Wisconsin back in the top 10

Wisconsin is back in the top 25 of the Associated Press poll.

The Badgers jumped five spots to No. 8 after their 35-14 win over then-No. 11 Michigan. The Wolverines fell to No. 20.

Wisconsin is one of six Big Ten teams in the poll. Ohio State is the highest at No. 5, while Penn State comes in at No. 12, Iowa at No. 14 and Michigan State at No. 25.

It’s the first time Wisconsin has been in the top 10 since the week of Sept. 9 last year. The Badgers were ranked No. 6 that week and fell at home to unranked BYU.

This year’s team will face Northwestern on Saturday. The Wildcats come in off a 31-10 loss to Michigan State and are just 1-2 on the year.

(13) Wisconsin 35, (11) Michigan 14: 2-minute drill

MADISON | No. 13 Wisconsin got 203 yards and two touchdowns from Jonathan Taylor as it rolled past No. 11 Michigan 35-14 on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.

Game Balls

Offense: Taylor

Perhaps we should give this to the offensive line, considering some of the holes Taylor ran through, but it’s hard to ignore the first Badgers running back to top 200 yards against Michigan. In the first quarter alone, the junior had 143 yards and two scores, including a 72-yard run, his longest of the year. He missed the second quarter with cramps, but came back in the second half to add another 60 yards to his total. Taylor has played in barely nine quarters of football this year and now has 10 touchdowns.

Defense: Zack Baun

The senior continues to play at a high level in his final season. He finished with seven tackles, tied for the most on the team, while picking up his third sack of the season. Rushing from his outside linebacker spot late in the game, he forced a fumble and was also credited with two quarterback hurries.

Baun, along with the rest of the linebacking core of Chris Orr, Jack Sanborn and Noah Burks, has been a huge in getting the Wisconsin defense back to an elite level.

Special Teams: Anthony Lotti

He hasn’t has a ton of work this year and he didn’t again on Saturday, but the senior did hit it well when counted on. Lotti punted four times and averaged 46.5 yards per kick, including putting one inside the 20-yard line. The coverage units did a solid job, too, limiting Michigan to just 20 yards on three returns.

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LB Chris Orr on what statement they made in beating Michigan:

“We’re the No. 1 defense in the nation for a reason. People like to negate the fact that we played some non-Power Five teams, but that doesn’t change what we’ve done. We’re going to keep doing it every week. It doesn’t matter who you put against us. They’re just a nameless, faceless opponent. We know that we need to focus on us making plays, getting turnovers and dominating the other team’s offense.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh:

“We were outplayed, out-prepared and out-coached. Out-played in the whole thing. Both offensively and defensively. It was thorough. We knew it about their team. They’ve got the ability, are good enough. If they played good enough (they could) beat you thoroughly, and that’s what happened today.”

In Case You Missed It

— Running back Garrett Groshek suffered a right leg injury in the third quarter and did not return.

— Wisconsin lost two safeties to targeting on the same drive. First came junior Eric Burrell and then redshirt freshman Reggie Pearson. Because the penalties happened in the second half, both players will miss the first half of the Northwestern game.

— Taylor left the game after his 72-yard touchdown with what turned out to be cramps. He said he was never worried that it was something more serious. He returned in the second half.

— Burrell was beat on a 68-yard pass and run on Michigan’s first play on offense. He was clearly down and admitted he was stewing over it. That changed when Orr and Baun got in his face and passionately told him to let it go. He did and ended up recovering a fumble two plays later and also had an interception.

— Quarterback Jack Coan ran for two touchdowns, including on a scramble for a 25-yard score. Coan took a couple big hits prior to the run and ended up going into the medical tent for a short time after the score but didn’t miss a snap.

— On its first drive of the game, Wisconsin went for it on fourth-and-1 and its own 34-yard line. The Badgers called on their “hippo” package that featured Coan, Taylor, tight end Jake Ferguson and eight offensive linemen to get it done and they did. Those eight weigh in at a combined 2,506 pounds. The package was used a bunch in other short-yardage situations.

