Badgers rough up Wolverines in return to field

University of Wisconsin Badgers logo.jpg

Graham Mertz threw two touchdown passes, Nakia Watson rushed for two more and 13th-ranked Wisconsin returned from a virus-induced layoff and pounded Michigan 49-11 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Saturday.

The Badgers (2-0) had their previous two games canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their program.

Fullback Mason Stokke added a rushing and receiving touchdown for Wisconsin, which defeated Illinois 45-7 in its opener on Oct. 23. The Badgers rushed for 341 yards on 51 carries.

Wolverines starting quarterback Joe Milton was intercepted twice in the early going and was held to 98 passing yards before he was benched in the third quarter. Replacement Cade McNamara passed for the lone touchdown for Michigan (1-3).

The Badgers cruised to a 28-0 halftime lead.


Milton was picked off by safety Scott Nelson on Michigan's first play from scrimmage. Chimere Dike's 30-yard run on a double reverse set up Watson's 2-yard scoring run.

Linebacker Leo Chenal intercepted Milton's second pass attempt and returned it 31 yards to Michigan's 14-yard line. Mertz's 1-yard toss to Stokke made it 14-0 midway through the opening quarter.

Stokke scored on a 1-yard plunge on the first play of the second quarter as Wisconsin stretched its lead to 21 points.

Watson chugged up the middle on a 10-yard run for the Badgers' next touchdown with 10:07 remaining in the half. That completed a 74-yard drive.

The Wolverines drove to the Badgers' 1-yard line on their next possession but Milton was stopped shy of the goal line on fourth down.

Michigan got on the board early in the third quarter on Quinn Nordin's 46-yard field goal.

Jake Ferguson notched his fourth receiving touchdown of the season later in the quarter, a 13-yard strike from Mertz that gave the Badgers a 35-3 lead.

In his first series, McNamara connected with Mike Sainristil on a 23-yard scoring pass. McNamara also completed the two-point conversion toss to cut Wisconsin's advantage to 24 points.


Danny Davis III's 4-yard touchdown run completed a 75-yard Badgers drive early in the fourth. Jalen Berger broke free for a 23-yard rushing touchdown two minutes later.

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