The No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers (1-0) kicked off its season opener at Camp Randall on Saturday night with a 38-0 smackdown of the visiting Illinois State Redbirds.
Behind a balanced and efficient offensive performance, the Badgers totaled 440 yards in Bobby Engram’s first game as offensive coordinator.
Even on a night where Jim Leonhard’s defense came out flat, they managed to pitch a shutout against the Redbirds.
It was a night that saw multiple school records broken. First, senior safety John Torchio scored the first touchdown of the season on a 100-yard pick-six late in the first quarter.
Then, Braelon Allen showed why he’s one of the best running backs in the country, ripping off a 96-yard touchdown run, the longest in school history.
Overall, it was a highly encouraging performance from both sides of the ball, giving Wisconsin momentum to build on heading into week two against the Washington State Cougars.
Here’s a look at the top five highest-graded offensive/defensive players from Wisconsin’s 38-0 victory over Illinois State, according to Pro Football Focus.
Top 5 offense
OT Nolan Rucci: 91.1 – Elite
TE Hayden Rucci: 88.4 – Elite
WR Chimere Dike: 82.6 – High Quality
OT Jack Nelson: 81.6 – High Quality
QB Graham Mertz: 81.4 – High Quality
Top 5 defense
S Preston Zachman: 91.0 – Elite
NT Keeanu Benton: 86.8 – Elite
S Kamo’i Latu: 83.2 – High Quality
ILB Maema Njongmeta: 82.5 – High Quality
OLB Nick Herbig: 78.2 – High Quality
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