Taylor helps No. 13 Wisconsin trounce No. 11 Michigan 35-14
By KEITH JENKINS AP Sports Writer
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor needed only a quarter Saturday to improve upon his rushing total from the Badgers’ lopsided loss to Michigan last season.
Taylor ran for 203 yards and two touchdowns, Jack Coan added a career-high two rushing touchdowns and No. 13 Wisconsin made it look easy in a 35-14 victory over No. 11 Michigan.
In the first quarter alone, Taylor had 143 yards and two touchdowns, including a 72-yarder. Taylor missed the second quarter due to cramps, but the 2018 Doak Walker Award winner returned in the third to finish with 23 carries to help the Badgers (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten) avenge their 38-13 loss to the Wolverines from a year ago.
“I think we made (a statement),” said Taylor, who ran for 101 yards against Michigan last season. “It’s going to be tough to come into Camp Randall (Stadium) and come out with an easy win. You have to play for 60 minutes. You have to play until the clock hits zero in the fourth quarter.”
Michigan’s struggles to hold on to the ball continued as the Wolverines suffered another embarrassing loss under coach Jim Harbaugh. Michigan is 1-6 on the road against ranked opponents under Harbaugh, who took over the program in 2015.
“We were outplayed, outprepared, outcoached, the whole thing both offensively and defensively,” Harbaugh said. “It was thorough.”
The game was so one-sided that the 80,245 in attendance chanted “overrated, overrated” to a Michigan team expected to contend for the Big Ten championship. Michigan also had to make a quarterback change.
Harbaugh elected to sit Shea Patterson late in the first half in favor of backup quarterback Dylan McCaffrey. Patterson, who fumbled twice in each of Michigan’s first two games, left after completing 4 of 9 passes with 88 yards and an interception.
“He was being evaluated at halftime so we went with Dylan to start the second half,” Harbaugh said.
Patterson returned in the second half after McCaffrey was knocked out of the game on a play that caused Wisconsin safety Reggie Pearson to receive a targeting penalty. Safety Eric Burrell also was ejected following a targeting call.
Patterson finished 14 of 32 for 219 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
“We’ve got a lot to fix,” Harbaugh said. “We want to be able to run the ball and throw the ball both equally and efficient. The little things we’ve got to do, we’ve got to do better.”
Wisconsin got better production from its quarterback.
Coan, in only his seventh start, had a 1-yard touchdown run and a 25-yarder that made it 28-0 just before the half. Coan, who was recruited by Michigan, also passed for 128 yards.
“I think it’s his leadership, Taylor said of Coan. “You kind of want to give your all for Jack. When he steps into the huddle, he’s telling us: ‘Let’s be tough. This is a huge drive right here. Let’s go. Let’s do this together.’ On the other side, he has a heck of an arm and makes great plays. I really like his leadership style.”
Wisconsin has outscored South Florida, Central Michigan and now Michigan by a combined score of 145-14.
Zack Baun and Jack Sanborn each had a sack to lead another dominant effort by Wisconsin’s defense. Baun now has a sack in each of Wisconsin’s three games.
“Yes, we’re gritty,” Baun said. “After the first two games, I feel like the world didn’t want to say we were the best defense in the country. (They said) we didn’t have the best running back in the country and we didn’t have the best O-line in the country. And we really made an effort to make a statement this game.”
Wisconsin inside linebacker Chris Orr and Burrell each recovered a fumble. Burrell and safety John Torchio each had an interception.
Michigan: The Wolverines struggled to get anything going offensively, as the unit continues to sputter under first-year offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. The Wolverines have lost each of their last six road games with Wisconsin.
Wisconsin: After going 8-5 a year ago, the Badgers proved they’re again a force in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin will likely move into the top 10. The Badgers were a 3 ½-point favorite against the Wolverines and proceeded to dominate the Big Ten preseason favorite.
MAN OF THE PEOPLE
Donovan Peoples-Jones returned for Michigan after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. The junior receiver had a 5-yard touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter.
EYEING THE CROWN
Wisconsin has scored at least 35 points in each of its first three games for the first time since 2011. That team, led by Russell Wilson, won the Big Ten championship.
Michigan linebacker Josh Ross had a boot on his right foot following the loss.
Michigan: Hosts Rutgers on Sept. 28.
Wisconsin: Takes on Northwestern on Sept. 28 at home.
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