No. 24 Wisconsin used its typical smash-mouth running game, some timely passing and a physical defensive effort to take down visiting BYU, 27-17, in Madison on Saturday.
With the win, the Badgers move to 7-2. The Cougars dropped to 6-3 and had their win streak snapped at five.
Running back James White rushed for a game-high 147 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries and also caught six passes for 47 yards and a score. Melvin Gordon tacked on 86 yards of his own as the Badgers piled up 229 yards on the ground.
BYU was averaging 32 points and 511 yards per game coming into the contest, but couldn’t find much success against Wisconsin’s stingy defense. Quarterback Taysom Hill, a dangerous dual threat, was held to 207 yards on 19 of 41 passing and just 53 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave was more consistent, hitting on 23 of 32 passes for 196 yards with one touchdown and one pick. The Badgers dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for 36 minutes to the Cougars’ 24.
The Badgers have now won four in a row and have a good chance to finish up 10-2, as games with Indiana, Minnesota and Penn State loom on the schedule. That would be a good start for the Gary Andersen era in Madison and set the Badgers up to be the main challenger to Ohio State for the Big Ten title in 2014.