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SCOUTING REPORT: Illini are again stout on defense and much improved on offense
MORE BADGERS COVERAGE: Wisconsin AD Chris McIntosh will be patient with Paul Chryst through these tough times
Some frustrating stats, including Braelon Allen with 2 yards
Individually, Braelon Allen had seven carries for 2 yards. It's a wild departure from the success Allen has had thus far in his career, and a mark of the team's struggles on the offensive line (which admittedly has included some injuries this year).
The team was decimated by even more injuries in this game, losing tight end Hayden Rucci, running back/return man Isaac Guerendo and receiver Keontez Lewis, who left the game on ac art. Guerendo fumbled a kickoff away to set up an Illinois field goal and was injured on the next kickoff attempt.
Graham Mertz started 7 of 8 passing but finished 17 of 31 for 206 yards, though most of those incompletions came with UW in desperation mode.
Wisconsin committed 10 penalties for 77 yards, including two crucial calls on fourth down that renewed Illinois drives in the red zone.
FINAL: Illinois 34, Wisconsin 10
The Badgers scored on their first drive and were stuck in neutral the rest of the way. Two interceptions loomed large to help Illinois take a halftime lead, and it was all Illinois after that.
With all the lost yardage, Wisconsin officially finishes with 2 yards rushing. That's ... going to be a number that's discussed quite a bit this week.
In overall yardage, Illinois prevailed, 304-208.
Wisconsin turns it over one last time on downs
Markus Allen couldn't come down with a pass to the end zone, and Wisconsin turned the ball back to Illinois on the U of I 22-yard line. The 34-10 score is going to be the final, Wisconsin's worst loss to Illinois since a 34-6 loss in 1988.
Does this loss hurt worse than Washington State?
You could chalk up the Washington State loss as fluky; remember, even one of the Rose Bowl teams of the late 1990s suffered a clunker, losing to a bad Cincinnati team in 1999. You could certainly explain the Ohio State loss as a lopsided setback against a team that's been the cream of the crop in the Big Ten for years.
But a lopsided loss, at home, to an Illinois team that's only beaten the Badgers twice in the last 20 years? Coupled with the other losses, now it starts to look like a trend of where the 2022 team is headed.
There's 1:38 to go and UW still has the ball, but this drive has only endured thanks to Illinois penalties. It's still 34-10, Illini.
Graham Mertz takes another hit and is sacked
Alec Bryant drops Mertz for the fifth sack today against the Badgers quarterback; he's been shaken up on a couple plays today and, to be honest, I'm surpised he's still in the game.
Wisconsin benefits from an Illinois unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, so UW moves to its own 45 with 4:08 to go, looking for a score to make the score a little more palatable.
Another fourth-down pass incomplete
Facing fourth and long, Graham Mertz can't connect on a long pass, and Illinois gets the ball back with 8:32 to go.
Mertz started the game 7 of 8 but is now 10 of 21 for 147 yards and two picks.
Wisconsin gets ball back on own 20
Jordan Turner has eight total tackles to lead the Badgers today, including a couple on that last series to get the ball back in Wisconsin's hands.
Chimere Dike then makes a nice catch between two defenders to move the chains and put the ball at UW's 40-yard line. Wisconsin not officially dead yet, but the energy inside Camp Randall is long gone.
On track to be worst loss vs. Illinois since 1988
The Badgers go 3-and-out again, bringing on the punt team.
Wisconsin has not lost at home to Illinois since 2002, which also marks the last time UW lost to Illinois by double digits (37-20). UW has lost just twice in the 17 meetings since that game.
The last time they lost by 20+ points to Illinois was 1989 (32-9). This is on track to be the worst loss to Illinois since 1988 (34-6 at Camp Randall Stadium).
Caleb Griffin hits again to give Illinois 24-point lead
Caleb Griffin hits from 31 yards for his second field goal of the day, and the Badgers deficit escalates to 24 points with 14:18 to go.
The student section has drained out to half-full at this point. Fans heading for the exits already elsewhere, too.
ILLINOIS 34, WISCONSIN 10, 14:18/4th
Badgers head into fourth with 24 yards rushing
At least Wisconsin had a yardage advantage at halftime, 140-116, but now Illinois has a yardage edge of 279-150 going into the final 15 minutes. That's right, the Badgers got 10 yards of offense in that quarter while ceding 163.
Illinois is going to leave Camp Randall with a pretty satisfying win, one would think, for coach Bret Bielema.
End third quarter: It's all Illinois
The Illini will be facing 3rd and 12 from the Badgers 19-yard line when play resumes in the fourth quarter. Going to be one of the more depressing "Jump Around" sessions in recent memory.
