Wisconsin vs. Illinois final score: Badgers ease to road victory, 56-32

Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin puts together their second impressive win in a row, cruising past the Illini an a dominating road win.

The Wisconsin Badgers had no problems on the road against the Illinois Fighting Illini, proving their status as a top Big Ten power with a dominating 56-32 win.

Wisconsin got off to a hot start with three straight first-quarter touchdowns, putting the game all but out of reach even before the Illini could get on the board. James White's two-yard run took the lead at 7-0, and Melvin Gordon's 26-yard touchdown run and Joel Stave's two-yard touchdown pass to Brian Wozniak made it 21-0.

Illinois was able to make things closer in the second quarter, with Taylor Zalewski's 31-yard field goal putting them on the board and Josh Ferguson's one-yard touchdown run making it 21-10. Melvin Gordon ran for a one-yard touchdown, bringing the Badger lead to a more comfortable 18 points, but freshman backup quarterback Aaron Bailey found Matt LaCosse in the end zone for a one-yard touchdown on the play fake to make it 28-17.

Wisconsin put it away in the third quarter, as Joel Stave threw a three-yard touchdown pass to James White and Gordon followed it up with a 13-yard run to make it 42-17.

Illinois came back a bit in the fourth quarter. After having a fourth-down touchdown overturned on review, the Illini got the ball back and scored on Nathan Scheelhaase's one-yard run. Wisconsin responded with its own one-yard-touchdown run, from James White.

A last-minute touchdown from Reilly O'Toole to Spencer Harris brought the score to 56-32.

Box Score Hero: Melvin Gordon. WIsconsin's speedster ran 17 times for 142 yards and three scores.

Rankings Ramifications: Wisconsin was ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll and was the first team out of the Coaches' and Harris Polls. They should be ranked in all three, and might sneak into the teens.

But Did They Cover? Wisconsin was a 15-point favorite, so yes.

For More On This Game: Check out Bucky's 5th Quarter for the Wisconsin reaction and The Champaign Room for the Illinois perspective.

Next Week's Schedule: Wisconsin has a bye before travelling to face Iowa, while Illinois hosts Michigan State.

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