The No. 8 University of Wisconsin football team (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) defeated Kent State (2-3, 1-0 MAC) at Camp Randall Saturday afternoon. The Badgers rolled over the Golden Flashes, 48–0, behind another stellar performance from junior running back Jonathan Taylor.
Wisconsin opened up the scoring the same way they have in all five games this season – a Jonathan Taylor rushing touchdown. Wisconsin then proceeded to score on their next six drives, allowing them to pull most of their starters in the third quarter.
Unlike last week against Northwestern, Wisconsin’s offense ran on all cylinders against KSU, scoring on every possession until early in the fourth quarter. Taylor continued his impressive play, surpassing 100 rushing yards for the tenth straight game. Taylor finished with 186 rushing yards, 29 receiving yards, and five touchdowns, tying a Wisconsin football record.
With Taylor’s five-touchdown performance, he now has 12 rushing touchdowns and four receiving touchdowns, solidifying his Heisman candidacy as Wisconsin nears mid-season.
Even after Wisconsin’s bench players came in for the third quarter, they continued to score on offense until a fumble by sophomore Aron Cruickshank in the fourth quarter. In all, Wisconsin scored on every drive until the fourth quarter, putting Kent State away before the third quarter even started.
Between junior quarterback Jack Coan and freshman quarterback Graham Mertz, Wisconsin’s passing game went 17 for 20 for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Coan had a nice bounce-back game after a rough performance against Northwestern, while Mertz displayed his passing prowess in just his second appearance of the season.
On the other side of the ball, Wisconsin’s defense was stifling again after a dominant performance against Northwestern last week, holding Kent State to just 124 total yards. Despite having only one turnover this week, Wisconsin still managed to prevent Kent State from finding the end zone.
Head Coach Paul Chryst had nothing but good things to say about his defense after another shutout performance, their third of the season.
“It’s been fun to watch,” Chryst said. “Obviously, what they’ve done has been impressive.”
Chris Orr came up huge again, matching his performance against Northwestern with two more sacks and another five tackles. Like the rest of the Wisconsin defense, Orr struggled last season, but he’s returned to his 2017 form. He now has 23 tackles, just four short of his 2017 total, and he also has a career-high four sacks this season.