END THIRD QUARTER: ILLINOIS 31, WISCONSIN 10
Wisconsin fails on fourth down
Graham Mertz had an open Skyler Bell on a fourth-down pass near midfield, but he couldn't get a toe down in bounds and Wisconsin turns it over on downs (though the play was reviewed, and upheld).
Curiously, it was Wisconsin's first passing play on the series after three running plays. There's 4:36 left in the game and Wisconsin is getting crushed.
Illinois scores again on 49-yard touchdown
Chase Brown busts through the line and is untouched on his way to the end zone, and Illinois now has a 31-10 lead. It's a ... blowout.
This outcome is going to have a lot of people panicking about the direction of the Badgers football program.
The Badgers still have just 16 yards rushing. Chase Brown now has 100 by himself for
Truly don't know how Pat Bryant caught a 15-yard pass from Devito for a first down with Justin Clark draped all over him just prior to the score.
Maema Njongmeta, by the way, is back in the game. He'd left earlier with injury.
ILLINOIS 31, WISCONSIN 10
Badgers go three and out and facing yet another injury
Not only did Wisconsin go nowhere (short run and two incomplete passes), but now Keontez Lewis is down and getting attention after getting cut out at the knees by an Illinois tackler. They're putting him in an air cast, it looks like.
I am sure this game could go worse, but I'm struggling to see how. First Hayden Rucci and now Isaac Guerendo and Keontez Lewis. And this one might be the most severe of all.
He'll leave the stadium on a cart. Truly brutal day for UW.
Now Guerendo is hurt after next kickoff
The Badgers would really like to rattle off some plays in a row that don't end with bad news.
Isaac Guerendo was able to field the next kickoff cleanly but he was upended at the 20-yard line and has stayed own with trainers on the field. Guerendo has battled injuries throughout his time at UW and had a pretty nice first half before things have imploded after halftime.
He's up but needs significant help getting to the sideline. Don't imagine he'll be back.
Defense rises to occasion in must-hold situation, but Illinois gets field goal
Keeanu Benton has his second sack today, and Illinois goes backward, forced to kick a field goal facing 4th and 20 from the 46.
The 44-yard field goal attempt is good from Caleb Griffin, so the fumbled kickoff costs the Badgers 3 points. Down two full touchdowns now, but still a lot of time left.
ILLINOIS 24, WISCONSIN 14, 9:03/3rd
Disaster strikes UW as Guerendo fumbles kickoff
Isaac Guerendo dropped the line-drive kickoff and Illinois recovers on the UW 16-yard line. Abject disaster in a game that was already trending toward disaster. Illinois has taken full control.
Touchdown Illinois as Devito gets third score
Things are getting bleak in Madison.
After Illinois converted on fourth down, U of I quickly moved to the Badgers goal line and scored on another Devito keeper. He's got all three touchdowns today, and Illinois has a two-score lead.
That's a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive over 4:36.
ILLINOIS 21, WISCONSIN 10, 10:24/3rd
Illinois converts on 4th and 4
UW's defense came close to a stop once Illinois had crossed the Badgers 30, but on 4th and 4, Devito found Isaiah Williams for the first down.
Illinois now has a 1st and 10 at the Badgers' 23 yard line, looking to go up two scores. Injury timeout for tight end Luke Ford, who imps off after getting some attention.
Maema Njongmeta limps off after first snap
Badgers linebacker Maema Njongmeta walks off under his own power after the first snap of the second half, but he got twisted up. Another potential injury to watch for the Badgers, who open the second half on defense, down 4 points.
Illinois strikes for a first-down between DeVito and Pat Bryant, giving the Illini the ball on its own 43.
Good news, bad news, worse news for Badgers
Good news: The kicking game has been great. Despite injuries to Vito Calavaruso and Jack Van Dyke, Nate Van Zelst delivered a 39-yard field goal under hurried circumstances. More than that, punter Andy Vujnovich, who struggled mightily at Ohio State, just had a 55-yard booming punt and has looked great (two punts, 111 yards). Separately, Isaac Guerendo had a couple big kickoff returns, including one on the opening kickoff that led into a Badgers touchdown.
Bad news: The offense, yikes. The running game has just 14 — 14!! — yards in the first half. And while Graham Mertz has made some great throws, he's still on the hook for two interceptions that led into touchdowns both times for Illinois. His second pick was really bad.
Worse news: Losing Hayden Rucci to injury (though he's officially questionable) leaves the Badgers really short at the tight end position. Clay Cundiff, lost last week in the Ohio State game, is now out for the year.
Sign of hope? Without the turnovers, not to mention two fourth-down penalties on UW in the red zone, not sure Illinois would have any touchdowns. UW did win the overall yardage battle in the first half, 140-116 even though Illinois held the ball for longer.
