September 28, 2019 / 7:54 PM / 3 months ago

Taylor’s rushing leads No. 8 Wisconsin over Northwestern

EditorsNote: Changes Johnson’s run to 25 yards, Anderson’s rushing total to 68; minor editing

Sep 28, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald talks with Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst during warmups prior to the game at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Junior running back Jonathan Taylor scored one touchdown and rushed for 100-plus yards for a fourth straight game as No. 8 Wisconsin upended Northwestern 24-15 in a matchup of Big Ten Conference West rivals Saturday in Madison, Wis.

Taylor rushed for a 13-yard touchdown on Wisconsin’s first series to give the Badgers a 7-0 lead at the 9:16 mark in the first quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Taylor, a 2018 All-American, has scored touchdowns during the Badgers’ first series in all four games this season.

Taylor had 26 carries for 119 yards and one touchdown for Wisconsin (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten).

Northwestern (1-3, 0-2) made a statement early, becoming the first opponent to score in the first quarter against Wisconsin in 2019.

Wildcats sophomore quarterback Hunter Johnson was a catalyst during that drive toward the end of the first, with a 25-yard carry to Wisconsin’s 13-yard line.

Three plays later, junior kicker Charlie Kuhbander drilled a 29-yard field goal to trim Wisconsin’s lead to 7-3 with 1:37 left in the first.

Wisconsin junior quarterback Jack Coan threw his first pick of the season, a second-quarter interception nabbed by Wildcats junior safety JR Pace on Northwestern’s 39-yard line. The Wildcats failed to capitalize on the turnover.

Northwestern collected 20 carries for 90 rushing yards in the first half, more rushing yards than the Badgers’ opponents had combined in the first three games.

Johnson connected on 10 for 20 passes for 59 yards in two-plus quarters. Junior Aidan Smith came in and finished 8 of 20 for 99 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, for Northwestern.

Wisconsin safety Eric Burrell, who sat out the first half due to a targeting penalty last week against Michigan, made his presence felt in the third, emerging out of a safety blitz and forcing a fumble of the Wildcats’ Johnson.

Wisconsin sophomore defensive end Matt Henningsen recovered the ball in the end zone to increase Wisconsin’s lead to 14-3 with 2:34 left in the third.

Badgers sophomore kicker Collin Larsh nailed a 36-yard field goal as Wisconsin extended its lead to 17-3 with 12:58 left. Larsh was 1 of 4 on previous attempts this season.

Wisconsin continued its momentum with an interception return by redshirt junior linebacker Noah Burks, who managed a 68-yard score with 11:29 remaining to make it 24-3.

Wildcats redshirt freshman running back Drake Anderson finished with a team-high 16 carries for 68 yards and one touchdown, a 4-yard score with 8:45 to go in the game.

Slideshow (45 Images)

Northwestern failed to take advantage of an onside kick recovered by junior wide receiver Kyric McGowan. Wisconsin senior linebacker Chris Orr squashed the drive with his second sack of the game.

Coan completed 15 of 24 passes for 113 yards and one interception.

—Field Level Media

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