Taylor scores 4 TDs, No. 19 Wisconsin blows out USF

cfb2Jonathan Taylor rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns and added a pair of receiving scores as No. 19 Wisconsin opened the season with a 49-0 rout of South Florida in Tampa on Friday night.

Wisconsin limited South Florida to 157 yards of offense, including 53 in the first half, and led 28-0 at halftime. The Badgers had 22 first downs compared to nine for the Bulls.

A Heisman Trophy candidate who rushed for 16 touchdowns last season, Taylor scored the first touchdown reception of his career on a 36-yard catch and run with 10:37 remaining in the second quarter.

Taylor added another touchdown reception just two seconds before the halftime whistle, scoring on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Jack Coan to cap an 11-play, 80-yard drive that took 5:10 off the clock. Taylor caught the pass near the Bulls’ 5-yard line before making a move toward the end zone. Grasped by two South Florida defenders, Taylor extended his arms – and the ball – over the goal line for the score.

Bulls quarterback Blake Barnett completed 13 of 30 passes for 109 yards and two interceptions while getting sacked three times. South Florida’s longest reception of the night, 15 yards, belonged to Kevin Purlett, while its leading rusher, Jordan McCloud, gained 17 yards.

Linebacker Patrick Macon, an Oklahoma State transfer, shined in his Bulls debut, collecting 15 tackles – including 10 solo – and a forced fumble.

The Badgers notched a defensive touchdown with 12:58 to go in the second quarter as Matt Henningsen recovered a Barnett fumble following a Zack Baun sack and raced 16 yards to the end zone.

Wisconsin capped the scoring with a Bradrick Shaw touchdown run with 7:28 to play. It was Shaw’s first action since 2017, as he recovered from an ACL injury last season.

The Badgers’ first regular season game in the state of Florida since Sept. 4, 1988, started about an hour late due to a lightning delay.

Wisconsin improved to 2-0 in the all-time series against South Florida. The Badgers defeated the Bulls, 27-10, at Camp Randall Stadium in 2014.

–Field Level Media

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