Everyone knew what to expect from sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor. Really the only question heading into Week 1 was whether or not No. 4 Wisconsin could find offensive balance.

The Badgers answered that emphatically on Friday night in a 34-3 win over Western Kentucky to open the season. Actually, it was quarterback Alex Hornibrook who answered the question.

Hornibrook completed 17-of-29 passes for 257 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions as the Badgers dominated the Hilltoppers from start to finish at Camp Randall Stadium. Coming off an up-and-down season in 2017 — a year in which he caught plenty of criticism for Wisconsin’s lone loss to Ohio State in the B1G Championship Game — this was the kind of start the junior needed.

Coupled with Hornibrook’s solid evening was a potent rushing attack, led by Taylor, who racked up 145 yards and two touchdowns on just 18 carries. Taiwan Deal pitched in with 53 yards on eight touches. In total, the Badgers tallied 234 yards on the ground.

The offensive line dominated an inferior defensive front as Wisconsin cruised to the 31-point victory.

It’s always tough to get a real gauge on how well a team, or a player, performs in these one-sided contests. Wisconsin flexed its muscle over an overmatched WKU team without any resistance. But in Week 1, the offense was about as well-balanced as anyone could’ve expected.

Obviously Taylor will continue to carry a heavy offensive load this fall. He’ll still be the workhorse in the Badgers system. But Hornibrook’s effort showed that he’s capable of making smart decisions and distributing the football well.

Seven different players caught passes for the Badgers in the win, a sign that Hornibrook has a lot of trust in his receivers and tight ends. That’s especially important with the uncertain future of star pass-catcher Quintez Cephus.

A.J. Taylor led the way with five receptions, while Kendric Pryor and Jake Ferguson each caught four passes. The other four Wisconsin receivers each made one catch.

Balance was what Wisconsin was searching for in Week 1, even if it wasn’t going to be challenged by Western Kentucky.

The Badgers found that balance. Now we’ll have to see if it can be sustained on a week-to-week basis.