MADISON, Wis. (AP) Jonathan Taylor rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns, and Wisconsin played smash-mouth football in the second half to run away from Rutgers for a 31-17 win on Saturday.
Ryan Connelly led a strong effort from the front seven with eight tackles, while D'Cota Dixon blocked a field-goal attempt for the Badgers (6-3, 4-2 Big Ten).
Starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook left the game at halftime because of a head injury, a week after missing a loss at Northwestern while in the concussion protocol.
All backup quarterback Jack Coan had to do in the third quarter was hand off to his running backs.
Why not when you have Taylor, the nation's leading rusher, in the backfield?
The Badgers had 13 plays, all runs, for 163 yards in the quarter to turn a 10-0 halftime lead into a comfortable 24-3 advantage. Taylor, who had 27 carries on the day, scored on runs from 38 and 18 yards in the third.
Wisconsin had the edge in talent over the Scarlet Knights (1-8, 0-6), the only team still winless in Big Ten play. Still, the first half had the sluggish pace of a nonconference game in early September.
Saquon Hampton picked off Hornibrook twice in the first half. The defense also held Wisconsin scoreless after a drive that started at the Rutgers 41 set up by Dixon's block of a 45-yard field-goal attempt and 34-yard return.
Running back Raheem Blackshear had eight catches for 162 yards and a touchdown to lead Rutgers, often getting chunk plays on screens or short passes as the Badgers tried to swarm quarterback Artur Sitkowski.
Blackshear also ran for 38 yards for 10 carries to give him 200 yards of total offense on the afternoon. Sitkowski was 20 of 39 for 261 yards but absorbed several hits from unblocked defenders.
Rutgers finally got its first touchdown with 8:14 left on Jonathan Hilliman's 1-yard run to get within 14.
Copyright 2018 by the Associated Press