Halftime: Illinois 14, Wisconsin 10
Those who were hoping to see Wisconsin move on quickly from last week's blowout at Ohio Staet probably aren't happy with a halftime deficit against Bret Bielema and Illinois.
Plenty of boos trickling down on the Badgers as they leave the field at halftime.
Another 3-and-out for UW after Isaac Guerendo's run called back
A holding call on Jack Eschenbach erased a big running play by Isaac Guerendo, and Wisocnsin barely made it back to the original line of scrimmage from there. UW will have to punt and Illinois calls timeout with 59 seconds left.
Illinois took the punt at the 4 and only got back to the 7, so it's a long shot.
Wisconsin holds on defense and will get one last chance to reclaim lead
A smooth Jay Shaw tackle highlighted a defensive stand, and Wisconsin gets the ball back with 2:24 left.
The punt ricocheted off Dean Engram out of bounds, but Illinois will be flagged for interference on that play, and Wisconsin gets a nice chunk of 15 yards out of the deal. The Badgers will have it 1st and 10 on their own 42.
Badgers go nowhere on next series
Wisconsin tried some trickery of its own, but Braelon Allen's pass on 3rd and 2 was off the mark, and Wisconsin has to punt it back to Illinois with 5:51 to go before half.
UW has only 6 rushing yards today.
Touchdown Illinois and the Badgers trail for first time today
With the extra chances Tommy DeVito muscles his way in and Illinois scores to go ahead 14-10. Both of its touchdowns have come on drives following Graham Mertz interceptions.
ILLINOIS 14, WISCONSIN 10, 7:31/2nd
Another flag. Red-zone penalties have been a disaster
This is a mess.
The refs changed their mind about the previous play, deciding it was, in fact, a touchdown, so Wisconsin had to take the illegal formation penalty. On the next snap, Wisconsin committed yet another pass interference penalty (Justin Clark) to set up 1st and goal from the 3.
4th down penalty on Wisconsin burns UW again, but Illinois makes its own mistakes
For the second time today, the Badgers are called for a penalty with Illinois facing a 4th down in the red zone. Isaiah Mullins jumped too soon.
Illinois then threw a touchdown on the next play, but that score gets negated by an illegal man downfield penalty. That brought up 1st and goal from the 7 with 8:11 to go in the half.
A halfback pass on that play seemed to yield another touchdown, though it was ruled incomplete and Illinois was slapped with illegal formation. Make it 2nd and goal on the 7 with the penalty declined.
Jay Shaw has had a rough day so far
Shaw is flagged for his second pass interference of the day, and it gives Illinois a 1st and 10 on the 14. Devito's swing pass looked like it was going to be a touchdown on the next snap, but Tip Reiman just dropped it.
Shaw was also beaten for a 35-yard pass play early in the game. Illinois knocking on the door, but now it's 3rd and 5 on the 9.
Illinois picks off Mertz for the second time
Graham Mertz remarkably eluded pressure but then threw a pass right to Illinois' Tahveon Nicholson, who made the diving catch and will give Illinois a first down at the UW 47. Very puzzling pass, the second of the game for Mertz that gives Illinois promising field position. 10:19 to go in the first half.
Keontez Lewis with a highlight reel toe-tap reception
Graham Mertz is over 100 yards passing (120, to be precise) after a great catch by Kenotez Lewis on the sideline, who tapped his right foot in bounds before falling out. Wisconsin still in its own territory but Illinois calls timeout with 11:16 to go before half.
UW defense holds again on 3rd and 5 thanks to Benton
Illinois' attempt on 3rd and 5 from its own 46-yard line turned into a shoestring sack by Keeanu Benton, who wrapped up Devito's ankles even while Benton was falling to the ground. It means Illinois will have to punt.
Hayden Rucci's return is officailly questionable, by the way.
Badgers take the lead with (hurried) field goal
Nate Van Zelst is good for 39 yards, but not without some dram — Jack Nelson ran onto the field late and the Badgers had 4 seconds to snap the ball. But they got it off and punched it through to take a 10-7 lead.
It's a 10-play drive that covered 45 yards.
WISCONSIN 10, ILLINOIS 7, 14:53/2nd
Badgers facing 3rd and 6 to open second quarter
Tied at 7, UW will have a 3rd and 6 from the Illinois 21 when the second quarter starts.
The Badgers have moved the ball but not via traditional means, with just 1 yard on the ground (Illini not much better, with 8 y. UW has a 99-53 edge in total yardage and would be in better shape were it not for the interception that set up an Illinois touchdown.
END FIRST: Wisconsin 7, Illinois 7.
