(5) Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 0: 2-minute drill

MINNEAPOLIS — For the first time since 1912, the Wisconsin Badgers finished a regular season undefeated.

The No. 5 Badgers got three touchdown passes from Alex Hornibrook and 149 yards rushing from Jonathan Taylor in a 31-0 win over Minnesota to move to 12-0 and extend their winning streak over their rivals to 14 games.

Play of the Game

All season Wisconsin has run the fullback dive in short yardage situations. On Saturday, faced with a third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, the Badgers went against their tendency, calling for a play-action pass. It worked perfectly, as Hornibrook found tight end Troy Fumagalli for the first points of the day. Wisconsin didn’t look back on its way to a shutout victory.

Game Balls

Offense: Alex Hornibrook

In what was easily his best effort of the Big Ten season, the sophomore completed 15 of 19 passes for 151 yards and the three scores. A number of his throws, including a 5-yard touchdown to Danny Davis in the third quarter, were absolute darts, put in places that only his receivers had a chance. Perhaps most importantly, Hornibrook didn’t turn the ball over for the first time in eight games.

It was the type of effort that had several teammates talking about the team’s potential when he plays like that.

“When your offense is clicking and going, especially the way we play defense, there’s no stopping us, I feel like,” cornerback Derrick Tindal said.

Defense: Ryan Connelly

A Minnesota native that wasn’t recruited by the Gophers, Connelly was all over the place on Saturday. He finished with six tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks.

Connelly often gets overlooked among Wisconsin’s inside linebackers, but he’s been fantastic in a staring role of late. He’s the team’s leading tackler, and like he did last year, has more than filled the injury void left by Jack Cichy and Chris Orr.

Special Teams: Rafael Gaglianone

Gaglianone moved to 12 of 14 on the year with his 32-yard field goal in the second quarter. He’s also remained perfect on extra points for the season after hitting all four on Saturday.

In their own words

Did you think 12-0 was a possibility:

TE Troy Fumagalli: “I did, but I didn’t think too much about it. I tried not to focus too much on that and not the season. With the experience we had coming back, with the players in the locker room, I thought this was possible.”

LB T.J. Edwards: “Oh, yeah. 100 percent. I know that if we come out and play our best game we can hang with anyone in the country.”

CB Derrick Tindal: “I been telling you that [since the start of the season]. I trusted my teammates, trusted by boys and feel like they are going to keep it going.”

Is Wisconsin a win away from making the College Football Playoff?

WR Kendric Pryor: “We have to focus on playing Ohio State next. After that, we can’t control [the way] the committee votes. We just go out there and just play ball. If they decide to put us in, they do. If they don’t, they don’t.”

When did you know the game was in the bag?

Tindal: “When the first quarter started. I felt confident before the game. I knew we were going to win.”

In Case You Missed It

— Tight end Zander Neuville left with a knee injury in the first quarter, while running back Bradrick Shaw left in the second quarter with a leg injury. Coach Paul Chryst didn’t have an update on either guy after the game.

— Fullback Austin Ramesh took a sweep for a 41-yard gain in the second quarter. It was the longest rush of his career.

— After being forced to miss four games with a leg injury earlier this year, running back Chris James got his first extended action and finished with 51 yards on seven carries.

— Saturday was the first time since 1922 that Wisconsin has shutout Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Inside the Numbers

13 — That’s the number of wins in a row Wisconsin has, the longest streak in the country

1 — That’s the number of Power 5 teams in the country that are unbeaten. Wisconsin is that one team.

1,806 — That’s the number of yards Jonathan Taylor has run for this year. It’s the third-most in FBS history for a freshman.

What’s Next

Wisconsin (12-0, 9-0) will head to the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis next Saturday to take on Ohio State (10-2, 8-1).

Wisconsin kicker Rafael Gaglianone out for the rest of the season

MADISON | Wisconsin will not have the services of kicker Rafael Gaglianone for the rest of the season.

