Wisconsin jumped out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter of play on the road at Illinois, but the Illini have battled back in the second quarter. Wisconsin leads at halftime, 28-17.
Wisconsin got on the scoreboard a few different ways in the first. James White and Melvin Gordon each recorded touchdown runs and Joel Stave completed a short pass to Brian Wozniak to build a 21-0 lead in ten minutes of play.
Illinois put together a stronger second quarter despite having just 19 rushing yards at the half. Nathan Scheelhaase has passed for 155 yards but it was Aaron Bailey who tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to Matt LaCosse to cut the Badger lead down to 11 in the final minute of the half.
Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland, one of the best at his position in the Big Ten, had to be removed from the game in the first half due to what was reported to be a right leg injury. His return was also reported to be questionable. His absence may not be as big of a deal in this particular game, but losing one of the top linebackers in the Big Ten for any amount of time is never a good thing. If he is out for the second half, then Illinois should try to attack the middle of the field and not be afraid to take some chances.
The second half should start with the Illini trying to capitalize on the momentum of the second quarter. Wisconsin has not been able to put this game away, and they have lost some close calls this season (Arizona State, Ohio State). If the Badgers can’t separate themselves a little bit in the third quarter, the Illini could make a run in this one.