MADISON – A cold, windy morning did nothing to prevent the University of Wisconsin from delivering its best performance of the Big Ten season.
Wisconsin overwhelmed Rutgers for the second straight season, as the Badgers dominated in all three phases for a convincing 48-10 victory over the Scarlet Knight in front of a sparse, rain-soaked crowd at Camp Randall Stadium.
It was the fourth straight victory over Wisconsin (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten), which continues to deliver with its defense. Giving up an average of 7.7 points over its last seven games and only 20 points in five home games, Wisconsin limited Rutgers to 165 total yards, only three points on offense and didn't allow the Scarlet Knights to get a second-half first down until there was 4:25 remainign.
The Badgers delivered three sacks, five tackles for loss, five quarterback hurries, four pass breakups and a pair of turnovers, putting redshirt sophomore quarterback Chris Laviano under pressure all afternoon.
The good news wasn’t limited to Wisconsin’s defense, as the return of Joel Stave and Corey Clement helped Wisconsin’s offense click at level not seen since the nonconference season.
The Badgers racked up 426 total yards, their fourth straight game over 400, as Stave passed for 156 of his 217 yards in the first half and Clement rushed for 115 yards and three touchdowns, as UW exploded for its highest point total since Sept. 12.
Wisconsin will hit the road next week for a road game at Maryland (2-5, 0-3), the Badgers first trip to College Park.
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7 plays, 34 yards, 3:34 TOP, 11:26 left
FG Rafael Gaglianone 49
Key Play: A 19-yard pass to the seldom-used Jordan Fredrick got Wisconsin down to the Rutgers 27 but a false start on first down on Troy Fumagalli (his second of the drive) put UW behind the chains.
3 plays, 41 yards, 1:11 TOP, 9:15 left
Corey Clement 12-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: A shank punt gave Wisconsin great field position that Joel Stave made even better when he dropped a perfect pass to Alex Erickson along the sideline for a 27-yard gain to the Rutgers 14.
13 plays, 55 yards, 6:49 TOP, 2:19 left
FG Kyle Rederico 21
Key Play: Darius Hillary had Justin Goodwin stopped on third-and-4, but the back kept churning his legs and dragged him for a first down. Hillary rebounded with a big pass breakup on second down that helped force the field goal attempt.
4 plays, 34 yards, 1:28 TOP, 10:19 left
Alex Erickson 31-yard pass from Joel Stave (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Choosing to bypass a field goal, Stave hung around long enough in the pocket to see Erickson get a step on his defender. After he broke a tackle, he waltzed into the end zone.
3 plays, 28 yards, :49 TOP, 3:30 left
Corey Clement 21-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: With senior left tackle Tyler Marz leading the way, Clement had a huge alley to find the end zone for a second time.
8 plays, 61 yards, :44 TOP, 0:00 left
FG Rafael Gaglianone 27
Key Play: Joel Stave has been dominant in the two-minute drill this season, a trend he continued. Hitting Troy Fumagalli for 31 yards over the middle to the Rutgers 25, Stave could get greedy with a prime field goal attempt already in play.
3 plays, 3 yards, 1:13 TOP, 8:52 left
Corey Clement 1-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Rutgers struggles on offense hit a new low, as a botched snap went into the waiting arms of outside linebacker Joe Schobert, who recovered the ball at the Rutgers 3.
Blessuan Austin 50-yard interception return (Federick kick)
Key Play: The first really poor decision of the day for Stave, who didn't set his feet and threw a pass to a tightly covered receiver on a crossing route that Austin snarred.
3 plays, 68 yards, 1:09 TOP, 1:46 left
Dare Ogunbowale 4-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Clement will be kicking himself for being chased down from behind on his 58-yard run, but the longest play from scrimmage this season certainly gives hope that UW's running game has taken a turn for the better.
9 plays, 68 yards, 4:58 TOP, 9:47 left
Tanner McEvoy 20-yard run (Gaglianone kick)
Key Play: Taking the direct snap, McEvoy had little problem finding a gap and met little resistence on his way to the end zone.
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