The team announced Thursday that the junior underwent back surgery earlier in the day.

“You’re disappointed for Rafael because of all the work he’s put in and how well he was playing,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said in a press release. “From a football perspective, I’ve appreciated the way the other guys in that unit have responded this week.”

Senior Andrew Endicott will take Gaglianone’s kicking duties moving forward. He made his first career field goal last week against Michigan State, hitting from 41 yards out. Endicott also missed an extra point.

Gaglianone’s injury is a significant blow for Wisconsin. He’s been responsible for four game-winning kicks over the last three years, including a 47-yarder this season against then-No. 5 LSU in the opener. For the year, Gaglianone was 7 of 8 on field goals before missing last week’s upset of the Spartans.

Because Gaglianone played in just three games this season, the native of Brazil is eligible for a medical redshirt, which if granted, would give him two more years to play at Wisconsin.

Badgers will be without K Gaglianone; RB Clement listed as questionable

MADISON | The Wisconsin football team will be without their starting kicker on Saturday at Michigan State.

Junior Rafael Gaglianone was one of four players on the Badgers injury report to be listed as out for the game. Gaglianone is apparently dealing with a back injury.

So far this season, he’s 10 of 10 on extra points and 7 of 8 on field goals. His lone miss came last week against Georgia State on a 30-yarder just before halftime. His last kick, which gave the Badgers a 6-point lead in the fourth quarter, barely got inside the right upright.

Without Gaglianone, Wisconsin will turn to senior Andrew Endicott to handle the kicking duties. Endicott has played in 33 games over his career, but he’s never attempted a field goal in college and had just two as a senior in high school, both of which he hit.

“I think he did have a good camp,” coach Paul Chryst said of Endicott.

“Got complete confidence in him. We wouldn’t put a guy out there if we didn’t have confidence in him.”

Chryst was asked if Gaglianone’s absence would impact his decision making on longer field goals.

“We’ll see what happens with the game,” he said. “Situation matters, weather matters, all those (things).”

The other players that won’t play this week include left guard Jon Dietzen, running back Bradrick Shaw and cornerback Natrell Jamerson.

As for running back Corey Clement, he’s listed as questionable with his ankle injury.

“He was able to do more, so I do feel better,” Chryst said of the senior. “He’s done more this week than last week. I think there’s a chance (he plays).”

Also listed as questionable is Clement’s backfield mate, Taiwan Deal (ankle) and starting left guard Micah Kapoi (foot). If Kapoi can’t go, redshirt sophomore walk-on Brett Connors would get his first career start.

Wisconsin football: Practice report 8/19

MADISON | The Wisconsin football team took to the turf at Camp Randall Stadium on Friday afternoon for their second scrimmage of fall camp. They left with plenty of questions still to answer and time running out to do so, as they are now just two weeks from the season opener at Lambeau Field against LSU.

Quarterback battle

The biggest question still facing head coach Paul Chryst is who will be under center against the Tigers when the first-team offense takes the field. On Friday, senior Bart Houston and redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook shared reps with the starting unit, and it appeared that the veteran had the better day.

Houston’s arm strength has always been his calling card and he showed it off, drilling passes into receivers over the middle and not giving the defense an opportunity to make plays on them. He doesn’t always have the greatest touch on deeper passes, but he laid one right on freshman A.J. Taylor in tight coverage for a big gain.

Hornibrook had one touchdown pass, but also a pair of interceptions. One was into triple coverage, and the other came of a tipped ball. It’d be fair to say the Pennsylvania native’s first scrimmage on Monday was better than what he showed on Friday.

Chryst has not given any indication when a decision on a starter needs to be made or will be made. It seems likely that whoever he chooses, it won’t be something that gets announced prior to opening day, especially with practices being closed to the media after Monday.

Musical chairs

The matching and switching of groups along the offensive line continued on Friday. With presumed starters Dan Voltz (left guard) and Jake Maxwell (right tackle) sitting out to rest — they haven’t practiced since Monday — the duo of Micah Kapoi and Jon Dietzen took snaps at left guard, while Brett Connors and even starting right guard Beau Benzschawel saw time with the first-team line at right tackle.