Inside the Numbers

162:52 — That’s how many minutes Wisconsin played this season before allowing a single point.

28-0 — That was the score at halftime, the biggest deficit Michigan had faced after two quarters since being down 43-0 against Northwestern in 1958.

21 — That’s how many points Wisconsin won by — the second-biggest margin of victory by the Badgers over Michigan all-time.

35 — That’s how many points Wisconsin scored, making it the first time since 2011 that the Badgers have scored at least 35 points in their first three games.

84 — That’s how many passes Jack Coan has thrown since his last interception, which came in the Pinstripe Bowl last December. Coan has thrown five touchdowns this year and ran for two more.

What’s Next

Wisconsin (3-0, 1-0) will host Northwestern (1-2, 0-1) next Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.

Wisconsin lands commitment from 4-star PF

Wisconsin has landed its second commitment in as many days.

Class of 2020 Forward Ben Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.) announced his verbal commitment to the Badgers early Wednesday afternoon.

The 6-foot-9 Carlson is rated as the fourth-best player in the state of Minnesota and 82nd-best player in the country, according to 247Sports.

A four-star recruit, Carlson chose the Badgers over offers from Iowa State, Purdue, Stanford, Minnesota and Xavier among others.

His commitment gives Wisconsin five in its 2020 class, including two from Minnesota. The class is ranked fourth in the country and first in the Big Ten.

Wisconsin picks up commitment from 2020 recruit

Wisconsin has added its fourth commitment in the Class of 2020.

Center Steven Crowl (St. Paul, Minn.) announced his decision on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

A 3-star recruit, Crowl is rated as the sixth-best player in Minnesota and the 169th-best player in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite. He chose the Badgers over offers from Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado and others.

The 6-foot-9, 215-pound Crowl had visited Wisconsin earlier in September, the first time he’d been in Madison since the Badgers offered him a scholarship in July.

Crowl joins guard Johnny Davis, forward Jordan Davis and point guard Lorne Bowman in Wisconsin’s 2020 class. It’s a class that is now ranked 11th in the country and third in the Big Ten.

Wisconsin NT out for Michigan game

Wisconsin will be without its starting nose tackle against Michigan this Saturday.

The Badgers released their initial injury report Monday morning and sophomore Bryson Williams is listed as out with a leg injury. Williams started the opener against South Florida but missed the Central Michigan game with the injury.

His absence means this will be a huge week for true freshman Keeanu Benton. The Janesville product is one of two first-year players to see action in both games this year and he started against the Chippewas.

“He’s big. I love having him out there,” inside linebacker Chris Orr said of Benton. “When I first saw him, that’s what I liked. I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, put him right there in the middle of all of us and let him eat up some blocks.’

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Benton has done more than just eat up blocks. On his first career snap against South Florida, he threw the guy trying to block him to the side and made the tackle. His two tackles for loss are second on the team and are more than Williams or last year’s starter, Olive Sagapolu, had in their true freshmen seasons.

“Keeanu is really good,” defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk said. “He’s one of those guys who can be what he wants to be. He is a strong, fast, athletic player so he’ll go as far as he lets himself go. I think Keeanu can be a special player, definitely.”

Here’s a look at the full Wisconsin injury report:


OL Logan Bruss (leg)
OLB Izayah Green-May (hand)


NT Bryson Williams (leg)
TE Luke Benzschawel (knee)


LS Josh Bernhagen (leg)
WR Cade Green (leg)
TE Gabe Lloyd (leg)
S Scott Nelson (knee)
TE Zander Neuville (leg)

Badgers move up one spot to No. 13 in AP Top 25 Poll

The Wisconsin Badgers may have had a bye week, but they still made noise in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll. They moved up one spot to No. 13 and are now tied with Penn State for the spot.


The top teams in the poll didn’t change much. Clemson remains at No. 1 receiving 57 of the 62 first-place votes. Alabama holds the No. 2 spot receiving five first place votes. Those two are followed then by Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Auburn and Florida.

