MADISON — Kent State was no match for No. 8 Wisconsin Saturday, as the Badgers rolled to a 48-0 win and improved to 5-0 for a second time in three seasons.
Offense: Jonathan Taylor
Playing in a little more than two quarters, Taylor racked up 215 total yards and tied a school record with five total touchdowns. His final carry may have been his best, as he darted through a hole, broke three tackles and scored from 48 yards out. Taylor now has 16 touchdowns on the season, matching his total from all of last year.
Defense: Zack Baun
A former high school quarterback, Baun has made terrorizing those manning his former position his life’s purpose this year. After having 2.5 sacks in his first three years at Wisconsin, the senior had three on Saturday and now has six on the season. His were three of the nine the Badgers defense racked up as it held Kent State to a season-low 124 yards.
Baun > Braun pic.twitter.com/iwRMjZvUFk
— Wisconsin On BTN (@WisconsinOnBTN) October 5, 2019
Special Teams: Zach Hintze
The senior kicked off eight times and he put seven of them in the end zone for touchbacks. The lone one that got returned went for just 10 yards thanks to Hintze’s hang time that allowed A.J. Abbott to get down and make a tackle.
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) October 5, 2019
Wisconsin opening drives this season:
Jonathan Taylor 37-yd rush TD
Jonathan Taylor 4-yd rush TD
Jonathan Taylor 1-yd rush TD
Jonathan Taylor 13-yd rush TD
Jonathan Taylor 6-yd rush TD@BadgerFootball is only FBS team to score TD on every opening drive in 2019.
— Jason Starrett (@starrettjason) October 5, 2019
Week 1: 0⃣
Week 3: 0⃣
Week 6: 0⃣@BadgerFootball is the first team with three shutouts in its first five games since 2001 Virginia Tech.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 5, 2019
@JayT23 go get that record playa!
— Montee Ball (@MonteeBall28) October 5, 2019
Zack Baun on whether this is the best defense he’s been a part of at Wisconsin:
“I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s not over yet. All those other stories have been written and we’re still writing ours.”
Chris Orr on the same topic:
“I don’t know. The season’s not over yet. You’re trying to make some people get mad at me (laughs). We definitely have a chance to be the best since I’ve been here. There have been some great defenses.”
In Case You Missed It
— After the game, a Kent State player apparently spit on Wisconsin wide receiver Aron Cruickshank. It’s unclear what, if anything, preceded the incident. Orr said he saw spit dripping down the middle of Cruickshank’s face. The incident didn’t escalate further and Orr said he did make at least one Kent State coach aware of what happened.
— True freshman Graham Mertz came in during the third quarter. He finished 5-for-5 for 38 yards. It was Mertz’s second time playing this year, meaning he can play in two more games and still redshirt.
— Coming into the day, only Wisconsin and Oklahoma had yet to trail in a game this year. That list now only includes the Badgers after the Sooners fell down 7-0 to Kansas in the first quarter.
— The Badgers went from their normal red facemasks to white facemasks on their helmets. The white ones are normally reserved for away games.
Inside the Numbers
7 — That’s how many touchdown drives Wisconsin had to open the game.
1937 — That’s the last time Wisconsin had three shutouts in a single season.
2001 — That’s the last time an FBS team shutout three of its first five opponents.
21 — That’s how many sacks Wisconsin has this year. That’s already more than the 19 the Badgers had all of 2018.
4,916 — That’s how many yards Jonathan Taylor has, passing Melvin Gordon for third on Wisconsin’s all-time rushing list.
42 — That’s how many touchdowns Taylor is on-pace to score this season. The FBS record is 39 and held by former Wisconsin running back Montee Ball.
Wisconsin (5-0, 2-0) will host Michigan State (4-1, 2-0) at Camp Randall Stadium next Saturday.