“The execution isn’t where we want it to be yet, so we’ve still got work to do,” Chryst said after practice. “We’re making some strides. I’m not discouraged with them, but I don’t feel like we’ve come close to arriving.”

Assuming Voltz and Maxwell are good to go on Sept. 3, Wisconsin likes the starting group. But if injuries pop up, especially at the tackle spots, the level of concern increases significantly.

Receivers flash

Junior George Rushing and freshman A.J. Taylor each had big days, with both nearly at or above 100 yards receiving. Rushing’s most electric play came on a perfectly-timed slant route from Houston, who put it right on him, and it resulted in a 50-yard gain.

Taylor is the only one of the true freshmen receivers to practice every day and seems to be settling in, especially as he learns the playbook in more detail.

“Those are two guys that have grinded all the way through camp,” Chryst said. “And I think they’re feeling more comfortable with what they’re doing. Both of them have ability.”

True freshmen collide

A bunch of first-year guys made plays on Friday, and in some cases, did so against each other.

Running back Sam Brodner is a load at 220 pounds and not easy to tackle. He caught a swing pass and safety Patrick Johnson came up to meet him, and promptly got run over, eliciting ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from those in attendance. But not more than 10 minutes later, Brodner attempted to do the same thing to the other true freshman safety, Eric Burrell, only to crushed by the Maryland product, eliciting even more reaction from the players and coaching staff.

“They’re still young and there’s mistakes that need to be corrected,” Chryst said of Johnson and Burrell. “But they’re not making the repeated mistake, and that part has been encouraging.”

Other class of 2016 guys that flashed, included cornerback Caesar Williams. He went up high to pick off a Hornibrook pass, and later saw time with the first-team defense when they went to their nickel package.

Later, outside linebacker Griffin Grady had the good fortune of a tipped Hornibrook pass falling right into his hands, and he knew what to do with it, returning it about 50 yards for a touchdown.

Good start

Like he was a year ago in fall camp, kicker Rafael Gaglianone has been nearly automatic. Despite working with a new holder — redshirt freshman Connor Allen — the slimmed-down junior continues to knock them through, seemingly with ease, and did so again on Friday. He was 6 of 6, including hits from 52 and 51 yards.

“I think that’s what (he) should be doing right now,” Chryst said. “He’s played a lot of football. He understands the importance of it. All kicks, not necessarily just the game-winner but the one in the second quarter that you look back and say, ‘That was a game-winner as well.’ I think he has the right approach, which has been fun to see and be around.”

Chryst then took a playful shot at the native of Brazil.

“He’s been working at it, which is also good,” Chryst said. “But he should. He doesn’t do anything but kick.”

Addition to the 105

Wisconsin is now at 105 players on their fall camp roster, which is the limit. That’s after transfer linebacker Christian Bell took part in his first practice on Friday. Bell, who spent his freshman season at Alabama, must sit out this season but will have four years of eligibility left starting next fall.

Ditching the boot

Inside linebacker T.J. Edwards has ditched the boot he’d been wearing for the past month to protect his broken left foot. It happened Thursday, and now the sophomore is on to the next step in the process, according to Chryst.

Normally, injured players that are unlikely to take part in camp aren’t put on the roster and can’t be around for practice. But Chryst felt with the importance of Edwards on the field, and what he does when he’s in the film room, it was worth giving him a spot on the 105.

“He’s been working. That’s who he is. That’s why he’s in camp,” Chryst said of Edwards time spent in the facility. “We knew there would be a chance he’d miss most, if not all of fall camp. And yet (we) wanted him from day one. He does a great job with that. You appreciate it.”

Chryst did not give a timeline on a potential return for Edwards.