The Big Ten had their troubles this week as both Michigan State and Maryland fell out of the top 25. The Spartans were beat by Arizona State 10-7 and the Terrapins lost to Temple 20-17 over the weekend. Michigan also dropped out of the top 10 falling one spot to No. 11. The Big Ten has five teams in the top 25.

The Badgers will face their biggest test of the season so far when they host Michigan on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 11am.

Wisconsin loses TE to career-ending injury

Zander Neuville’s football career is officially done.

The Wisconsin tight end tweeted Wednesday that he had suffered another knee injury that will prove career-ending.

Neuville played in 42 games, including 14 starts at tight end. He injured his knee late in the 2017 season and missed the final two games. He then played in three games last year before another knee injury ended his season. The former defensive end was granted a sixth-year of eligibility by the NCAA in August and had just started practicing with the team in recent weeks.

Wisconsin was hoping Neuville could stabilize a tight end group decimated by injuries. Outside of sophomore Jake Ferguson, the Badgers have just two healthy tight ends — former walk-on Jack Eschenbach and true freshman Clay Cundiff.

Neuville and junior Gabe Lloyd have already been ruled out for the year, while junior Luke Benzschawel suffered a serious leg injury in practice and remains on crutches, though his injury hasn’t been deemed season-ending.

Wisconsin, as it has at different points over the last 25 years, has been using offensive linemen as an extra blocking tight end, with redshirt freshman Cormac Sampson serving in that role against Central Michigan.

The 14th-ranked Badgers (2-0) are off this week. They’ll welcome No. 10 Michigan (2-0) to Camp Randall Stadium next Saturday.

Wisconsin gets oral commitment from WR for 2020 class

The Wisconsin Badgers added to its 2020 recruiting class again Tuesday night.

Isaac Smith, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound wide receiver from Collierville, Tennessee announced his commitment to UW on Twitter Tuesday night. He becomes the 16th member of the 2020 class and the second wide receiver.


247Sports lists Smith as a three-star prospect, while Rivals lists him as a two-star prospect.

Smith came for his official visit on Saturday when the Badgers took on Central Michigan. He had offers from Missouri, Army and Cornell.

Wisconsin adds another in 2020 recruiting class

Wisconsin added to its 2020 recruiting class Sunday night.

As first reported by 247Sports, defensive end James Thompson Jr. (Cincinnati, Ohio) gave his verbal commitment to the Badgers, becoming the 15th member of the class.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound, Thompson is a 3-star recruit and ranked as the 66th-best player in the state of Ohio and the 103rd-best defensive end in the country.

Thompson came to Madison for official visit this weekend and took in the Central Michigan. It was enough for him to pull the trigger on his commitment, choosing the Badgers over offers from Iowa State, Navy and Akron among others. Several other Big Ten teams, including Michigan State and Northwestern, were showing interest in Thompson.

The commitment leaves Wisconsin’s class ranked No. 28 in the country and No. 5 in the Big Ten.

The Camp: Sept. 9, 2019

On this week’s episode of The Camp, Zach and Jesse recap another dominating effort from Wisconsin, discuss Jack Coan’s big day, debate how good the defense is and wonder if the Badgers are now the favorites to win the Big Ten West.

3:32 — Guys behind the scenes knew Jack Coan had this kind of performance in him

5:41 — Quintez Cephus is back to the player he was and perhaps even better

10:30 — Wisconsin fed off the pre-game comments from Central Michigan

13:00 — Impressions of Graham Mertz’s debut

17:02 — Sold or not sold

1) This is the best wide receiver group in school history

2) This defense is on the same level as the five years prior to 2018

3) Scott Nelson’s injury is a big deal

4) I still have questions about Wisconsin’s running game

5) Wisconsin is the favorite to win the B1G West

29:15 — The best post-game audio from Saturday.

35:50 — Twitter questions