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Game Recap: Wisconsin Overwhelms Northwestern in Big Ten Matchup

Big Ten foe Wisconsin avenges last years loss against Northwestern.

The Northwestern University football team traveled north face off against the University of Wisconsin Saturday afternoon. The Badgers proved to be too much for the Wildcats, cruising to a 35–7 victory.

A strong drive early in the game for the Wildcats was upended by an interception from Badgers senior cornerback Caeser Williams in the end zone. This would be the most notable play in the first quarter, and the two squads remained deadlocked at 0–0. '

The Badgers grasped a commanding lead in the second quarter, starting with a two-yard rushing touchdown from freshman running back Braelon Allen that gave the Badgers a 7–0 lead. The Wildcats would respond with a three-and-out and Wisconsin would end up doubling its lead after a seven-play drive would result in a 13-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Graham Mertz to senior wide receiver Danny Davis III. 

Another quick punt allowed the Badgers to up its lead to 21 after Allen found the end zone. A late interception from by sophomore safety Brandon Joseph would provide some momentum for Northwestern, but  this would prove to be the extent of the scoring for the first half.

Staring down a 21–0 deficit, early offensive momentum would be necessary for the Wildcats to climb back into the game. The first drive of the half had some solid plays, including a 12-yard run from senior quarterback Andrew Marty, but the result would end up in familiar territory with the Wildcats punting. 

The Wildcats defense temporarily stopped the bleeding by forcing a Badger punt, and a big run from graduate student running back Andrew Clair was stopped when the Badgers forced a fumble. Fortunately for the Wildcats, graduate student wide receiver Stephon Robinson Jr. recovered the football and took it an additional 49 yards, putting the Wildcats within striking distance. A missed field goal would follow, and the Wildcats still trailed by 21. 

A punt set up another chance for a Northwestern offensive push, but an interception on the first play gave the Badgers excellent field position. Mertz was able to connect with senior tight end Jake Ferguson for a touchdown and this gave Wisconsin a 28–0 lead. 

The Wildcats responded with an aggressive throw to Robinson Jr, resulting in a 39-yard gain, but an interception a few plays later once again ended the positive momentum. Allen utilized two rushes to find the end zone for the third time in the game, giving the Badgers a 35–0 lead. 

Sophomore quarterback Ryan Hilinski would relieve Marty for the next drive, but the Wildcats were once again forced to punt. On the ensuing drive, Wildcats sophomore linebacker forced a fumble that was recovered by junior cornerback A.J. Hampton. The defensive back utilized his speed to take it to the house, finally putting the Wildcats on the board.

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Wildcats Fall to No. 8 Wisconsin 82-76

Northwestern made the game close all the way to the wire, but ultimately dropped their fifth conference game of the season.

This would be the extent of the scoring, and the Badgers prevailed 35–7. Mertz finished 18-23 for 216 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Allen rushed for 173 yards on 25 carries and earned three touchdowns. Marty was 10-18 for 100 yards and three touchdowns, while Hilinski mustered a 3-8, 25-yard and one interception performance. 

Northwestern (3–7, 1–6) is back in action next week when they host Purdue University at Wrigley Field. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. C.T

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