Rapid Reaction: Jonathan Taylor, Quintez Cephus key Wisconsin's blowout of CMU
Final Score: Central Michigan 0, Wisconsin 61
Brief Recap: Wisconsin looked great yet again in Week 2. The Badgers wasted no time jumping all over Central Michigan with Jonathan Taylor scoring three touchdowns in the first half. In the end, Wisconsin carried a 44-0 lead into halftime and never let up in the shutout. Paul Chryst’s squad will now get a bye before a true test against No. 7 Michigan.
Key Moment: In a game this lopsided, there was not a crucial turning point of momentum for the Badgers. Instead, we will go with the feel-good moment of the game, and that belongs to wide receiver Quintez Cephus. A lot has been made of his tumultuous offseason, but that is now behind him. The key moment came in the second quarter when Jack Coan hit Cephus with a 36-yard strike down the sideline for a touchdown. It was Cephus’ first touchdown since November 2017, and it had to feel particularly good.
Key Stat: 102 rushing yards, Jonathan Taylor’s total against CMU. It marked the 24th 100-yard game of Taylor’s career, good enough for third place on Wisconsin’s all-time list. He now trails just Ron Dayne (33) and Montee Ball (26). He is currently tied with Anthony Davis on the all-time list.
Key Player: The Badgers defense was incredible, but this game was more about Taylor and Cephus. Taylor accumulated 119 total yards and 4 TDs in the win while Cephus led Wisconsin’s receivers with 130 yards and 2 TDs on six catches. After everything Cephus has been through, this performance had to feel like a breath of fresh air.
What it Means: The Badgers pitched two dominant shutouts in two tune-up games to start the season. Taylor continues to look like a Heisman candidate while Coan looks like a capable quarterback. Also, don’t sleep on this defense heading into B1G play. The competition gets tougher against Michigan, but the Badgers should be the favorites in the B1G West moving forward.