The Wisconsin Badgers had a prime opportunity to jump into a tie for the Big Ten West division lead on Saturday, and they did not miss it. Facing Rutgers on a long road trip to Piscataway, New Jersey, Wisconsin laid a beatdown on the Scarlet Knights, winning 52-3.
The game did not get off to the best start for Wisconsin, with Graham Mertz throwing a bad interception in double coverage deep in Rutgers territory on the first drive of the game. Luckily for Mertz, the Badgers defense got the ball right back two plays later when Noah Burks intercepted a pass from Rutgers' Noah Vedral. Two plays after that, Chez Mellusi ran it in for a touchdown from 14 yards out to give the Badgers a 7-0 lead.
Rutgers responded right back with a 10 play, 68 yard drive that ended in a field goal. Those 3 points were the first points this Badgers defense has allowed in the first quarter all season.
From there on out, it was all Wisconsin. The Badgers scored on the rest of their possessions in the first half, with two field goals and two touchdowns from the offense, and another touchdown added from the defense on a Caesar Williams Pick-Six. At the half, it was 31-3 Badgers.
Wisconsin continued to score on their next three possessions, including a 72 yard touchdown catch and run by Danny Davis III. After that, the backups were brought in and running back Jackson Acker scored on a touchdown on his first ever carry in college football to give the Badgers a 52-3 lead that would end up being the final score.
Graham Mertz finished the day completing 11 of 16 passes for 240 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT. Braelon Allen carried the ball 15 times for 129 yards and a TD while Chez Mellusi also had 15 carries for 75 yards and a TD.
The Badgers defense and special teams forced 4 turnovers on the day, including 3 interceptions (Burks, Williams, Jordan Turner) and a fumble recovery on a Rutgers kickoff return.
Wisconsin had 579 total yards of offense, 27 total first downs, and went 6-12 on third down conversions.
Next up, the Badgers take on Northwestern at Camp Randall next Saturday, November 13th.