With first place in the Big Ten West Division on the line, Northwestern holds the upper hand at halftime in Evanston with a 14-10 lead on Wisconsin. Clayton Thorson has run for a pair of touchdowns as the Wildcats look to pick up a big win in division play this afternoon.
Wisconsin started Jack Coan at quarterback with Alex Hornibrook not medically cleared from concussion protocol. With a backup making his first career start, it was no surprise Wisconsin would look to rely on the running game in the first half. Coan attempted just three passes, but he did complete all three of them for 13 yards. On the ground, Jonathan Taylor led the running game and fullback Alec Ingold scored Wisconsin’s touchdown shortly after an interception by the Badgers defense gave the offense a short field.
After the Badgers capitalized on an interception thrown by Thorson, Thorson and the Wildcats responded on the ensuing possession with a 15-play drive covering 75 yards for a game-tying touchdown. Thorson pushed the ball just across the goal line to cap the drive. Northwestern made another trip down to the goal line in the second quarter, but this time Wisconsin came up with a goal-line stand on fourth down to keep Thorson out of the end zone.
Taylor fumbled the football at the Wisconsin 15-yard line just moments later, which gave the Wildcats a short field and allowed the home team to take the lead for the first time. Neither team should be expected to open things up offensively so there will be a ton of grinding in the second half to come as this game comes to a close.