Their second victory in the series in the last three meetings, Pat Fitzgerald and the No. 19 Northwestern Wildcats knocked off the No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers, 17-7, on Saturday at Ryan Field in Evanston.

Forcing five turnovers, the Badgers’ most in a game since 2015, Fitzgerald pointed to his team’s week-long preparation effort as the reason the Wildcats were so dialed in.

Normally, generating five turnovers would result in more than 17 points. However, the 15th-year head coach credited Wisconsin’s defense, which held the Wildcats to 3.9 yards per snap, for keeping his offense in check.

The rushing attack was a particular concern for the offense, tallying just 24 yards on 23 attempts. Presented with first-and-goal at the Badger one-yard line with 8:30 left in the opening frame, junior tailback Isaiah Bowser’s fumble was recovered in the end zone by redshirt freshman linebacker Spencer Lytle.

While this did not come back to bite Northwestern, Fitzgerald was adamant about it not happening again.

No stranger to the overlooked, underdog role, the Wildcats did not view their victory as an upset and received extra motivation from an unlikely source, ESPN analyst Joey Galloway.

Now standing at 5-0 and possessing the inside track to representing the West Division in the Big Ten Championship Game, Northwestern will head to East Lansing to clash with the Michigan State Spartans (1-3) on November 28.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, who is now 2-1, will return to Madison to battle one of their fiercest rivals, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the same day.