Jonathan Taylor rushed for 135 yards and scored a career-best four touchdowns, helping No. 19 Wisconsin open the season with a 49-0 rout of South Florida on Friday in Tampa, Florida.
Taking up where he left off a year ago, when he lead the nation with 2,194 yards and 16 touchdowns, Taylor scored on runs of 37 and 38 yards. The junior running back also had the first two receiving TDs of his career, scooting 36 yards up the left sideline after taking a quick flip from Jack Coan and later extending the ball over the goal line on a 12-yard reception that gave the Badgers a 28-0 halftime lead.
“You work all offseason like I did, and to have that receiving touchdown come to life, I’m really excited about that,” Taylor said. “It motivates you to see that hard work pay off.”
Wisconsin’s defense delivered a dominating performance, too, limiting South Florida to 157 yards total offense and forcing three turnovers, including a fumble that Matt Henningsen returned 16 yards for a second-quarter touchdown.
The loss was the seventh straight for USF, which dropped the final six games of 2018 after starting 7-0 and climbing into the Top 25.
(18) Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7: Kenny Willekes recovered two fumbles, including one in the end zone for a touchdown, and the Spartans manhandled the Golden Hurricane in East Lansing, Michigan.
Willekes, back on the field after breaking his leg in last season’s Redbox Bowl, was part of a swarming Michigan State defense that held the Golden Hurricane to minus-73 yards rushing. The Spartans (1-0) still had their problems on offense, but that made little difference on this night.