Wisconsin (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) shut down Rutgers () 5-4, 1-4 Big Ten) every way possible in New Jersey this afternoon. With a dominating 37-0 victory, Wisconsin stays in a good spot in the Big Ten’s West Division with the season starting to wind down.
Melvin Gordon was a force for the Badgers with 132 yards and two touchdowns, perhaps something to give some Heisman voters something to think about. It might also give Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah something to shoot for, as the two seem to keep raising the bar during the season for each other. Wisconsin’s running game had another dominant player out of the backfield too, with Corey Clement adding 131 yards and two touchdowns. For Wisconsin, running the football is the best way to cure any issues in the passing game, which struggled to get much going in rainy New Jersey, no matter of Joel Stave or Tanner McEvoy was under center. The two Wisconsin quarterbacks combined to complete just eight of 20 pass attempts for 87 yards in the game. McEvoy was also intercepted once.
Wisconsin’s defense also got the job done against Rutgers. The Badgers held the Scarlet Knights to just 139 yards of total offense, which surely must be frustrating to offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen. Gary Nova started at quarterback but struggled leading the offense. Rutgers was held to just eight first downs and Nova was picked off once.
With the win, Wisconsin remains in first place in the Big Ten West Division, although it is crowed at the top with Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota all still in the running in the division.
Wisconsin will be back on the road next week at Purdue. The schedule ends with three games against Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. All three of those games look to be critical in the division.
Rutgers still needs one more win to become bowl eligible. Rutgers will host Indiana after a week off, but ends the road at Michigan State and Maryland.