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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Iowa offered Wisconsin a lifeline by beating Big Ten West leaders Minnesota at Kinnick Stadium. 

Badgers prove they are one of the best in the nation, steamroll Michigan

Wisconsin had its way in the first two weeks, outscoring their opponents 110-0. The two teams they played went a combined 8-17 in 2018 and both went 0-6 in their last six games. 

Then the No.13 Badgers (3-0 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) welcomed the No. 11 Wolverines (2-1 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) to Madison, in a rivalry where the home field has made all the difference. 

Wisconsin is 4-0 in the last four matchups with Michigan in Madison, with the Wolverines last win in Madison coming in 2001. 

The stage was set as one of the biggest games on Saturday. This was only the fifth top 15 matchup in twenty years and Camp Randall, and the Badgers were ready. 

On their first possession the Badgers marched down the field for 75 yards, on a drive that spanned 6 minutes and 25 seconds. The drive included only one pass and was capped off with a Jonathan Taylor score, his ninth of the season. By the end of the first quarter, Taylor already had 8 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. 

On the first drive, Paul Chryst went for it on fourth and one from their own 34, which was risky but shows confidence in his offense. They would go for it two other times on fourth down throughout the game, and converted on all three occasions. 

The biggest story of the young season is the play of the offense and how great they have been, but this defense has been just as special, if not better. After a missed tackle, Michigan receiver Ronnie Bell went for 68 yards, but the Wolverines only mustered 28 yards on 21 plays for the rest of the first half. 

The scoreless streak came to an end near the end of the third quarter when the Badgers surrendered a touchdown after two targeting calls advanced the ball for Michigan. Those were the first points Wisconsin gave up since the first quarter of the 2018 Pinstripe Bowl.

Jonathan Taylor continued his Heisman campaign as he rushed for 203 yards and 2 scores. Taylor had a bit of a scare when he went out in the second quarter but came back for the first drive of the second half. The output Taylor had was the most ever by a Wisconsin running back ever against Michigan and was what we expect out of a player like Taylor. His other two meetings against Michigan he was “contained” for 132 yards in 2017 and 101 in 2018 and did not find the endzone in either game. 

Wisconsin handled business against Michigan and made a statement but now all eyes are on Northwestern where the Badgers will be without starting safeties Reggie Pearson and Eric Burrell after two targeting calls. The safeties will be out for the first half of next week. 

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