MADISON, Wisc. (ABC4 Sports) - Utah State raced out to a 10-0 lead against #9 Wisconsin looking to shock the college football world.
It didn't last.
Alex Hornibrook threw three touchdown passes, Wisconsin forced four turnovers, and the Badgers recovered from a miserable start with a dominating second half to beat Utah State 59-10 on Friday night.
Freshman Jonathan Taylor ran for 87 yards and a touchdown on nine carries in the opener. Star tight end Troy Fumagalli caught the go-ahead touchdown early in the third quarter, and Zander Neuville and Quintez Cephus made highlight-reel scoring grabs.
Wisconsin outgained Utah State 251-43 in the Badgers' 28-point third quarter, rushing for 130 yards. Safety Joe Ferguson entertained the hardy fans who stayed for the fourth by returning an interception 99 yards for a score.
The Badgers asserted their dominance after struggling early. They trailed 10-0 late into the second quarter before taking off in the second half.
Aggies quarterback Kent Myers was 25 of 41 for 219 yards with three picks.
At least Utah State had a first quarter to remember.
Coach Matt Wells' team had the Badgers' aggressive defense on its heels with screens and a reverse. A school picked to finish last in its division it the Mountain West Conference was setting the tone against a Big Ten power at night on the road.
Hornibrook fumbled a snap deep in his own territory, a turnover that Utah State recovered at the Wisconsin 29 and returned 13 yards. LaJuan Hunt ran for a 12-yard touchdown two plays later to give the Aggies a 10-0 lead with 3:47 left in the quarter.
The fans at Camp Randall Stadium were stunned. Slowly, but surely the Badgers finally found their footing.
Bradrick Shaw's 3-yard touchdown run with 1:12 left ended started the stretch of 59 unanswered points. Wisconsin scored 24 off turnovers.
Utah State next hosts Idaho State in its home opener September 7th at 6:00 p.m.
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