(Saturday, September 17th)
Final Score: (7) Wisconsin 49, Northern Illinois 7
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Russell Wilson threw three touchdowns as No. 7 Wisconsin rolled to a 49-7 win over Northern Illinois at Soldier Field.
Montee Ball had two one-yard TD runs while Nick Toon caught two touchdown passes for the Badgers (3-0), who have scored 135 points in their first three games this season. Wilson threw for 347 yards on 23-for-32 passing and also had an interception.
"I tell you, Russell Wilson was looking like the guy," said Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema. "He knows the plan that we have and he is going to stick to it, but he will adapt and he is very creative. If there is a better guy out there, I would like to see him because he is an exceptional football player."
Jasmin Hopkins' rushing touchdown in the first quarter accounted for all the points for the Huskies (1-2), who have dropped their past two after opening the season with a win. Chandler Harnish went 14-for-24 with 164 yards in the loss.
Wisconsin needed just four plays on its first possession to get into the end zone as the team covered 51 yards with Toon catching a 12-yard score for a 7-0 lead just over two minutes in.
Kyle French lined up for a 50-yard field goal later in the first, but missed and the Huskies had a short field to work with. Five plays later, the team found the end zone when Hopkins punched it in from three yards out with under two minutes to play in the first.
From there, though, it was all Wisconsin.
An on-sides attempt on the ensuing kickoff was recovered by the Badgers and the team got a 16-yard touchdown catch from Toon for a 14-7 lead heading into the second.
After a punt from Northern Illinois, the Badgers moved the ball 97 yards in 10 plays with the team making it a 21-7 game on a one-yard run by Ball. The big play of the drive was a 54-yard catch from Jacob Pedersen two plays before the score.
Another short possession from the Huskies turned into seven more points for the Badgers as an 11-play, 77-yard drive was capped on a 20-yard TD run from James White for a 28-7 lead heading into the break.
Wisconsin started the second half with the ball and got a one-yard TD run from Ball on 3rd-and-goal for a 35-7 lead. The drive covered 78 yards and nine plays.
The Badgers' next possession saw the team go 79 yards in seven plays and Wilson hook up with Pedersen on a nine-yard score for a 42-7 lead with 6 1/2 minutes to play in the third.
A six-yard touchdown run from Joe Brennan late in the fourth accounted for the final score.
Wisconsin hosts South Dakota next Saturday...Northern Illinois hosts Cal Poly next Saturday...The Badgers have won 12 of the 13 meetings with the Huskies...Wisconsin outgained Northern Illinois, 621-237.
09/17 20:33:11 ET