Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) celebrates after rushing for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Illinois State Redbirds at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Braelon Allen Runs All Over Redbirds, Badgers Win 38-0 in Week 1

Saturday’s football game between the No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers and the Illinois State Redbirds was anything but a normal game at Camp Randall Stadium.

Yes, it wasn’t even normal for the team located in Normal.

Sophomore running back Braelon Allen rushed for 148 yards on 14 attempts, including a 96-yard touchdown run, the longest rush by any Badgers’ player in program history. Alongside a pick-six from safety John Torchio and a touchdown pass from quarterback Graham Mertz to Chimire Dike, the Badgers defeated the Redbirds 38-0.

Big Plays Lead the Way

Some may say, “it’s not about how you start; it’s about how you finish.”

On a night when Wisconsin started slow, John Torchio had other plans.

The senior safety started the scoring frenzy with a big play, intercepting Illinois State quarterback Zack Annexstad at the goal line with under two minutes remaining in the first quarter and returning it for a touchdown. This interception is Torchio’s fifth as a Badger, and his first interception returned for a touchdown in his collegiate career. He also had three tackles, one TFL, and a sack.

Torchio, formerly a walk-on, is a true senior this season and is starting on a defense that held the Redbirds scoreless the entire game, allowing the Illinois State offense inside the red zone on only one drive.

Braelon Allen Breaks A Program Record

Oxford Languages defines the word “unstoppable” as “impossible to stop or prevent.”

Another definition of “unstoppable?”

Braelon Allen.

As previously stated, Allen finished the game with 148 rushing yards, averaging 10.6 yards per carry. He also put numbers on the scoreboard with two touchdown runs, one of which happened to be a 96-yard carry, breaking James White’s previous record for the longest rush in program history of 93-yards.

What’s Next?

Following Saturday’s game, the Badgers remain in Madison to host another home game against the Washington State Cougars. The game starts at 2:30 p.m. CST and will air on FOX.


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