Injuries:

Limited:
CB Dontye Carriere-Williams (leg)
WR Jazz Peavy (chest) – Wore a yellow no contact jersey
RB Taiwan Deal (arm) – Wore a yellow no contact jersey
WR Kendric Pryor (arm) — Wore a yellow no contact jersey

Out
WR Quintez Cephus (leg)
LB T.J. Edwards (foot)
WR Henry Houden (head)
OL George Panos (shoulder)
OL Logan Schmidt (head)
RB Bradrick Shaw (leg)
LB Mason Stokke (head)

Rest:
LG Dan Voltz (knee)
RT Jake Maxwell (foot)

Wisconsin football: Practice report 8/9

MADISON | For the second time this fall, the Wisconsin football team hit the practice field late Tuesday morning at Camp Randall Stadium. And like it was on Monday, the 2 ½ hour session was free of pads, and full of offensive and defensive installation periods.

Some observations:

— Bart Houston and Alex Hornibrook once again shared the No. 1 quarterback reps in the limited team drills. The competition between the two should start to ramp up as the pads come on later this week and we start to see some 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work.

— There were no defenders present, but true freshman Kendric Pryor had one of the catches of the day, going up high with one hand to pull in a pass on the sideline. It was somewhat similar to the catch made by Rob Wheelwright in the Holiday Bowl.

— The battle to replace Drew Meyer at punter is going to be more competitive then some thought coming into fall camp. Anthony Lotti, a true freshman who was ranked as the eighth-best high school punter last year, was supposed to be the heavy favorite, but redshirt sophomore P.J. Rosowski appears ready to try and claim the job for himself. He had the most impressive boot of the day, bombing a 55-yarder with solid hang time. It was just the second day of camp, but the forgone conclusion that Lotti would claim the job doesn’t appear to be the case just yet.

— Among the guys on the other end of those punts as returners were seniors Sojourn Shelton and Corey Clement, along with juniors George Rushing and Jazz Peavy.

— Wisconsin is also looking for a new holder after Meyer handled those duties the last few seasons. Redshirt freshman Connor Allen held on all of Rafael Gaglianone’s kicks on Tuesday, with the junior hitting all four, including the final one from 44 yards out. Rosowski was the holder for senior Andrew Endicott, who went 2 of 2.

Odds and ends

— Several players, including junior linebacker Jack Cichy, are sporting Mohawk-style haircuts.

— When a player false starts, they are subbed out for a play. During a walk-through portion of practice tight end Eric Steffes jumped, and when no one immediately replaced him, offensive line coach Joe Rudolph sprinted into the spot and took the rep.

Injuries

Still out:
LB T.J. Edwards (foot)

New injuries:
OL George Panos (shoulder)

Wisconsin kicker Rafael Gaglianone to wear No. 27 in honor of Nebraska’s Sam Foltz

MADISON | You may not recognize Rafael Gaglianone this season. Yes, the Wisconsin kicker has lost more than 20 pounds from last season, but that won’t be the only noticeable difference. Instead of the familiar No. 10 jersey that the Brazilian has worn his first two years on campus, the junior will instead wear No. 27 in honor of Nebraska punter Sam Foltz, a friend of Gaglianone’s who was killed in a car accident in Wisconsin over the weekend.

“From the day I met you, I have looked up to you,” Gaglianone wrote in a post on Instagram. “Not only for what you could do on the field but mostly for the person you were outside of it. You have impacted my life and the life of so many around.”

Gaglianone and Foltz have spent time together at specialists’ camps like the one Foltz was attending over the weekend in Wales, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee.

“Like many of the kickers and punters I have been fortunate enough to meet during camps, you were like family to me,” Gaglianone continued. “I am truly blessed to have gotten to know you and call you my friend over the past three years. You have made me a better person and I will never forget our time together.

“This season is for you my brother!!”

Foltz was the reigning Big Ten punter of the year, and was one of the favorites this year to win the Ray Guy Award, which goes to the best punter in the country.

Former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler was also killed in the accident, while LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye suffered second-degree burns to one of his legs.