Northwestern-Wisconsin: Recap, score, analysis for Week 5 game (09/30/2017)

Wisconsin stayed undefeated by beating Northwestern, 33-24, Saturday afternoon. The Badgers improved to 4-0 and are now 1-0 in the Big Ten.

Wisconsin is  No. 10 in the AP Poll and has a star in freshman  RB Jonathan Taylor. Northwestern is 2-1 going into the game.

Northwestern-Wisconsin live updates, score

FINAL: Wisconsin 33, Northwestern 24

Wisconsin 33, Northwestern 24 (0:58 4Q): Just when it looked like the Wildcats were making a run, getting it down to 7, D’Cota Dixon makes a huge play and sacks Thorson for a safety. It’s back up to a two-score game with less than 1 minute remaining.

Wisconsin 31, Northwestern 17 (4:38 4Q): Northwestern fights back to make it a two-score game.

Wisconsin 31, Northwestern 10 (9:54 4Q): That should do it. Thorson’s pass is intercepted by Natrell Jamerson, who returns it 36 yards for the touchdown. So much for that 10-7 deficit to Northwestern.

Wisconsin 24, Northwestern 10 (11:12 4Q): The Badgers score again, this time on a 23-yard Rafael Gaglianone field goal. Wisconsin is now outgaining the Wildcats, 303 to 142.

Wisconsin 21, Northwestern 10 (5:26 3Q): The second half continues to be all Badgers. Hornibrook has definitely rallied after a slow start, this time hitting Danny Davis for the 5-yard score. Hornibrook is now 9-for-15 for 151 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.

Wisconsin 14, Northwestern 10 (9:16 3Q): Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook delivered a perfect strike to Quintez Cephus for a 61-yard game. Freshman star RB Jonathan Taylor then scored from 11 yards out moments later to give the Badgers the lead.

Northwestern 10, Wisconsin 7 (HALF): There’s definitely an upset brewing in Madison, Wis. Yards are about even (117 for Northwestern, 114 for Wisconsin), but the Wildcats are plus-2 in turnovers. Badgers QB Alex Hornibrook has two interceptions and Wisconsin has fumbled three times, losing one.

Northwestern 10, Wisconsin 7 (2:38 2nd): The Wildcats finish off an impressive drive with the touchdown to take the lead back. Northwestern went 44 yards in 12 plays, taking 6:38 off the clock. QB Clayton Thorson found Cameron Green for the 1-yard touchdown.

Wisconsin 7, Northwestern 3 (9:23 2nd): More fumble problems for Wisconsin, though the Badgers don’t lose possession. It’s still early in the second quarter, but Wisconsin already has three fumbles, losing one.

Wisconsin 7, Northwestern 3 (4:13 1st): Order restored, at least for now. Freshman RB Jonathan Taylor scores the touchdown to give the Badgers the lead for the firs time. Taylor has 50 rushing yards on only 8 carries.

Northwestern 3, Wisconsin 0 (13:25 1st): Northwestern can’t get the touchdown, but it does take the early lead after the fumble. The Badgers defense stood tall on a third-and-short run by the Wildcats.

Wisconsin 0, Northwestern 0 (14:52 1st): Wisconsin fumbles and the Wildcats are in business early in Camp Randall Stadium. These are the breaks Northwestern must capitalize on if it wants the big upset.

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Northwestern-Wisconsin game time, information

Date: Saturday, Sept. 30

Time: 12 p.m. ET

Location: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wis.

TV channel: ABC

Live stream: WatchESPN

Northwestern-Wisconsin preview

At 3-0 and ranked No. 10 in the AP Poll, Wisconsin is the big favorite in the Big Ten West division. The Badgers have barely been threatened against Utah State (59-10), Florida Atlantic (31-14) and BYU (40-6) ahead of Saturday’s home game against Northwestern. It’s the first Big Ten game of the season for Wisconsin.

Paul Chryst is in his third season as the Badgers’ coach. He’s 24-6. This year, Wisconsin is averaging 43.3 points while giving up 10 points per game early this season.

Sophomore QB Alex Hornibrook has been a star, going 49-for-70 passing for 701 yards, 8 touchdowns and 1 interceptions. But he hasn’t done it alone. Freshman RB Jonathan Taylor has burst onto the scene with 438 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns on only 53 attempts to average 8.3 yards per attempt. TE Troy Fumagalli is the top target in the receiving game with 15 catches for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Wisconsin legend Ron Dayne is a big fan of Taylor. Dayne is a Heisman Trophy winner and the program’s all-time leading rusher with 7,125 yards. During his freshman season, Dayne ran for 2,109 yards and 21 touchdowns.

But as Land of 10’s Sean Keeler reports, Dayne wouldn’t mind seeing Taylor beating some of his records.

“Yeah, I’ll pull for him to [break] everything,” Dayne said. “As long as we win, I’m all down for it … if you’re winning and breaking records, that’s more fun.

“He’s got a little bit of everything. That’s what I like about him. He can catch. He can run. He can run you over. He can run past you.”

LB Chris Orr leads the Badgers with 17 total tackles, adding 1 tackle for loss and 1 sack. Leon Jacob has also played well, posting 16 tackles with a team-best 4 tackles for loss.

Northwestern is also playing its first Big Ten game this weekend. The Wildcats got to 2-1 by beating Nevada (31-20) and Bowling Green (49-7). That win against the Falcons came after Northwestern lost big at Duke, 41-17.

Through three games, the Wildcats are scoring 32.3 points per game. They’re giving up 22.7 points per game. Clayton Thorson is 62-for-97 passing for 842 yards, 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Bennett Skowronek leads the team with 218 yards and 2 scores on 12 catches. Garrett Dickerson adds 188 yards on 14 receptions.

On the ground, Northwestern relies on star RB Justin Jackson. The senior came into the 2017 season with 4,129 rushing yards for his career. After the first three games, Jackson has 248 yards and 4 touchdowns on 55 attempts. He’s now only 109 yards away from topping Damien Anderson (1998-2001) to become the program’s all-time leader in career rushing yards.

Wisconsin has dominated Northwestern in the series, which dates back to 1890. The Badgers lead 58-35-5, including last year’s 21-7 win. However, Northwestern did beat a ranked Wisconsin team the two previous seasons: 13-7 in 2015 and 20-14 in 2014.

The Badgers’ best run in the series was from 1972 to 1984, when Wisconsin won 13 in a row against the Wildcats. Northwestern’s best run was from 1929 to 1937, when the Wildcats beat the Badgers six times in a row.

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