No. 19 Wisconsin trails WSU 24-9 at Half

The Badgers and Cougars kick off at 6:30 CT Gesa Field at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA
Wisconsin quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) hands off to running back Braelon Allen (0) against...
Wisconsin quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) hands off to running back Braelon Allen (0) against Buffalo ]during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)(Andy Manis | AP)
Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 3:12 PM CDT
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PULLMAN, Wash. (WMTV) - No. 19 Wisconsin trails Washington State 24-9 at halftime from Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.

The first half was choppy for the Badgers. The Cougar’s fast-tempo offense overwhelmed the Badgers.

WSU quarterback Cam Ward was 14/20 for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Tanner Mordecai was strip sacked twice in the second quarter, with one being return for a touchdown. Defensive end Rob Stone Jr. sacked Mordecai one-and-a-half times and recovered one of the fumbles.

Wisconsin kicker Nathanial Vakos accounted for all the Badgers’ first half scoring, with a trio of field goals.

No. 19 Wisconsin travels to Washington State for Luke Fickell’s first road trip as head coach of the Badgers.

Last year in Madison, the Cougars beat the Badgers 17-14. But all-time, the Badgers fare well on the road in night games, with a 54-36 record.

Both teams are 1-0, with Wisconsin beating Buffalo 38-17 last week and WSU stomped Colorado State, 50-24.


Against Buffalo, the Badgers dominated the run game, rushing for 314 yards on the backs of running backs Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi. Allen’s 141 yards and Mellusi’s 157 yards made them the only two Power Five running backs to both rush for more than 100 yards in a game last week.

Mellusi’s 157 yards was a career-high. He scored two touchdowns on 13 carries, including a 89-yard run in the second half. The run is tied for fifth-longest in Wisconsin history.

In the air, quarterback Tanner Mordecai threw for 189 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions to go 24/31 on the day. His 24 completions was the most by a Badger quarterback in their debut in at least 55 years.

On defense, the Badgers did not manage to sack Buffalo quarterback Cole Snyder or force any turnovers, but Wisconsin held the Bulls to 122 yards on the ground and 194 in the air. Safety Hunter Wohler lead the Badgers with a career-high 11 tackles.

Against Colorado State, the Cougars dominated the pass game. Quarterback Cameron Ward went 37/49 for 451 yards and three touchdowns. Nine different WSU players caught a pass. Ward was sacked three times had had three fumbles against the Rams. WSU rushed for 90 yards last week.

The Cougars’ defense was solid. Linebacker Devin Richardson had a team-high 11 tackles. The Rams threw for 320 yards and rushed for only 37 in the loss.

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