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