The Wisconsin Badgers wrapped up their non-conference schedule Saturday night with a comfortable win over Hawaii, 28-0, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on what was a beautiful fall night. UW boosts its record to 3-1 while the Rainbow Warriors dip to 2-2. Running back Taiwan Deal score on a pair of two-yard touchdowns in the first half.
It was the running game that set the table for all the good things that happened for Bucky on this night. The ball-control offense, still without onetime Heisman Trophy hopeful Corey Clement, sent a clear message with the first score. Wisconsin devoured 8:09 on a 16 play, 97 yard drive for the first score. No huge gainers, but just a precision-like march downfield while the Rainbow Warrior defense kept backing up.
Clement will be out for another 4-6 weeks after having his sports hernia surgically repaired. Deal and Dare Ogunbowale have become the new tag-team on the ground for Wisconsin. Deal has emerged as the heir-apparent to Melvin Gordon III when it comes to crossing the goal line. Ogunbowale, not wanting to be outdone, also got a whiff of the end zone in the fourth quarter when he ran nine yards for a touch with 7:29 left to play. The lead was a commanding, 28-0, at that point
Senior QB Joel Stave continued his heady and stead play against the Rainbow Warriors. Stave connected with tight end Austin Traylor for 12 yards late in the third quarter and the Badgers’ lead swelled to 21-0. It was the second consecutive quarter in which Wisconsin scored in the final minute. Alex Erickson caught nine of Stave’s missives for 87 yards, a shade under 10 yards a catch.
The same names on Wisconsin’s defense get the lion’s share of attention as head coach Paul Chryst works on getting stronger on that side of the ball. Linebackers Chris Orr and Joe Schobert and team captain and safety Michael Caputo continue to anchor and make big plays in crucial situations to keep their opponents in check.
The scales were definitely tilted in favor of Wisconsin over Hawaii. They amassed more yards, 512-255, first downs, 31-11, and led in time of possession, 39:47 to 20:13. The Badgers ‘D’ has held its opponents without a touchdown for 12 straight quarters.
The Big Ten Conference kicks off next week as the Iowa Hawkeyes make their way to Camp Randall on Saturday, October 3. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. Kirk Ferentz and his Hawkeyes were a perfect 4-0 outside of conference, including a 62-16 win over North Texas Mean Green on Saturday. The quest to repeat as West Division Champions is all set.