Ben Mason

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Jonathan Taylor paces Wisconsin to big lead on Michigan before leaving game


Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor had a big first quarter to give Wisconsin an early jump on Michigan, but his status is unknown after a trip to the injury tent and an early exit to the locker room. The Badgers lead the Wolverines 28-0 at halftime in Madison in a Big Ten opener between two unbeaten teams.

Taylor was the star of the first quarter with 143 rushing yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown run was a 72-yard sprint up the middle of the Michigan defense, and it came just moments after a controversial replay review wiped out a big pass play by Michigan.

During the second quarter, Taylor was seen heading into the sideline medical tent after walking gingerly on the sideline. His return was reported to be questionable, according to the sideline report during the broadcast. Taylor left the medical tent on the sideline for the locker room later in the second quartrer. That led Wisconsin’s running game to be led by another Taylor, A.J. Taylor. Taylor picked up an 11-yard run during a 15-play touchdown drive by the Badgers to put the home team up 21-0. At this rate, will Wisconsin even need to see the star Heisman hopeful back today?

Michigan’s best chance to score came on their first offensive series of the game. After going down 7-0, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson connected on a 68-yard pass to Ronnie Bell to put the Wolverines in scoring position right off the bat, but a return to the power running game Michigan has used as its identity in those types of situations ended in failure when Ben Mason carried the football for the first time this season and fumbled at the four-yard line. Michigan appeared to be in position to move the ball on their next possession but a video replay overturned a call on the field for another deep pass to Bell. The official ruling stated the ball had come loose as Bell was diving to the ground to make the catch, although video replay never quite showed what would be considered indisputable evidence strong enough to overturn the original call on the field.

Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan ended the first half by putting his team up 28-0 with a run right up the middle of the Michigan defense.

Being down 28-0 at Wisconsin is quite a mountain for this Michigan offense right now. Even without Taylor available, potentially, Wisconsin has the defense to protect a 28-point lead in the final 30 minutes of the game, especially if the Michigan offense continues to be a massive work in progress.

We’ll see if anything changes after halftime, but Wisconsin is in a great spot at the break.

Michigan allows 43 yards to Maryland and takes 17-7 lead to halftime

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After a weather delay of about an hour, No. 15 Michigan and Maryland got a chance to play under some sunny skies in Ann Arbor. And other than a kickoff return for a touchdown given up, it has been anything but gloomy for the Wolverines in the first half. Behind a strong defensive effort against an overmatched Maryland, Michigan holds a 17-7 lead at halftime in Michigan Stadium.

The Wolverines opened the scoring with a 34-yard field goal by Quinn Nordin in the first quarter, but Maryland’s Ty Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for Maryland’s only score of the half. There has just been very little to work with for the Maryland offense, who is losing a massively lopsided battle in offensive yardage against the Wolverines. Michigan has out-gained Maryland 291-43 in the first half, yet is not exactly putting Maryland away on the scoreboard.

Michigan took a 10-7 lead in the second quarter after Ben Mason powered his way in from the goal line at the end of an 11-play drive that covered 95 yards. The Wolverines later extended their lead just before halftime with a third-down pass from Shea Patterson to Ronnie Bell.

(The targeting penalty was wiped off after the required instant replay review.)

Michigan has converted seven of 10 third-down plays, while Maryland can’t seem to sustain a drive, going 1-for-5 on third down.

In the second quarter, Michigan defensive lineman Michael Dwumfour had to be carted off the field. His return seemed highly unlikely, but there was no medical update on his status before halftime.