on the first drive of the third quarter. The Badgers responded to the challenge with an interception of their own, which was caught by redshirt freshman safety Scott Nelson. The Badgers would capitalize on the turnover, ending the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Hornibrook to AJ Taylor.

Later in the third, the Badgers capitalized on yet another New Mexico turnover with a second Jonathan Taylor touchdown to take a 17 point lead.

Wisconsin and New Mexico traded touchdowns in the beginning of the fourth quarter before Taylor tacked on his final score of the day, and backup quarterback Danny Vanden Boom lead a final scoring drive to seal the scoreline.

Jonathan Taylor finished the game with a career-high 253 yards on 33 carries, while AJ Taylor had 134 of the Badgers' 151 passing yards along with a touchdown, also a career high.

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