A week after Wisconsin’s sluggish offense spelled their fate against Iowa, the Badgers bounced back in a big way, picking up a 25-21 win over Illinois. The victory moves the Badgers to 5-2 on the season and back into first place in the Big 10 West.
Wisconsin trailed for much of the game, and were down by as much as 14 heading into the fourth quarter. But led by freshman quarterback Braedyn Locke, who’s filling in for the injured Tanner Mordecai, the Badgers exploded for 18 points in the fourth quarter to pick up the win. Locke performed well in his first career start, throwing for 240 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winning three yard pass to offensive lineman Nolan Rucci, which came with just 27 seconds remaining. Locke’s two touchdown passes came on the final two drives of the game for the Badgers, and were drives of 82 yards and 83 yards, respectively.
Locke also received help from a strong running game. Starting running back Braelon Allen had 29 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown. And when it mattered most, in the fourth quarter, the Badgers defense stepped up and forced two punts and a turnover on downs.
The Badgers will look to pick up where they left off on Saturday, October 28th, as they face their toughest game of the season so far – a home game against third ranked 7-0 Ohio State.