Chez Mellusi ran for 145 yards and a landing and Wisconsin beat Illinois 24-0 on Saturday.

Braelon Allen rushed for 131 yards and a landing on 18 carries and John Chenal carried 9 instances for 38 yards and a landing for the Badgers.

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz was 10-of-19 passing for 100 yards with an interception. The Badgers (2-3, 1-2 Big Ten Conference) outgained Illinois 491-93 yards in complete offense.

Coming into the sport, Wisconsin ranked third within the nation and led the Big Ten in complete protection, permitting simply 249 yards per recreation and permitting simply 4.3 yards per play. Illinois (2-5, 1-3) had been displaying progress in its working recreation.

Something needed to give. On Saturday, it was the Illinois working recreation.

“Our defensive coaches put together a good plan to counter the running game,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst mentioned. “But the kids bring it to life.”

Chase Brown led all Illinois rushers with 35 yards on eight carries. Brown rushed for 257 yards towards Charlotte final week and tied his profession excessive with two dashing touchdowns.

Illinois beginning quarterback Brandon Peters was 3-of-7 passing for 30 yards earlier than sustaining an unknown harm whereas being sacked within the second quarter. Artur Sitkowski changed him and went 8 of 27 for 55 yards.

After the sport, Illinois coach Bret Bielema mentioned he had no replace on Peters or star linebacker Jake Hansen, who additionally left the sport within the first half because of an unknown harm.

BORN TO RUN

The Badgers established the run early, scoring on a 17-yard Collin Larsh area aim late within the first quarter to cap an 18-play, 67-yard drive that featured simply three passes.

Wisconsin boasts one of many hardest run defenses within the nation, and Illinois has among the finest run offenses. But the Illini didn’t run the ball till the primary sequence of the second quarter when Josh McCray rushed for no achieve close to the Illinois aim line following a Kerby Joseph interception that prevented a Wisconsin landing.

“They’re a good defensive team, I get that,” Bielema mentioned. “We have some work to do. This was another step in the process. It’s not pleasant, but we have to own it.”

Wisconsin outgained Illinois 206-33 within the first half regardless of Mertz going 3-of-9 passing for 15 yards. Illinois rushed for 21 yards and handed for simply 12 earlier than intermission.

Wisconsin led 10-0 on the break.

SCHOOL RECORD

Wisconsin tight finish Jake Ferguson caught a move in his thirty ninth straight recreation, breaking the college document for consecutive video games with a reception beforehand held by extensive receiver Lee Evans, who performed for the Badgers from 2000-03.

THE BIG PICTURE

The Badgers gained the sport on the scoreboard, but it surely’s clear it is a staff struggling to seek out itself offensively. Chryst and his workers should rectify that if Wisconsin desires to compete within the Big Ten West.

“It’s obvious we have some things to clean up,” Chryst mentioned. “We’ll be working on that this week.”

Illinois coach Bielema was going through his outdated staff and attempting for his one centesimal profession teaching win, however his staff was listless and ineffective from the opening kickoff. Since the Illini offense didn’t present up, it was as much as the protection to attempt to entertain a big homecoming crowd. The crowd cheered derisively when Illinois obtained its fifth first down of the sport – early within the fourth quarter.

“Gotta give credit to Wisconsin,” Bielema mentioned. “They executed their game plan very well. We have some things to work on.”

UP NEXT

Wisconsin: Hosts Army on Saturday.

Illinois: After a bye week, travels to No. 4 Penn State on Oct. 23.