Ben Bryant leads Northwestern to road win at Wisconsin

League: NCAA Football

Posted on: 11 Nov, 2023 at 11:55 PM

Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Bryant returned from injury to pass for two touchdowns and run for another as visiting Northwestern used a dominant first half to down Wisconsin 24-10 on Saturday.

Bryant, who missed the last four games with an upper-body injury, completed 18 of 26 passes for 195 yards as Northwestern (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten) built a 24-3 halftime lead and snapped a 14-game losing streak in true road games.

Bryant transferred from Cincinnati, where he played for current Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell.

Wisconsin (5-5, 3-4) got its only touchdown on a 3-yard run by Jackson Acker with 11 seconds left. The Badgers, picked to win the Big Ten West in the preseason poll, have lost three straight and four of their last five.

Wisconsin took a 3-0 lead on Nathanial Vakos' 33-yard field goal on its opening drive, but the Wildcats answered with touchdown drives of 79, 68, and 90 yards and then added a field goal for a 24-3 halftime lead.

On Northwestern's first possession, Bryant completed 7 of 8 passes, capping the 12-play drive with a 23-yard touchdown strike to a wide-open A.J. Henning.

Bryant scored on a 1-yard run to put the Wildcats up 14-3 with 12:54 left in the first half.

The Wildcats went 90 yards in nine plays to make it 21-3 with 6:41 remaining in the half. Bryant hit Cam Johnson deep right for a 24-yard touchdown on third-and-6.

Northwestern converted its first 10 third-down opportunities before Bryant was stopped short on a third-and-13 scramble. The Wildcats settled for Jack Olsen's 28-yard field goal.

Northwestern, which entered last in the Big Ten in rushing at 98.6 yards per game, outgained Wisconsin 125-14 on the ground in the first half.

The Badgers drove to the Northwestern 8 on their first drive of the second half but turned it over on downs.

Tanner Mordecai, who returned after missing three games with a broken throwing hand, completed 31 of 45 passes for 255 yards for Wisconsin.

--Field Level Media