Another tight end down for Badgers
Wisconsin, which lost tight end Clay Cundiff for the season last week against Ohio State, might be down another tight end as Hayden Rucci hits the turf and is getting medical attention to his leg. Cam Large is also out for this game; Wisconsin would be down to Jack Eschebach and ... Jaylan Franklin, maybe? The ranks are thin.
Rucci needing help off the field and putting very little weight on his ankle/leg.
More promise from the passing game for Badgers
After another strong return by Isaac Guerendo, the Badgers quickly moved across midfield, with a 9-yard pass to Chimere Dike and a 10-yard hookup with Jack Eschenbach moving the chains on each occasion.
After Isaac Darkangelo sacked Graham Mertz to set up 3rd and 16, Mertz came right back to Dike for a 25-yard completion to give the Badgers the ball on the Illinois 25.
Mertz is 7 of 8 for 95 yards passing, and his lone incompletion was a tipped interception. Timeout, Badgers, with 46 seconds left in the first quarter.
After crucial penalty against Badgers, Illinois breaks through for a touchdown
Illinois quarterback Tommy Devito's 1-yard rush has allowed Illinois to tie the game at 7-7.
On 3rd and 13, Devito found Isaiah Williams for just enough yardage for a first down. UW kept Illinois out of the end zone on the next three plays, setting up a 4th and goal on the 1-yard line.
The fourth-down pass into the end zone was incomplete, but Shaw was flagged for pass interference to give Illinois a new set of downs. Fans here don't like, with some healthy boos after Devito punched it in.
But we're tied. It's a seven-play, 16-yard drive set up by the turnover, and though UW's defense made some nice plays, it's all square.
WISCONSIN 7, ILLINOIS 7, 4:30/1st
Illinois interception provides automatic red-zone opportunity for Illini
Illinois will start 1st and 10 on the 16 after a tipped third-down pass intended for Keontez Lewis was tipped and intercepted by Kendall Smith. He then returned it inside the 20, making that punt from the 38 suddenly look like a good call.
A quick Nick Herbig tackle for loss, however, has the Illini facing 3rd and 13.
Big pass play for Illinois puts Illini in a good spot, but Badgers hold
Brian Hightower got a step on Jay Shaw down the left sideline and hauled in a 35-yard pass from Tommy Devito, but the Badgers defense stiffened from there to set up a 4th and 7 from the 38.
Illinois elects to ... punt? from there. It's down at the 3-yard line, but UW has the ball back.
The touchdown stands. Wisconsin 7, Illinois 0
Nate Van Zelst adds the point after and with 11:15 left in the first quarter, the Badgers have a quick 7-0 lead.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 1, 2022
TOUCHDOWN BADGERS (under review)
What a gorgeous pass to Isaac Guerendo in the end zone, with a diving catch for the 21-yard connection. The Badgers were facing 3rd and 8 on the 21 and Mertz went for it all and got it. Two major flash plays from Guerendo to start this game, including the kickoff.
Play is under review, though.
Braelon Allen converted a 3rd and 2 with a short run to the 23-yard line to move the chains.
Isaac Guerendo sets up the Badgers with great field position
Isaac Guerendo fielded a short kickoff at the 10-yard line and found a hole to a 38-yard run, setting up Wisconsin first and 10 its own 47. One pass later to Skyler Bell has UW already at the Illinois 34-yard line after one offensive snap.
Badgers win the coin toss and will receive
Wisconsin wins the coin toss and will receive the football — no deferring this time around.
Some boos for Bret Bielema, obviously
Former Badgers coach Bret Bielema returns to Camp Randall Stadium coaching Illinois, and he got some boos during introductions, though they weren't pronounced. Stadium has a long way to go to reach capacity at this point. And you know what? A fair amount of orange in the stands!
Not too many surprises among inactives for Badgers, but kickers in short supply
Wisconsin will again be without cornerback Alexander Smith (who hasn't played yet this year) and right tackle Riley Mahlman against Illinois, meaning we'll probably see some combination of Trey Wedig and Logan Brown at that spot.
Kickers Vito Calvaruso and Jack Van Dyke are both out, so expect to see Nate Van Zelst on field goals and Gavin Lahm on kickoffs.
Others who are out include cornerback Al Ashford, tight end Cam Large, linebacker Aaron Witt, safety Hunter Wohler and backup quarterback Chase Wolf.
Clay Cundiff, who suffered a significant injury last week, is listed as out for the year. It's the second straight year a major injury has short-circuited his season.
As colleague Jeff Potrykus spotted, Wohler is in a walking boot but doesn't have his crutches anymore after getting hurt in the season opener, and Smith isn't wearing the same black sleeve on his injured leg, so there's progress.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin vs Illinois score, live game updates at Camp Randall Stadium